Blatant racism

Blatant racism

Dear Phil
It appears that racial discrimination in advertising is alive and well in Thailand.I was appalled to see an advertisement on Ajarn.com which unashamedly advertised for Canadian, U.S.A, Nz, Australian, British, Irish and WHITE south African teachers. the requirement for all advertised positions was native speaker + Caucasian (spelt 'corcasion' in the Ad.) I am quite certain that such advertising is in breach of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of which Thailand is a signatory. I am considering making a formal complaint in this regard.

Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Requiring Native Speakers is one thing however stipulating "whites only" is another thing altogether. It is reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa.

This is not mant as a criticism of Ajarn.com, however I do believe that the site has an obligation not to accept advertising that is racially biased. As an aside, apart from the racist overtones, the grammar and spelling in the ad is absolutely appalling. Sadly, while teacher recruitment agencies are allowed to continue in this vein, Thai education will continue to fall apart at the seams.

Yours faithfully

Robert J Holmes
BA Dip Ed LLb LLM

Phil from ajarn.com replies
Hi Robert. Many thanks for bringing the job ad to my attention. Yes, it is racist. Yes, I am every bit as appalled as you are. And yes, job ads like this have no place on the ajarn website. The simple fact is that I missed it. I quickly check the content of every job ad before I post them but obviously I skimmed through this particular job ad a little too quickly this time around.

Thankfully, there are only a handful - literally a handful of job advertisers who I have to pull up for posting job ads stating that they are looking to recruit 'white teachers only'. But of course it's still a handful too many. My normal modus operandi is to then actually call the advertiser on the phone and try to shame them in some way. What's unbelievable in most cases is that although the advertiser is genuinely ashamed and promises it won't happen again, there are still those who think to put 'white teachers only' in a job ad is still perfectably acceptable in this day and age. What's even more unbelievable is that these people are involved in education. One of the most common 'excuses' I hear from teacher placement agencies is "but the school has insisted that I supply them with a white teacher" I then have to explain to the advertiser that we are living in 2012, etc.

Anyway, the main point I wanted to make is that I do check job ads for this kind of blatant racism. But I missed this one unfortunately. Bad spelling and grammar in job ads? That's something completely different. Even though I think it reflects badly on the advertiser and their institute, few non-native English speaking advertisers really seem to care. I've suggested to many non-native English speaking advertisers that they should get a native English speaker to compile and proofread their ads but nothing changes in most cases. You can lead a horse to water.............

Robert


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