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- Children's Opinions Toward Racism -

All of the following essay are contributed by children who participate in our project "Essay Contest on Racism & Pluralism". We have received over 570 scripts: 10 in English and the other in Bahasa Indonesia. No part may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.



Our Library:


By: James Kee

(Australian International School, Jakarta)


Someone once said that racism is a crime. In my opinion this a great truth. The people of many countries in the world have been the victims of racism. To despise or object to a group people because they are different physically, or because they have different beliefs or ideas is morally wrong.


The current terrorist attacks and riots in Ireland, the former 'apartheid system' in South Africa and the social unrest and racial attacks in Indonesia are all examples of racism in the world. World War II, to a certain degree, was caused by racism. Hitler's ideas about the strong (Germans) conquering the weak (everyone else but especially Jewish people) conflicted with what most of the other powerful nations thought. Religion has been a big issue in some aspects of racism. Because of different beliefs, people may despise each other. Religion can also be manipulated by people to make people believe in what a particular group wants others to believe, for example 'and the people were turned black for their sins.' This, of course, makes no sense at all because the same could be said about white people - 'and, fearing God's/Allah's wrath at their sins, they turned white.' People often believe what people say if it is associated with religion because they usually believe religion is right.


The more recent crimes of racism may be found in Indonesia in the form of violent riots. The situation in Indonesia has been unstable since the monetary crisis and the demise of former President Soeharto. During the riots, many Chinese shops and houses were smashed and destroyed by rioters. The Indonesian people seem to immensely dislike the Chinese citizens of Indonesia because they seem to have more money than the general populations of native Indonesia do. This I why they use the riots as an excuse to destroy and loot many Chinese, -- owned businesses, rape the women and beat any unfortunate Chinese male they encountered.


In a way the Indonesian Chinese conflict was the same as the German - Jewish conflict during World War II. The Jew controlled many of the financial institutions in Germany and were generally the more wealthy of the to races. Many people hated them because of this and sided with Hitler when he began to exterminate the Jewish people and what can only be described as ruthless genocide.


Australian has a history that is marred with racism. When the early settler from England came to Australia, they claimed the land as theirs because the Aboriginal tribes didn't farm of fence the land or divide it up in any way. The Europeans believe that the Aborigines were an inferior race and did not understand the way the Aboriginal people shared the land without dividing it up, so they claimed it as theirs. The Aborigines were driven away from the coastal and fertile areas of Australia as more and more settlers moved in. the Aboriginal people were soon driven from sacred grounds and this caused them to rebel. Soon there was conflict between the two races and even today the Aboriginal people often feel that they are treated as an inferior race.


The 1930,s in Mississippi was an extremely bad time for Black people -- there were many acts of violence if the Black people dared to defy the White people or if they didn't comply to the White people's demands and laws. The Cult known as the Klux Klux Klan would burn shops, houses, crops and brutally murder innocent Black people. They would terrorize the 'Colored' folk and were known as 'The Night Men' by children because they would make violent raids on the homes and farms of Black people under cover of night. Many adults were forced to teach their children to submit to the White people's wished if they didn't want to be killed or tortured. In Mississippi, and in all of America at the time, Colored people were always last in queues, always served last and always got second hand goods that were usually past their prime. They went to schools that had much poorer facilities than those in the White schools.


This 'brotherhood' known as the Klux Klux Klan, illustrates how brutal fanatics can be. Here have been many books and movies about racism. One of the most well - known movies is "The Power of One", a tale of an English child growing up in the harsh environment of Africa among Afrikaners or Boers, --the white people of Africa. Peekay (the young boy) help black people find hope and tries to establish equality between both races. The Film shows the harsh reality of Apartheid and shows the contrast between the two different races. The blacks in moderately good houses or mansions and the black people living in slum, like townships. The police officer in the movie abuse their office in feel it is their right to physically abuse any black person they come across.


