Race and Ethnicity

Black Lives Matter rallies Papuan activists in Indonesia

“Indonesia is an American sponsored genocide factory, ethnically cleansing scores of tribes across the archipelago. The dark skinned Melanesian people of West Papua have seen some of the worst of this decades old holocaust and they have found new fire behind the mantra of Black Live Matter. I’ve always viewed race as a predominantly social construct that can only be benevolent in the form of voluntary minorities. But sometimes the superstructure of empire looms so large that transcontinental identities are needed to overwhelm it with the light of solidarity. Are Papuans “Black?” That’s a good question that I can’t really answer. Today they appear to be though, and I doubt even Kwame Ture would deny them.” – Nicky Reid

By Kate Lamb

Reuters

(Reuters) – Thousands of miles from the protests that have swept the United States, Black Lives Matter has become a rallying cry for pro-Papuan activists in Indonesia, provoking questions about accusations of deep-seated racism.

Indonesian social media users have adopted the hashtag #PapuanLivesMatter alongside #BlackLivesMatter and prominent writers and artists have promoted it, a sign that the issue resonates beyond Papuans in an archipelago of 270 million.

Accusations of discrimination have endured for decades in the resource rich and remote provinces of Papua and West Papua, whose indigenous people are of dark-skinned Melanesian origin in contrast with most in the world’s fourth most populous nation.

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Categories: Race and Ethnicity

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