Infographics: rich countries and minorities discriminated against

OECD - rich countries and minorities discriminated against (Quartz)


African-Americans living in US have been a ‘poster child’ for discrimination towards ethnic minorities in developed countries. They are not alone. The latest report by OECD, visualized by Quartz, offers you that this does not simply apply in US. If you are a Turk living in Belgium and applying even for a decent job, good luck; if you are a Nigerian in Austria, good luck; if you are a Surinamese in Netherlands, good luck. Employers who do not wake up and start to change their paradigm about these people, good luck as well for the potential social tumults that follow.

Source: Quartz

George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me

george takei


Let’s say you are a citizen of country A, born, raised, and educated there with all that country’s beliefs and values, but your ancestral origin is from another one, say, country B. Your physical features, your face, your appearance, all of which are precisely those of people living in the latter.

Let’s say that country A and country B are involved in a diplomatic crisis, a conflict, or worse, a war. Your family wants to move, but they can hardly decide what may be a better decision. In case they stay, it is very likely that either the government of country A, or the public majority, will label you as ‘enemies’, ‘aliens’, ‘non-citizens’, and will even resort to all measures, no matter how extreme, to eliminate you, despite your innocence and your having no political connection to the latter. On the other hand, moving back to your ‘ancestral homeland’ is hardly a good notion, though. Citizens, or government there, may very possibly dub you as ‘enemies from country A’, ‘vermin’, ‘national traitors’, or what have you. You can hardly speak their language, despite your exact body features. You are rejected, and being pigeonholed, by the two countries. You don’t know where to move. And you don’t know what to do.

Numberless minorities over this world, for all the eons, have been faced with such dilemma. Chinese in Southeast Asian countries, Asians in the United States, Whites, Asians, and Arabs in some parts of Africa and elsewhere, and even minorities in Europe, they are just a handful of examples that illustrate such phenomenon. Identity crisis oftentimes becomes inevitable. But we know we can barely make a choice. Whatever that happens, we must accept and fight against that label, that prejudice that sticks over us for a lifetime.

George Takei, a Japanese-American actor, and also a proud gay, shares his experiences of being interred during World War II, and the subsequent, long and uneasy, processes that made him eventually love America as it is, despite all the pains it had incurred towards his family. Watch his inspiring talk below. May this talk be an inspiration to all of us.


Minorities at Risk – Assessing ‘the vulnerable others’



Why you should visit this link: when it comes to ‘minority’, what comes up in your mind? There may be numerous possibilities you can envision about: being secluded from the majority, or discriminated against for the distinct traits, either they are physical, social, historical, religious, et cetera, that you possess, or worse, being exploited on numerous paces or extents, ranging from having your assets confiscated, or your identities denied, or worse, get yourselves deported or even end up murdered. Okay, such thoughts may be overly distant, but as a matter of fact, as many as 283 ethnic minorities, numbered in nearly 1 billion people worldwide, are being faced with those existent forms of menace. Numerous historical examples have taken place, and, having been compiled by this University of Maryland project, are presented in this website. Unfortunately, though, for unclear reasons, this project only cites references up to the year of 2006, and ever since, has barely updated any information. Still, despite such cessation, you can still have a clear understanding by looking at the data from each of those 283 ethnic minorities scattered across dozens of countries round the globe.

Bonus: it includes assessment for Chinese Indonesians, altogether with a complete, well-detailed chronology covering from 1990 to 2006.


Glodok, the day after the May 1998 riots




Chinese Indonesians are, resembling the patterns of most market-dominant minorities worldwide, merely another epitome of how vulnerable an ethnic minority, controlling a large stake of a nation’s sector either politically or economically, seems to be. They may not experience the nearly gory, unbearable, deeply inhumane persecution as Jews in Europe, or Tutsi in Rwanda, have encountered, but the May 1998 riots remind us about how, in some moments, ‘self-organized criticality’ could anywhere take place, where minor coincidences are accumulated into an unexpected maelstrom beyond our thoughts.

With numbers currently estimated at approximately 10 to 12.5 million, or 4 to 5 percent of Indonesia’s total population, Chinese Indonesians have a control of nearly two-thirds of Indonesian economy, a figure largely envied by some portions of indigenous population, known as pribumi. Exacerbated by Soeharto’s three-decade authoritarian and corrupt rule, where Chinese Indonesian populace had been largely ‘directed’ to control no more than economic, trading, and commercial sectors and have no legitimacy in politics and academic fields, the ‘financial success’ they enjoyed served as agent provocateur for certain political opponents to scapegoat ethnic Chinese in any racially motivated political incidents. Throughout mid-1990s, a multitudinous number of racist cases had occurred in numerous cities and towns in Indonesia. But the worst was yet to come; the 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis, bulk of which was blamed allegedly on ethnic Chinese running the economy unjustly, had the domino effect on the livelihood of this community.

With crisis worsening, social inequality deepening, and political strife widening throughout Indonesia, Chinese Indonesians were frequently objects of the masses’ dissatisfaction. Shops were ransacked and burned, girls raped and mutilated, men burnt alive, household items pillaged, cars and motorcycles set on fire, banks looted, and economy was dead. And all these ‘minor’ happenings accumulated in the bloody month of May 1998. Medan, Jakarta, and Solo, excluding countless cities and towns, suffered the most severe casualties as a consequence of the all-too-brief revolution. Death toll was estimated at 1000; several human rights groups even claimed as many as 5000. Some pointed out that security forces had orchestrated the attacks; some others accused of a ‘foreign intervention’ in the riots; some blamed government’s failure in realizing social equality among its highly diverse nation. Whatever the accusations, the May tragedy had left a dark chapter on our country’s epoch of history.


A journalist recalls the pictures a photographer took in Glodok, a predominantly Chinese district in West Jakarta, exactly one day after the area was worst hit by the swarms of thugs on 13 and 14 May (including one above).

Note: none of the pictures is graphic, but rather of silenced fear, misery, and uncertain hopes, largely reverberating on how we respond to the trepidation ourselves.


Minorities at Risk, a specialized research project from University of Maryland aimed at monitoring 283 of the planet’s most vulnerable ethnic minorities, releases a full chronology of notorious events largely related to Chinese Indonesians (other than 1998 May riots).


You may also read these articles for more ‘enlightenment’ : (an Indonesian author published a graphic novel, set in distant future, about a child, born out of wedlock during 1998 May riots, who retells her horrifying background after reaching the age of 40.)