Antagonizing the haves

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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.

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One thought on “Antagonizing the haves”

  1. Sama kaya dengan orang-orang yang menganggap pekerja blue-collar/pekerja kasar/buruh/kelas dua/kelas menengah bawah/kelas bawah nggak boleh punya “barang”, mbak.

    Kemarin denger cerita dari orang, jadi bekas supirnya dateng silaturahmi ke rumah dia beserta keluarganya. Datengnya pake mobil yang setingkat di atas Kijang Innova (katanya temen saya itu), dan temen saya komentar, “ih, padahal bekas supir. Pake mobil kok bagus, ngalah-ngalahin aku!”

    Saya… Bingung.

    Lah, emang dosa ya kalo supir punya mobil? Dosa ya kalo ART punya handphone?

    “Ih, mbak gue hapenya sampe dua! Gue aja cuma satu!” Ya hapenya si mbak dua kan pilihan dia. Kok jadi situ yang sewot? Kan situ yang milih mau punya hape satu. Kalo mau hapenya dua, tiga, empat, ya monggo lho.

    Seolah-olah orang “bawah” itu nggak boleh punya gadget atau kendaraan pribadi. Lah, siapa kita kok berani melarang hak orang lain?

    Mungkin karena ada pemikiran begitu, jadi sadar ga sadar kita su’udzon dengan orang-orang kaya. “Paling korupsi tuh!”, “paling kalo ditilang dia nyogok polisinya!”, “ejieeeee, ngasih kado mobil ke adek-adeknya. Duitnya dari mana tuuuh, hati-hati ditangkep KPK! Hahaha!”

    Saya nggak pengen bawa topik kapitalisme vs. sosialisme karena ini macem debat lama, tapi ya… Begitulah. Di Indonesia yang kiblatnya ke kapitalisme (paling tidak di Jakarta dan beberapa kota besar yang keliatan banget konsumtifnya dan jeda pemisah antar kelas), jadi lah orang dinilai berdasarkan “punya nggak punya”-nya. Mau sosialisme atau isme-isme lain secara 100% juga saya rasa susah. Power corrupts, katanya.

    Jadi ya sekarang cuma bisa diri sendiri belajar khusnudzon. Ikut Alhamdulillah dan mendoakan ketika orang lain dapet rejeki. Karena pamrihnya, katanya apa yang didoain ke orang lain bakal didoain malaikat hal yang sama untuk kita.

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