Virtually all of us are guilty of some racist remark, thought or action at some point in our lives, but we must persevere until we can perfect ourselves and establish the fact that everyone is truly equal regardless of race, creed or color. There are bigots in every level of society. Everyone musk work towards overcoming racism in all field of life. Education should be the answer as we learn to live together harmoniously in a multiracial, multicultural society and never allows a recurrence of the injustice and brutally of our history.





How to solve problems of racism?

By: Brigitta Ratih Esthi Aryanti

(Santa Angela Junior High School, Bandung)



Lately this word has been more popular among us, Indonesia people. We call Racism as SARA which stands for Suku, Agama, Ras, dan Antar Golongan or in English, ethnic origin, religion, race, and inter group. Some incidents in Indonesia in the past few years indicate that we have not solved the problems of racism in our country. Started with the burning of some churches in Situbondo and Tasikmalaya in 1996, the problems of SARA occurred more frequently. The tragedies are still continued until now with the incidents of Ketapang, Kupang, and recently in Ambon.


Why can SARA or racism cause these problems? The answer is because SARA is very sensitive. SARA is the most personal thing in human life. The differences in the society especially differences in ways people think, cause conflicts that lead to many unwanted incidents. Usually, the conflicts star from the thought that other people are worse or lower than us, thus making our own stratification's of people in our own mind. We insist on our ways. On the other hand, every body else also fights for their own properties and rights, demanding their violated right. The different thoughts even make it worse. If people are misunderstood, they could do anything to struggle for their own opinion without listening or even considering other opinion.


Actually, it is not their fault to struggle for their and property. It is one of their rights to do that. But there is one important thing we mustn't forget while starting to stop all these problems before it gets any worse. It's what we have always studied since elementary school, particularly PPKN (Pendidikan Pancasila dan Kewarganegaraan). I think we all still remember it. We have to learn to respect and tolerate other people especially the ones that are different from us.


As the cleverest among the creatures of God we can make decisions, think, and choose our own choices. But we can't choose our ethnic origin, our nation, or our race. Everything and anything He has given to us are some gifts that certainly are useful. We must thank him for it.


Humans are very thankful for those gifts. Which is why they always respect it. They even die while struggling for their ethnic origin, nation, or race. Human think that it is their responsibility to take care of what God has given to them. Unfortunately, sometimes they do it with the wrong way by using violence.


As a religious people, we believe in Got. We also know that He created all creatures differently, including human. Although our faces may look alike but none of us are the same. We must have different voices, different hobbies, different minds, and different dreams. Those differences make us choose things we lake and make decisions by ourselves differently. That is a very usual and natural thing. The most important thing we have to remember is that God created us differences make us choose things we like and make decisions by ourselves differently with a purpose. He hopes that with those differences people will learn to help complete each other.


Imagine if every people are the same. There will be no men, nor women, because everybody is the same. Nobody will be a teacher and nobody will be a student. Nobody will be a doctor and nobody will be a patient. People will live by their own, without needing anybody because they think they all are perfect. Without differences in the society, the world will be very boring and there will not be any life. Well, I guess we all won't wish that will ever happen. That is why we must thank God for all His gifts, not just by prayers but also by respecting and helping other people and our society. God made us different, but we all are the same in His eyes. He loves us all with the same portion without looking at our ethnic group, religion, race, or social -economic class, but more by our character and our behavior, especially our love and care to other people.


We can't blame anybody for having started all the chaos because consciously or unconsciously every human being has those bad characteristics and we mustn't deny it. The least we can do is by starting to decrease those bad things that we can make. That very good beginning to stop everything that has been happening in our country. It is expected that we always remember to cooperate and help each other in solving and stopping these racism problems. We are not alone in this world and many people would want to help us. That is why we also have to help them. Not just the ones that are the same like us but also different people if they need our help.


