Connect with us


America’s BLM movement sparks race discussion in Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth



America’s BLM movement sparks race discussion in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Vince Fleming
  • follow us in feedly

While the Black Lives Matter movement continues unabated in the US, a broader discussion on discrimination and racism is now being brought up on the other side of the world. Some foreigners and locals with dark skin have spoken up about the overt racism they’ve experienced in Thailand.

While activists in America protest alleged police brutality and racial profiling, some with dark skin in Thailand say they’ve lost their jobs or been denied entry into bars because of their skin colour. White skin is seen as beautiful in Thailand with many skin whitening products even sold at convenience stores. Dark skin has been associated with low-paid outdoor work, while lighter skin has been perceived as ‘successful’ as many with office jobs stay indoors.

In an interview with the Washington Times, Zipporah Gene, a professional in black media, said she’s been denied entry into bars, denied service in shops and asked to pay at restaurants before even getting food. Often times she’s been called “kohn pew dam,” meaning “person with black skin,” or “pew dam suay,” meaning “black skin pretty.” While the terms aren’t derogatory, Gene said the attention to her skin colour was weird. She admitted hat things had improved as Thailand has become more international and tourism grown in the past decades.

Vlogger Natthawadee “Suzie” Waikalo, whose father is from Mali and mother is from Thailand, has been speaking out about the racism she’s experienced in Thailand. Waikalo says she was fired from a job and her employer didn’t give her a reason, but said she later found out she was fired because her appearance “made the company look bad.”

A Bangkok Post columnist Yvonne Bohwongprasert said she’s noticed racially motivated arrests of Africans, especially Nigerians.

“If they do appear in Thai media, it is mostly either the butt end of a joke or about their arrests by Thai immigration for overstaying their visas or scamming offences.”

In an op-ed piece for the Bangkok Post, Palis Pisuttusarun wrote… “Please stop pretending racism doesn’t exist here.”

“…we must show up for the black community everywhere by making sure that Black Lives Matter in Thailand. Even if racism is disguised in a different form here, it’s important we don’t feel alienated by this movement and use our voices to call out racism in our local communities.”

SOURCES: Washington Times | Bangkok Post | Union of Catholic Asian News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.



  1. Avatar


    June 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Please, Thai people, never allow this plague to take root in your country, or everyone will suffer from it.

  2. Avatar


    June 30, 2020 at 12:21 am

    It seems to me if you are a Western black person and claim to be a victim of racism then it is automatically true no matter if there is proof or not.

    If you are white and ask for proof then you are automatically a racist by default.

    I am talking about the UK etc.

    But naturally and for generations, Thais have had white-skin people who are are generally from the north and darker-skinned Thais from the south and they just accept what they are without screaming and shouting about skin color.

  3. Avatar


    June 30, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Im glad to see Thai people admitting a few things need to change. Many people here in the USA have denied and absolutely refuse to acknowledge the racism here. finally it exploded with what we see taking place on a daily basis. I’ve learned, sometimes its better to remain quiet and listen intently to the cry of the oppressed. Racism is alive and well through-out the globe. However its not a man made law or the threat of being fined or jail that can removed such deep seated hatred.
    Only the truth can move the heart to change a person. yes the truth found in Gods word the Bible. Goto JW.Org I just thought Id share what helped me.

  4. Avatar


    July 1, 2020 at 7:29 am

    The biggest racists in America are black Americans. The biggest killer of blacks in America are black Americans.

  5. Avatar


    July 1, 2020 at 7:35 am

    The biggest killer of blacks in America are black Americans. Everyone knows this fact, but instead people continue to chase the racism myth… And now some clever person wants to spread this sickness to Thailand.

  6. Avatar


    July 3, 2020 at 5:08 am

    BLM is an anarchist group and the US is the least racist country in the world. Stupid to bring this conversation to Thailand, non-applicable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government blames Egyptian embassy for Covid-19 positive air crew mess

The Thaiger



Thai government blames Egyptian embassy for Covid-19 positive air crew mess | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

The Thai government is blaming the Egyptian embassy for lobbying for the 31 military personnel visiting Rayong province to avoid the 14 day mandatory quarantine. Some 1,889 members of the Rayong community, who visited the same malls in Rayong City (named as the Laem Thong Department Store) at the same time as the Egyptian crew member, are now facing a 14 day home quarantine whilst the government sorts out the mess. Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, referred to the 31 Egyptian military personnel, who had a quick stop-over in the eastern province of Rayong on […]

Continue Reading


Visa amnesty, looming July 31 deadline in Thailand

The Thaiger



Visa amnesty, looming July 31 deadline in Thailand | The Thaiger

NOTE: This post is not designed to scare anyone, but simply prompt foreigners, currently in Thailand, about the situation with visas. There is a list of all embassies in Thailand at the end of this article. The Thai government has had a visa amnesty in force that has allowed foreigners to stay in Thailand during the Covid-19 outbreak. It automatically extended all visas until July 31. But that date is approaching fast, and whilst there has been conjecture about an extension to the visa amnesty beyond July 31, NOTHING has been confirmed (despite rumours). To be clear, the Thai government are […]

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force to hold press conference as Egyptian soldier tests positive

Maya Taylor



Covid task force to hold press conference as Egyptian soldier tests positive | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Rayong by Pun Foto Gallery/Shutterstock

As a visiting Egyptian soldier tests positive for the Covid-19 virus, the blame game is well underway, with the Thai army, local hotels, and airport personnel all ducking for cover. The 43 year old unnamed Egyptian air crew tested positive while staying in Rayong, on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. In response, the government says the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will hold an emergency press conference at 11.30am this morning. CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin is expected to update the media on the situation, as well as addressing the concerns of Thai citizens, who have taken to […]

Continue Reading