Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Article: The Color of Fame in Asia – Mixed Race Entertainers in Thailand

Thailand mirrors many of the same phenomenon happening around much of Asia, related to US and European globalization/colonization histories in relation to colorism, Blackness and Whiteness.

Color hierarchies, which are closely related to racialization and racism, existed in most Asian communities as a result of the wealthier elite peoples working indoors and generally leading easier lives, while the lower caste peoples worked more often outdoors and in more strenuous labor, resulting in more physical presence and darker skin colors.  This reality existed in China, Japan, Taiwan, the Koreas, all of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, etc.

After World War II, when the presence of the US military and its Jim Crow-related race relations were displayed and carried out amongst themselves as military men as well as with local peoples, the intensification of lighter/whiter skin being superior was magnified and reinforced.  Globalization includes this hierarchy.

In Thailand, as in nations such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam, the rise of mixed-race and mixed-color people as entertainment and sports stars is huge and noticeable.  Lighter-skinned mixed-race people become sought after, while those mixed-race who are darker-skinned are less popular.  In Japan and Korea, being “black” is becoming popular, with urban American and European “black” music and hip-hop sensibilities are becoming a fad, but this is relation to capitalism and pop culture, not social justice. 

This has been happening slowly since the 1970s.  In Thailand, mixed Thai/white-Americans, are called luk krueng ลูกครึ่ง and although this term refers to mixed-black-American as well, the mixed-white are more prominent as stars, for obvious reasons.

CLICK HERE for a very informational article on the rise of mixed-race people as a fad in Thailand, is from the “Lost Boy” blog site.

 

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