Stickman Readers' Submissions December 13th, 2004

Thai Male Friends

I am liberally using the editorial "you", so please do not take offence.

I enjoyed reading this week's article about not having any Thai male friends, and I would like to present a different perspective. Being a Black American who speaks Thai and has lived there for some time and traveled around the world,
I can tell you for a biased fact (ha!), that the reason is because whites just simply cannot relate to most people of color at an empathetic level.

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I have discovered to my delight, that I can go ANYWHERE (except America) and almost immediately be accepted as a hanging out friend by any person of color who is not a skin whitening buying, rock tour shirt wearing, or Hi-So wanna be. Really,
whites should count how many friends they have who aren't white and wonder why. It's not US who have the problem, because WE get along just fine. It's white people who created an atmosphere that they are the people that everyone
should try to be more like. Just look at the marketing that goes on in Thailand. It is very common to walk around Bangkok and see billboards of a white-skinned "Thai" couple all happy over a white baby – in THAILAND(!!!). I could give
several examples from never seeing dark-skinned Thais in the good office job positions to leuk-kruengs dominating TV and advertising, but you live there and have eyes and a brain and can see it for yourself.

Well, the people who resent this falsification of aspiration are the ones on the other end who have to deal with their women wanting to be with a white man and all the opportunities and advantages going to white men (surprise!). Hell, I remember
when I tried to start a company in Thailand and was passed up by customers, vendors, and yes, even job-seekers who refused to do business with me or work for me (even though I would offer 2x-3x the going salary!). They preferred to do business
with or work for some bummy white man because it is perceived to be a "better opportunity".

Well, I am overjoyed to report that I have the advantage in socializing with the common man in Thailand. I cannot count the number of occasions they would go out of their way to befriend me and just want to hang out and even insist on treating.
The only thing that ever turned me off was that they all insist that any woman as dark or darker, no matter how stunningly beautiful, was perceived as undesirable. Japanese and western women are their prizes, and they perceive that a Thai woman
who dates me is going a step down as opposed to a step up if they date a white man. So, I am no real threat, and except for not being Thai, I am accepted as equal without anyone having to be on their P's and Q's around me.

The only white people who are ever truly accepted are those who, without faking, "understand" and can relate to people of color. Funny, as I am typing this, I can't count the number of friends I have (Thai, Hispanic, Black, Indian, Arab,
other Asian, etc.), but I can count the number of white friends I have on 1 finger, and he is not just a token friend. Looking at my track record, I really don't think it is me. It's "you people". Stop shoving yourselves down
our throats everyday all day and see yourselves as equal to or "below" us just as we see and relate to each other. Only then will you be accepted.

As to Thai men in particular, I know several who say they smile in your face, but really don't like you because they know you are doing the same. When was the last time YOU invited them to your home for dinner? Hold the elevator? Offer
to play ball? Help them get a job? They are usually hardworking good natured guys working for (comparatively) shyt wages who resent the fact that you give yourselves all the advantages (through opportunity, power, and marketing), look at them
/ AVOID them / treat them as if they are less than shyt, then smile as you go and make some Thai woman your bitch for the evening before you toss her and her dreams away. Why would they WANT to be your friend when YOU feel as if it is they who
have to make the effort or even acknowledge your token attempts? For you to truly befriend a Thai (or any person of color) you are going to have to put in the effort. TRUE effort.

Stickman's thoughts:

I cannot comment on the situation you face being black and the obvious mental struggle you have had with white folks.

But when it comes to Thai male friends, you totally missed the point. It is not that it is hard to make friends with them – that part is INCREDIBLY EASY – it is that most farangs and I dare say most blacks too, here let's use the generic term Westerner, simply do not click with Thai males. We are so different in what we like, what we like to do, and how we interact with people. Issues of ego, face and the way that people are treated are totally different and that inhibits the chances of a genuine friendship forming.

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