In December 2016, there was a controversy between Sanata Dharma Catholic University and FUI (a religious group). The simplicity of the issue might surprise most people, as it was only about FUI demanding Sanata Dharma’s billboard advertisement to be taken down. Why? Because there was a student wearing hijab on that billboard. Yes, FUI thought that it was illegal for Sanata Dharma to show a hijab-wearer student since the institution was a Catholic university. Educators and leaders from the university refused to take down the billboard because they wanted to show more diversity within the community — besides, there was no such thing as christianization in Sanata Dharma, everyone was freely entitled to any religious choices. Still, the head coordinator of FUI opposed the university’s statement by saying, “Well.. the university is labelled as Catholic, while hijab is the symbol of our religion. Obviously putting that billboard is wrong”. Another controversy regarding hijab-wearer on a Christian’s school advertisement also happened, and it had pretty much the same premise.
As I’ve said before, this issue is so simple to the point that it probably can’t even be assumed as a controversy. Nonetheless, this billboard thing might be kind of ironic when we see things in a bigger paradigm. In United States, massive corporations/capitalists try hard to promote “the beauty of diversity”, by using every POC (People of Color) available, from Uganda to China, in order to boost their product sales. Corporations competing in business seem to love diversity there (until they realize that there are human resources and ethical problems too, besides gaining mere profit). Anyway, so that’s what happening with big corporations in the West, right? Yet here we are, in Indonesia, having billboards get taken down for showing one hijab-wearer student in a majority Christian university. Isn’t our country all about Bhineka Tunggal Ika (United in Diversity)?
It’s also ironic to see how American capitalists love showing off diversity, yet their own government (led by that businessman Donald Trump) is busy banning Muslims, specifically from 7 major countries, out of Trump’s own idea of United States. Fortunately, the Muslim Ban was a transient preposition which got directly removed by the Supreme Court. If you followed the news, though, the ban was horrifying as hell to people who were U.S citizens. Just because they were Muslims, they could not enter their own country. Imagine that.
With Donald Trump becoming the leader of the Free World, the majority of Americans start to show disgust towards diversity. They (mostly cis-white males) become barbaric, mocking people of color with derogatory words, being unnecessarily physical towards innocent individuals, and even stabbing them to death. A couple of weeks ago, an old black man who loved his own country got stabbed to death by a white nationalist named James Jackson. Revolted by the idea of diversity, Jackson’s main goal in life is to “kill as many African-American men as possible”. Jackson was raised by his devoted Christian parents — as you can conclude now, hate does not see any race, religion, whatsoever. If you are full of hate, you automatically become the asshole.
The opposition of diversity by Donald Trump’s presidency does not stop until the Muslim Ban. There’s still that urge to build the wall between the U.S and Mexico borders, which the Mexican President refuses to pay for.
The President of United States hate diversity so much, until he refuses to accept any immigrants. Even the ones who live inside the country are gradually eradicated by the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers, and put in such a harsh condition — striped down from individual’s rights or privileges. Ironically, despite ridiculously hating immigrant, the U.S government can’t help but destabilize nations such as Syria. Just hours ago, the U.S dropped bomb, or launched a missile attack on Syria — most certainly Trump will refuse any Syrian immigrants coming to America, though. See the irony there? Trump decides something on a whim, without any deliberate considerations, but refuses to deal with the aftermath — he might start the World War III, who knows?
Of course, it seems silly to compare the almost irrelevant issue of billboards in Indonesia with the utmost fuckery done by nationalists and Donald Trump in the U.S. My point is, if we keep refusing diversity, how will we grow as a community? As cliche as it may sound, but differences among one another are not something demonic that should be punished. Homogeneity should be celebrated, just like what our slogan says: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.