White bloggers and how white privilege allows them to get away with exploiting third world countries

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal

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Foreign youtube bloggers and tourists have always been in a love-hate relationship with Pakistanis. On one hand, it is heart-warming to welcome tourists who appreciate the local culture and attractions, like Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o became a fan favorite when she uploaded pictures of herself enjoying the Karachi beach. But however, the experiences become truly bitter when the reality of “white privilege” comes into play, and how foreign tourists often get away with exploiting and disregarding local customs without any consequences.

This topic was brought up today when Scottish Youtube blogger Dale Phillip was criticized on social media for misbehaving with working-class vendors and getting away with it by playing a victim on his page. The youtube star uploaded a video on his channel where he was seen criticizing a local horse-man by claiming he had scammed him into paying more money than what was originally promised. Dale had asked the horseman to take him to Chunky Munky under only Rs 200, which the horseman said was impossible since it would take 20 trips to reach that place. When they eventually return to the spot, the horseman is seen asking Dale Phillip to pay Rs 5000 for the ride, which the Youtube star refused to pay and reported the man to the police. On his Twitter page, Dale uploaded a picture of the horseman in jail, and said that this was punishment for “cheating people”

“He tried to earn a living by cheating people, but now he’s living behind metal bars thanks to Karachi Police. Hopefully, he learns there’s no need to cheat foreign tourists. Most will give extra payment if they were shown a good experience and treated in an honest way.”

The whole incident is a clear reminder of how white privilege is still a reality that allows foreign tourists and bloggers to consistently get away with privileges that local people are denied, while also playing the victim in front of the media to get their favor. People in the comments immediately criticized the youtube star by pointing out that foreign tourists were always charged more than local people because of the currency value. Also, another user also de-bunked Dale Phillip’s claims that Rs 5000 was a large amount since in the US it would get you a cup of coffee or a taxi ride. So then what was the purpose to arrest and publicly shame a horse rider for whom Rs 5000 would last a whole month?

White privilege displayed by foreign tourists who visit third world countries for vacations becomes exceedingly apparent in how they consistently demand better services from working-class sellers and get away with it by painting them as “scammers” in front of the media. Another user did an investigation into the content created by Dave Philip and shared that most of his videos revolved around publicly shaming and criticizing working-class people to sell him things at lower prices

It’s clearly obvious that the entitlement and arrogance displayed by white tourists when visiting countries like Pakistan and India clearly needed to be resolved.