Indonesia needs to acknowledge that it too has a problem with racism

'We are not monkeys. We are humans' / Novrian Arbi/ANTARA FOTO

Everyday, casual racism against West Papuans and East Timorese in Indonesia has colonial roots but continues to this day with the power of the nation-state centred in Jakarta.

In her article, 'Structures of oppression', published in Inside Indonesia, PhD researcher Tamara Soukotta discusses the continued racism aimed at West Papuans and East Timorese in Indonesia. Although based on the colonial heritage of Dutch rule, structural racism in Indonesia still ranks populations according to a hierarchy based on skin colour which determines peoples' humanity and thus the value of their lives.

She suggests that despite the harsh reality of racism in Indonesia, it is not often talked about or researched and argues that to start dealing with it, it first needs to be acknowledged as a serious problem. That will open the door to open and honest conversations about racism, oppression and privilege.

Read the full article - 'Structures of oppression'

PhD student
Tamara Soukotta