I am just different, don’t kill me!


I borrow this pic from Mas Dedy’s facebook wall. At the bottom of the pic, he wrote:

Shoes of Birkenau Auschwitz gas chambers vistims . . . The Nazi said because they were born as Jews. But in other cases, it is us who “collect the shoes” of others . . . just because they were born as Chinese, Arabs, Bosnian, or because they chose to be communists, pro-indepence Timorese, non-believers, etc.. It is the barbaric impulses that forced us to eliminate all otherness . .

Today, one of my facebook friends posted something on her wall. It recalls many things in my mind. I am amazed, that followed by their instinct human tends to demarcate “identity’s differences” using both physical and imagined characteristics.


Pic taken from here.

Theories about collective identities state that human needs social roles to situate them in social space. The main reason is because human are social beings: they just can’t live alone (Isaacs names it as: fear of aloneness, 1975). Socialization is human’s basic need: to find security, to reduce uncertainty, to survive life. Therefore, most of the time individual will join others that share common interest, common beliefs, common values – where they share their collective identity.


Pic taken from here

Collective identities are not given/natural, yet are the product of ongoing process of social construction. This social constructions involve: to demarcate the group, by determining who and what belongs inside and who and what belongs outside. Yes, basically it refers to a process of inclusion and exclusion: members of the group (insiders) and others (outsiders), we-ness (us) are different to others (them). “This difference often conveys inferiority and danger at the same time. “Strangers” are frequently perceived as demonic and a threat to the collectivity” (Templeman, 1999).


Pic taken from here.

But, this demarcating process goes futher. Most of the time it turns to be: “this is our space, not yours – so you are not allowed here. SHOOO!!!”. Human is indeed very genius in making definition to deferentiate “us” and “them”, ha! These slogans were made to differentiate “us” from “them”:

Ku Klux Clan’s slogan: “Black may be beautiful, Tan may be grand, but White is the color of the big boss man”
Nazi’s slogan: “The Jews are our misfortune.”
Aristotle’s belief: “In the same way, the relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher, the female lower, that the male rules and the female is ruled.”

However, something begin with “us” and “them” oriented, can turn into hate oriented that desires to marginalize those who are different to us in many ways: to discomfort them, to seize their rights, to carry them forcibly away from their homeland, to destroy, to kill, slaughtering them – a masacre, a holocaust.


Pic taken from here.

And, the saddest thing is that we never learn from the past. We keep repeating the same practices: to differentiate and to demarcate ourselves from them, and then try to create the world of sameness by, at least, to silent those who are different to us.


Pic taken from here.
(This ads exploits the then-popular urban legend that Chinese people eat rats. It also underscores the intensity of American xenophobia of the day… In the ad, “They must go” refers both to the rodents and the Chinese. I hope you know what “yellow perrils” means).

I hope I don’t offend anyone, because I don’t. I do appologize that my post might hurt you. It hurts me too.
Please consider that you could smile seeing some of pictures here, yet at the same time the same pictures could hurt somebody else. And it applies also vice versa. Soo, why don’t we stop it? For those who believe in God – we don’t belittle God that God is only able to do mass-production of human, that all the same: skin, hair, nose, eyes, size, etc, etc – no?

4 thoughts on “I am just different, don’t kill me!

  1. jadi pengen nonton film my name is khan lagi mba
    seperti indonesia yang bhinneka tunggal eka
    semoga selamanya masi tetap seperti itu, tetap bersatu walau banyak perbedaan..

  2. iya mbak, idem sama bang slams ..
    pengen nonton my name is khan lagi :O
    hemm, pernah nonton film cin(T)a ?
    itu juga hampir sama, dialog2 yang disajikan dalem banget. bikin mewek :((

  3. this is interesting mbak ,,, collective identity is like a two-edge knife ,, at some point to mingle with the same-ness is relieving and safe ,, but unfortunately it also devastates “Other” out of the collective-ness ,,

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