Let’s Talk About Racism

This is a lot more serious than my previous posts, but it feels like an important subject considering my recent experiences. I’ve discovered during the past few weeks that many people in Thailand and other South Asian countries have a very negative perception of people from India. I don’t want to come off as bashing Thai people. Every part of the world has it’s issues, and in general, the people of Thailand are kind, welcoming, accepting, and generous. However, it does seem very sad to me that the world is so filled with people hating one another over trivialities. Indians are perceived as being dirty due to their skin color, which goes along with an alarming desire among Thai people to be paler, to have higher nose bridges, bigger and lighter eyes…in short, to look more like white people. I look foreword to the day that everyone can realize the truth; we’re all just going blindly after whatever physical features we don’t have.

On the subject of racism, all I can say is that it seems to plague the entire world on some level. Nothing I say here can really change anything. The fact remains, however, that we are one species. We are biologically the same animal, regardless of appearances. Every healthy child has the same potential to be the president, a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut, an artist, a poet, a musician…it doesn’t matter whether said child is of European, African, Asian, Pacific Island, or Native American descent, or any combination thereof.

Every country in the world has problems. We can idolize wealthy socialist countries in western Europe, but those same countries have rape, murder, racism, and innumerable other problems. We in America have institutionalized racism, rampant nationalism, and sexism on an epidemic but rarely discussed scale.

I told my Thai friends that before I came to Thailand, I was told many times how dangerous it was, how careful I should be, and how unsanitary the food and water here are. This was my example of how countries often have very false perceptions of distant parts of the world or highly contrasting cultures. My friends were a bit upset about this, but I just told them that, to me, there is no accurate way to judge a culture in which you haven’t lived. In my experience, Thailand has been extremely safe, and well the tap water isn’t drinkable, I ate street food within days of arriving and have never once gotten sick from it. If we could all withhold judgement until we have a little more personal experience, the world would be a much happier place.

I’m not trying to insinuate that Thai people are ignorant or uneducated. Before we judge Thais for their ideas about Indians, let’s remember that we’re coming from a country that is literally murdering and imprisoning people for the crime of being black, as well as trapping people in poverty and then jailing them for the results.

I was going to end this rant on a positive note, but I can’t really think of a way to do it. I guess maybe we could all just try to be nice and nonjudgmental. Deep words from me.


2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Racism

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