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Only God can judge me-Tupac Shakur [2014:E O]
Once my friend George (not his real name) told me that as an African, he is very annoyed and dissapointed with the stereotype attached to African people, who are always labeled as drug dealers, fraudster or criminal in Indonesia or in other part of the world. He felt that it is not fair to label them that.
Well, I understand with what he felt as I am a woman, who is married to a Westerner, tend to be judged as a bule hunter and gold digger. Being labeled with any kind of stereotype is never fun at all. In fact, it is very hurtful.
But for me, it is very important to ask ourselves what should we do to change society’s point of view about us? In my own opinion, we should do the opposite of what people say to prove that we are not what they think we are. We need to educate them.
If society labeled you as a fraudster then try to find a real job even it only gives you small amount of money. If society labeled you as a gold digger then try to work hard and live on your own income. And for me, when the society labeled me as a bule hunter, I am trying to prove it with my upcoming book about the life of Asian women who are married or in relationship with bule. (Someone tried to stop me to publish the book, which is a very stupid idea. Who do you think you are? You are not my mother!)
So either you have to ignore what society say or you have to make some changing. For me, it is very important to make some changing about the ugly stereotype, which is attached to me.
Anyway, George used to tell me that many African men tend to hide their identity in this country because they do not want to be judged especially there are many Nigerian, who are committed into drug distribution in Indonesia. He felts very insecure to reveal the real identity about himself. Why? It is because he was very annoyed that African people tend to be the target of police operation, be it is drug distribution or fraud.
Other than that, by being opening themselves about who they are, they are afraid that people would use the information against him. Well… I would say that people would use their real information against them because you might have done something bad to them as well, e.g cheat on other people money, cheat on your lover or force your lover to do abortion without really care about it.
I don’t mean to justify any negative action but aren’t we living in the competitive world where people are looking eye for an eye to survive? Again, there is nothing wrong for being true about yourself to other people. It is because once you lie, you would always lie and you would live on a fake life of yours. The worst is when the truth is revealed, it would hurt yourself and people around you.
I am not saying that I never lie. I am not holier than anyone. I guess everybody lie but when lie become one of your habit, people would lose trust on you in so many ways. I have been cheated in so many ways by my dear brother George. I have forgiven him so many times because he apologised and kneeled down on his knee.
But the thing is when lie becomes your habit, you tend to tell fables to anyone for the rest of his life. Unless a liar has a strong willing to change, a liar would stay as a liar. There is a Javanese proverb says “Gusti ora sare” (God never sleeps), what goes around would definitely comes around in His own time, in His own way.
Having said all of that, my question is now being should we hide our identity simply because of the stereotype? Or should we prove that society wrong? Or the fact that the society was correct with the stereotype to us that is why one must lie? Well… only you can answer it.