BANGKOK — Celebrities who join the growing online support for anti-racism protests in the U.S. came under fire Thursday for their perceived silence over injustice at home.
From urging the use of live ammunition on their rival protesters to their consistent reticence in military killings of civilians, netizens said the “woke” celebs are guilty of hypocrisy because they never practiced the same advocacy for justice and human rights in their own country.
“Fuck, when it comes to injustice in your own country, you’re completely silent. When it comes to injustice in a foreign country, you’re all pretentiously posting,” political commentator John Winyu wrote in a tweet reshared more than 61,000 times since Wednesday.
In a Facebook post shared about 5,000 times since Wednesday, user Warich Noochuoy wrote that those who believed in #BlackLivesMatter should have been up in arms over a 2010 military crackdown that left 90 people dead, mostly civilians, and other killings of dissidents in Thailand.
“If you really believed in #BlackLivesMatter, you will not forget about the kidnapping of political refugees, the death of Chaiyaphum Pasae, Den Kumlae, Billy Porlajee, Somchai Neelapaijit, and Abdullah Isomuso,” Warich wrote, referring to the names of activists believed to have died at the hands of the Thai security forces.
He continued, “If you really believe in the concept of equality, will you ignore injustices happening right in front of you?”
Many netizens also find ironic that celebrities who support the Black Lives Matter movement had actively participated in the 2014 protests that called for the elected government to be toppled.
To highlight the contradiction, user @zqvviiciiiwvvwq posted a tweet on Wednesday of celeb Metinee “Lukkade” Kingpayome during the 2014 protests next to her recent post saying “BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!”
The account also tweeted a side-by-side of actress Daraneenuch “Top” Pasutanavin’s Instagram post supporting racial tolerance, next to her comments in 2014 when she openly celebrated the use of gunfire against rival demonstrators that year. The shooting left one person dead.
“You were the one joking and mocking when others were shot dead. Do you see Redshirts as people? Stop trying to get on the bandwagon here,” one comment says.
Facebook user TK Wannapamorn wrote in a post shared almost 1,000 times that those who support the Black Lives Matter movement but refuse to speak out against human rights violations in Thailand are “still discriminatory inside.”
“If this was about some poor laborers around Rama II who used fake bills to buy stuff and then died while police were pressing down on him, would you care as much?” she wrote. “It’s the same topic of human rights and equality, except it’s about social class rather than race, or what Thailand is seeing now.”