Connect with us

World

America’s BLM movement sparks race discussion in Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Unsplash: Vince Fleming

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

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Brian

    Monday, 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

    James

    Tuesday, 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

    Sparky

    Tuesday, 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

    Jack

    Wednesday, 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

    Jack

    Wednesday, 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

    Mike

    Friday, 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.

  7. Avatar

    SIAM, BEWARE OF FOREIGN INFLUENCE

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Stop trying to import your ideologies to our country. This does not apply to our culture and you are yet to truly understand the context of our culture and society in its entirety. Yet you feel the need to preach to us in our own country as a guest. This is the new white mans burden; you need to “civilize” and “enlighten” the “barbarians” and “heathens” with your “progressive” ideologies without any consideration to applicability and differences in circumstances. Literally no real thai person cares about BLM we got our own thitd world problems to deal with. The only people trying to import these neo marxist ideologies are privileged thai yuppies indoctrinated in east coast colleges, and you people. I dont go to your country to actively participate in your politics as an outsider because I know my place, please know yours, and try to get in touch with how things actually work here. We will continue to fight for, not against our interests and we will NEVER become like you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

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.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)38 mins ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 16,533 new cases

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 Wine Bars in Bangkok with Delivery

Best of14 hours ago

The Best Bakeries in Bangkok with Delivery

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

More Pattaya people arrested drinking alcohol, violating Covid measures

Best of14 hours ago

5 of the most appealing Phang Nga hotels

Phuket15 hours ago

“Phuket Sandbox” still on, provincial restrictions set after uptick in Covid-19

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Boss indictment, Pattaya arrests, bubble burst | July 27

Best of16 hours ago

Top 5 bars in Pattaya

Thailand16 hours ago

UPDATE: Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Best of16 hours ago

Top 5 Thai restaurants in Krabi

Drugs16 hours ago

Hong Kong officials seize 61 kilograms of heroin shipped from Bangkok

Best of16 hours ago

Koh Pha Ngan’s 5 best resorts

North East17 hours ago

Couple “drops off” Covid infected 80 year old father at Korat temple, drive off

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Phuket officials add new layers of restrictions, Central closed for 7 days

Thailand18 hours ago

Korat construction camp closed following Covid outbreak

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending