Let's not kid ourselves

In response to Joe Hoeson's 'job ads are not racist' (Postbox 15th March 2011)
NES. What exactly does that mean? Yes yes, I know what the acronym stands for but to whom do you apply it? Knowing your mindset, and that of Thais in general, whites are native speakers and Asians are non natives. Is that not by it's very definition "racism"? Skin color should not be the final determining factor whether a Filipino should or should not be hired. Take my wife for example. Sonia has a master degree in education and she has five years of English (English composition) teaching experience as an adjunct lecturer at a prestigious New York university. Would you hire someone with those qualifications? What if it turns out that Sonia is a dark skinned Filipino?

The bottom line is that Thailand does not adhere to non-discriminatory hiring practices: height, age, attractiveness, overall appearance, and especially skin tone are typically and explicitly considered for any job that requires working with the public (and this applies just as much to the Thais as it does to foreigners, maybe more so). This should be clear to anyone who has been asked to send a photo of themselves along with their résumé, a practice that is entirely illegal in just about all of our respective Western countries. The photo is obviously being required in order to determine if the prospective teacher “looks the part.” But let us not kid ourselves and say that this is not racism and hide behind the label of "NES".


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