Black woman deported after facing backlash for viral Bali post
The now-deleted Twitter thread faced backlash and was called an example of 'foreigner privilege'
After facing backlash for a viral Twitter thread about moving to Bali, a Black woman is officially being deported.
A Black American woman has faced backlash on Twitter after posting about relocating to Bali, Indonesia. In a now-deleted thread, Kristin Grey tweeted on January 16, 2020, about how moving to Bali with her girlfriend was a “game-changer.”
She explains she had a tough 2019 in America and struggled to find work or pay her bills, leading her and her girlfriend to buy a one-way flight to Bali. She wrote in the thread, “the island has been amazing because of our elevated lifestyle at a much lower cost of living.”
She goes on to detail how she built her own business, only pays $400 in rent compared to the $1,300 she was paying in Los Angeles, and even highlights the positive experiences she’s had as a Black queer woman compared to her American experience.
The thread went viral and was hit with some major backlash shortly after it was posted. Twitter users quickly highlighted the issue of gentrification and foreigner privilege in the replies.
One user wrote, “How have you ensured that moving to Bali and encouraging others to do so isn’t contributing to gentrification? (i.e., raising prices so natives aren’t kicked out/forcing Balinese to learn English as opposed to ex-pats learning Bahasa, etc.?).”
Now it is being reported that Grey is being deported from Bali. A video surfaced on Twitter of Grey professing her innocence. She continues to explain this happened after her statement about LGBTQ.
After an investigation, it was found that Grey violated several regulations and is now subject to deportation. A statement from Jamaruli Manihuruk, Head of the Bali office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, reads, “The concerned foreign national is suspected to have done business by selling her e-book and putting up consultation fees on traveling to Bali, which means she can be subject to sanctions according to the 2011 Immigration Law.”
An essay in Coconuts Bali broke down the problematic nature of the original tweet thread, explaining, “The thread was problematic for a variety of reasons, including the irresponsible labeling of Bali as “queer-friendly” despite the fact that members of the LGBTQ community in Indonesia live in fear of persecution and are targeted by authorities and conservative groups.”
It continued, “Her idea of ‘low cost of living’ also points to a deeply entrenched issue that shouldn’t be brushed off when talking about tourism in Bali, where a US $400 rent is affordable for a visiting foreigner but the provincial minimum wage is only about US$177.”
According to Coconuts Bali, Grey is currently detained at the Immigration Detention Center in Denpasar.
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