Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another Day 36( Stereotype against Africans in Malaysia)

I recall when I was told of a story, it relates to prejudice or a assimilated conception with image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group which is called stereotypes. Stereotypes have been existed on this earth thousands years ago and it takes the same amount of time to reflect stereotypes and an ancient mummy. It happens when People reflect their ideas towards someone or groups of people who are different from them. A stereotype can be something to incorporate single word/ phrase or a combinination of words and images. Normally the image is easily understood by others who have the same opinion. Stereotypes can be positive and negative but mostly it tends to make us feel special when someone is being stereotyped.

Malaysia expanded its education sector to students from foreign countries in the early 2000's. The main target was the African students. The universities and colleges targeted the middle income families in African countries and the response for recruiting students was good. The universities and colleges even came out with many campaigns to attract foreign students. As a result of the campaigns, there are more than 4000 students applied the courses that being introduced by the universities and colleges in Malaysia and the numbers still increasing up until today. The main factors that pulled so many foreign students to study in Malaysia because of cheaper tuition fees, living expenses, friendly citizens and many choices of food and beverages.

Due to this, it has become an issue that people who live in Malaysia started paying attention concerning about increased of crime rate. Citizen in Malaysia often addressed the African students as an uncivilized human being, a fierce, brutal, or cruel person with amazing strength and not caring about right and wrong. In the age of modern media technology, Stereotyping through media has reached an apex. The media gives people the negative views of their lifestyle. Besides that, the media plays an important role on telling the truth to every corner in this world, examples like the reporter, movie maker, game maker, internet, and etc. Many of reporters sacrificed themselves to travel to somewhere far in order to get the truth so that the people get the revealed truth. But one of the reporter was killed in Nigeria during a riot and it leaves people a bad impression towards this country, many of the countries in Africa was ruled by the military and the main reason because they are black skin, they cannot control themselves; they rape and kill like what movies have shown. The movie maker made a lot of war movies like tears of sun and etc. The movie described how awful the people who live in Africa are due to economy crisis, high unemployment rate and poor management within the country. They raped/killed their people for no reason in order to conquer the area which does not belong to them. Games like Grand Thief Auto, The Godfather are the favorite games in United States of America, and it was banned in Malaysia for selling it because it contains of many unhealthy activities and it might affect the youngsters in Malaysia. The games often pictured the black people as the main character and the only thing that he does is rob, gangster, drug smuggling, rape and they earn dirty money. Through this, People have made their conclusion indirectly in their mind that they are harmful although they never been through it before. It has threatened the safety of citizen in Malaysia especially those who live in cities because the African brothers might jump out of nowhere and rape or kill them. All of this has happened before and I strongly believe this is the factor that caused citizen living in afraid. Cases like Nigerian Men Wanted for Murder of Two Women and caused Children Traumatized, Nigerian students found dead in Malaysia due to drug overdose, Nigerians are scammers, Three-year-old child raped, abused and sodomized, and Nigerian student become drug smuggler and etc.

People only believe the truths that they have seen or they have experienced it. But people will also jump direct to conclusion without further analyzing, example, when a Chinese/Malay/Indian kills someone, the people ask, “Why did he do it?” But when a black man kills someone they never ask why. Cause they already know: because he is black.

People see things on television but never experience it, if they willing to be on ground to see things themselves or to adapt the environment and it would be a whole new experience. The best thing is to approach them, learn their culture but it does not mean people have to behave like one of them just for the sake of gaining recognition among them. Communication is the best tool to use for building a relationship; many of the citizens in Malaysia could not speak fluent English same goes with the Africans and it creates a big gap between them. If they could break the gap and try to speak to one and another, I believe the scenario will not be as worse as before. Cultural mandate is the powerful thing for every one of us for reaching out different people from different countries and cultures. Humans are gifted the talent to think whereas the animals cannot, this is the fact that we can understand, analyze and judge something consciously. If the stereotype against the Africans in Malaysia still going on and on, then Malaysia should not have opened up the tourism for foreigners but to keep it themselves.

In conclusion, without knowing it, anyone is possible to be one's own enemy. Therefore, the interactions with each other play an important role in order to understand both verbally or literally. Today, every speech that we made may seem harmless, yet it affects the way we approach others as well as to the society in which we exist. There are many choices and the choice is up for us. Through this, everyone can go further without borders and the perception towards someone can be changed.