America’s BLM movement sparks race discussion in Thailand | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

America’s BLM movement sparks race discussion in Thailand

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.

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