Friend Of 10 Years, