THAILAND A NATION OF IRRATIONAL RACISTS – No doubt for many Thailand would be perceived as a gentle Buddhist nation and indeed their own Government’s slogan for the country is the ‘Land of Smiles’.
Unfortunately the smiles most foreigners experience is when money, through one scam or another, is being extracted. Thais, for the most part, are extremely poor with most living on less than £200 a month; but don’t let their poverty fool you into thinking that Thailand is a poor country.
Far from being poor Thailand is actually very rich and has a healthy Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate annually of over 5 per cent. The issue to the people’s poverty lies within the level of corruption, the lack of real education and the manipulative controls from the ruling classes.
The fact is that a Thais standing in the community is strictly governed by the wealth they have; the more money you have the more important the more corrupt you can be without interference.
It is now estimated that 50% to 60% of all Government contracts is filtered to the rich and powerful through various means of graft; leaving the poor to suffer the consequences with third rate infrastructure, services and education.
The title of this article may have you scratching your heads and wondering why I labeled Thailand as a nation of ‘irrational racists’. I used the word irrational because there simply is no reasons for them to be racists other that the indoctrination of nationalistic self-worth. This irrational behaviour is of course directly related to the national curriculum whereby students at 8am each morning are forced to stand and sing the National Anthem before entering the classrooms where they are continuously fed propaganda of how Thailand is invincible and that Thailand is the greatest and most successful nation on earth.
There is of course nothing wrong with being patriotic but this is taken to such an extreme that Thai kids are actually taught to despise anyone who is not Thai.
How bad is the education system? Thailand is a country that implements a ‘No Fail’ policy for its schools and universities. There was talk a few years ago about abolishing this in order to get students to work harder and learn more. Unfortunately with the poor to non-existent levels of professionalism among Thai teachers this idea was quickly scrapped.
Thai children each day are faced with teachers who dress in Military style uniforms and command the utmost respect. Now you might be thinking that instilling respect in the young is a good idea; and it is to a certain point, however what transpires here is that Thai teachers force their will and little knowledge on the students to a point that students are not permitted to question what a teacher offers in the way of an education.
This system leaves children ill-equipped to deal with the real world or even acknowledge that other countries exist.
Years ago a friend of mine opened a small business in Thailand – it was his first and last; which I’ll get to later. Upon starting the business he employed a very nice young lady with a 1st Class Honours Degree in French. Impressed by her credentials of mastering another language he asked her about her studies. The conversation quickly revealed that her Degree was worthless as she acknowledged she was only able to say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ in French and she certainly wasn’t able to either read or write French.
Now that you have a glimpse of the education system which does not allow students to think for themselves it is easier to understand how their racism is irrational.
Let’s examine how racist Thais are and how irrational their level of racism is. Due to the lack of education the average Thai really doesn’t have much of a clue what goes on outside of Thailand. If you presented a blank World Map it is unlikely any students would be able to pin-point the U.S or Europe – in fact I would challenge they would be able to locate their own country.
Their racism comes mainly from the propaganda in the National Anthem where it details how Thais are the superior nation and that only Thais are able to own Thailand. Foreigners are, for most Thais, the devil reincarnate. Our white skin automatically suggests we are all fabulously wealthy. This stems from the class divide within Thailand. The wealthy elite are light skinned while the poorer working classes are very dark skinned. Their perception is that wealthy people can afford to stay at home and not go out in the sun and therefore anyone with light or white skin must be wealthy beyond imagination.
Foreigners in Thailand are referred to as ‘Farang’. It is irrelevant where a foreigner comes from they are all pretty much labeled the same. Again their ignorance through the lack of education fuels their irrational thoughts in that all Farang are evil and simply want to come to Thailand to buy up all the land and take over; which is of course a ludicrous notion to anyone with an education.
Racism in Thailand is open and rife; even the Government support it. This can been seen in any National Park with clear signage that Thais are to pay less than a Farnag and often the price a tourist pays is 10 times that of a Thai nation. If you ask any Government Park Official why this is the case they will tell you it’s because you are a Farang, you have big money and so you must pay more than a Thai.
According to a recent Worldwide Poll on Racism, Thailand came second to China where they openly discriminate foreigners living in Thailand and they certainly do not want a change in the law that would allow a foreigner to own land or own a business outright.
Thais tolerate foreigners simply because of Tourism which generates several billions of dollars in revenue each year. Tourism in Thailand over the last decade has been declining due to the ever increase violence leveled towards tourist; which a number being murdered each year.
On top of this there are the scams which are always supported by the police – the tourist always faces a no-win situation when confronted by a group of Thai thugs and police that are on the take.
While foreign Ambassadors have often asked the Government to put an end to these scams nothing ever really gets done. Their attitude is simple; Farangs have big money and can afford to be scammed. These exact words have been mirrored by a number of high ranking Thai Officials and the consensus is clear; they don’t want foreigners in their country but they will suffer them due to the money that can be made from them.
This leads me nicely to the situation of my friend who brought a business in Thailand over 10 years ago. He explained how difficult it was in the fact that he was often racially abused by being over-charged on everything from the electricity supply to taxation. Taxation was one of the largest expenses and each 6 month period the accountant would show up with reams of paper for him to sign. He often questioned all the different types of taxes which the account would always reply; “This is Farang tax, Farang have to pay more.”
It really doesn’t matter where a foreigner goes in Thailand the story is the same of being charged far more than a Thai National, where foreigners are looked upon as little more than cash cows and that they are openly discriminated against.
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