The racist legacy of a name - Bangkok Post, April 19, 2007
...While the inclusive Siam is more in line with our pluralistic society, the word Thailand gives ownership to only the ethnic Thais while alienating other ethnic groups as ''the outsiders''.
This is why we see the hill peoples in the North and along the western borders as non-Thais, although their ancestors probably lived here long before ours. The same with the ethnic Malay Muslims in the deep South.
Because we see them as outsiders, we feel they are not entitled to have the same rights. We feel it is perfectly alright to treat them as we see fit. We think it is okay to impose the secular culture on the pious Muslim communities, to evict forest dwellers from their ancestral homes, to exploit their natural resources at our whim, to subject migrant workers to back-breaking work with little pay, or to keep their children from receiving an education.
Because we have been brainwashed to believe that we ethnic Thais are sole owners of the land, we feel indifferent to other ethnic groups' sufferings. In the process, we have become tacit accomplices in the exploitation.
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