Sometimes ago, my husband relayed what Aba said to him about me.

“Look how far Uswah has changed over the course of time. She used to antagonize rich people.”

I did? Antagonizing rich people? Well, maybe i did that unconsciously. It is easy to do that. In fact, the tendency is prevalent.

There’s a lambo driver vs. pedestrian accident, it’s the driver’s fault. Motorbike vs. car accident, it’s the car’s fault. Due process proves otherwise, there must be a bribe involved. Well, at least in Indonesia.

Lately, there is this one Facebook post about people taking half of a public road in front of a high-end private school complex in Malang to park their car. It causes massive traffic jam during rush hour. Well, putting aside whose fault it is, you’d see that most of people’s comments automatically cynically accuse the perpetrators’ richness as the root of the problem. Not their education, not their upbringing, their common sense or social awareness BUT their being rich.

In many soap operas, cheesy romance movies, sinetron, etc, we are often presented with the narrative of how the haves see the have-nots: that they are lazy, uneducated, to somehow downright uncivilized. i can’t say whether the portrayal is right, but i know what is lacking from them: the other side of coin. The cynicism perpetuated by the poor toward the haves, how subconsciously poor people patronize the haves, guilt-trip them into feeling remorse for being able to afford things that the poor can’t. There’s always that default assumption that the haves are greedy, soul-grabber, blablabla yadda yaaddaaa…

I don’t know what causes that other than it’s a human nature to antagonize people for being different, to fear the unknown. But clearly, this classism has now become the new ‘racism’. And it’s so easy to tar people with the same brush.