In fact, it is very natural that we live in Indonesia with a lot of differences in our way of life, our roles, our religion, and also our cultural background. It shows that our country has a great variety almost in every sector. These great varieties shouldn't divide us. On the country, it should make us unite. Those are the reasons for our founding fathers to formulate our national slogan in a Sanskrit term Bhineka Tunggal Ika that means Unity in Diversity. With all of those perceptions in mind, I do believe that peace will always be maintained on earth.





By: Simone Adele Gruca

(Australian International School, Jakarta)



There absolutely no excuse for racism. It is disgusting, vile and is used y maliciously sick people. Just because someone's skin is a different color or they look different or come from a different background doesn't mean that their evil or that they're there for you to do what you like with them. People are always people they have rights thought two people may come from different places they are both human and just because one is black doesn't mean that they should be treated any differently because of it.


Many people who have never thought of committing the serious crime of racism are often the people who help try to cure people from this contagious disease. Why some people don't even care that they have committed such a serious crime but people's children listen to them and learn their ways. An innocent child may hear a raciest comment and then use the words in play little realizing what it means. There is a song with a chorus I think applies to the subject I am talking about.






Even very famous people wee a victim of RACISM like Sally Morgan who wrote a book and how and why Racism occurs she also wrote in her book the story that many people didn't know. A story of how the aboriginal people were treated and why. Know child should wake up in the morning and dread going outside their house because their different no one should! But still racism appears in our society in many different forms, Jokes, comments stories, gossip and many other and it is up to us to wipe out Racism in our society so every one may be equal!







By: Nurul Tarmizi

(Australian International School, Jakarta)




Racism means that some of people make judgement about you without bothering to find out what you are like. In South Africa there is racism called Apartheid. It means that black and white South African boy: "questioned the black boy you're not aloud to be here" said the white boy. "Why?" questioned the black boy. "Because Negro's are not aloud to be in this area.


Racism is a mistaken belief. E.g. distinct groups, or races, within the human race, with particular characteristics which affect how they behave. Racism deepens misunderstanding between groups of people. Every year, thousands of racists were attack in Britain. Most of them survive from the Britain but they were injured all over.


Over the last 500 years, Europeans countries sent men to invade the Americans, Africa and Asia. The European killed most of the local people and created countries which they ruled as colonies. They grew richer because of cheap foot and raw materials for their factories that were produced by salve labor in the countries.






By: Herjuna Rahman

(Australian International School, Jakarta)



Racism is the discriminations of color of the skin, different character, intelligence, etc. People are racist because they don't like the person because of their different races. Racism is a bad thing to take up because I think everyone is equal. We are all people, which means that we are all the same.


From 1700-1860 native Africans were shipped to the U.S.A to work as slaves for the American people didn't even care. They were sold and auctions for high prices to other people. All the American people were racist because of the African people's differences. The African race was so tired of this disrespect that they started running away from their owners. If they were found they would be killed by bounty hunters. Bounty hunters are people who would track down the runaway slaves and hunt them down. The south side of America was the side that still believed in slavery and the north was the ones that didn't believe in slavery. They had a special program called the 'underground railroad' which would help the slaves escape to the north side. The south sides of America were very racist against the African people.


In Germany during World War II, the Nazi party with their leader Adolf Hitler, were against the Jews. Hitler and his Followers believed that there should not be anymore Jews, and they wanted to destroy them. They put the Jewish people through concentration camps and even killed them by putting them in big ovens. This is an example of pluralism.


Pluralism is the prejudice of the different nations, society, ethnic origin, culture patterns, and religions. In a movie called 'The Power of One', it show how racism takes place against the black South Africans treated the black people like animals and treated them with disrespect. It is a very sad story and that is why I go against racism and pluralism.


Racism and pluralism take part all over the world. I think racism and pluralism is bad for our community in the future because if people do not treat other people with respect, this world would not be a good and safe place to live in. people should start changing their ways of thinking and should treat everyone as equals. Remembers, 'All men were created equal."



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