Kristen Gray (Sumber: bbc.com)

Putri Azzahra (2021)

We live in a world where the winner takes all and that they are the ones who deserve to determine the history. Thus, the first world country is the one who’s being in charge way long ago before the creation of the international norm or even the international system. By all those scenarios, now we know that those countries are still in charge due to the power, be it tangible or intangible, that they have back then until now. With those power dynamics, the one who’s got the highest level of power tend to be the countries we know now as the hegemony countries. One of the most well-known hegemon is the United States of America (the USA) whose this whole time has the biggest influence in international politics. We can see that the USA has been using those hegemony privileges to get the highest position in the international system. I think that this whole situation is even worsened by the characteristic of the former elected president Donald Trump, who’s been known as a racist person. It is undeniable that the citizens of the USA has become influenced by those strong character coming from their president. And that is exactly why the American people are claiming themselves as the most important main actor under this whole international system, because of the title of being the super-power country that they have, plus the influence of their provocative president. We can take the case of Kristen Gray that has been lately hit the headline of Indonesia’s news platform and be a hot topic for a couple of weeks.

I would like to make a clear disclaimer here. This writing is not intended to generalize all the USA citizens, but most of it are typically act this way. Now, I will characterize the example of my opinion based on the case of Kristen Gray.

Kristen Gray is a citizen of the USA, she has been staying in Bali for a year on a tourist visa which only be valid for 6 months. It means that she was illegally staying in Bali for the rest 6 months off of her visa. In Bali, she claimed that her life was so much better because she could afford to buy luxury stuff at a way cheaper price than she could afford back in the USA. This shows that she’s been taking advantage of the gap between the local market price and her income in USD currency. Not just the fact that she violated the law, her action was also having a high risk of harming Bali’s local economy and the local people that live there. Not to mention, She also promoted those activities on a book that she intended to sell about ways on how to avoid Indonesia’s COVID restrictions to enter Bali and allegedly admitted to not paying the taxes. Luckily, Indonesians were starting to be aware of her case and get united to attack her online. And the response coming from Kristen Gray herself was pretty shocking that she accuses Indonesians to be racist because they attack her due to her skin color which does not make any sense. From here, we can see that she’s got another advantage which is to throw out the race card into our faces, accusing us to be racist. And I think this is what we cannot tolerate. Just because you are black and you’ve been oppressed in your country and succeed to get sympathy from all over the world, doesn’t mean you can commit a crime whenever you like and accuse the one whose action against you as a racist.

According to this case, two actions committed by Kristen Gray portray how the first world country people are always having this point of view where they are being the most powerful actor within the top hierarchy of the world order. Therefore, the mentality of colonizing the less powerful country is somehow still sticking with them until now. The fact that Kristen Gray was committed the act of a crime with no guilty feeling upon her and yet she’s encouraging others to also follow her path to commit the same crime to stay in Bali illegally shows exactly those colonial characters. Moreover, she was also pulling out his race card against us, showing that she’s got the privilege of being a black American. It indirectly portrays how she thinks that her position is upper than the rest of Indonesian or even Asian.

At the end of this writing, I just want to make us realize that we should focus more on strengthening our own culture and our internal citizens’ relationship. Throughout the times, people are being more aware of international issues, such as Black Lives Matter. Also, we can see that lots of Indonesian have participated in this movement. Well, I don’t think that this is bad at all. But I think it’s better for us to first things first get done and solve our internal problem first. We should be more aware of the issues coming from inside of our country because there are still lots of problems that exist in our country. There is still a huge gap of inequality and injustice happens inside our country. We’re done with our people going out, shouting ‘black lives matter’, while our Eastern Indonesian are still being oppressed. Therefore, it’s time for us to value our own country so that we won’t always be underestimated by those people like Kristen Gray.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the PCD Studies Center stance.

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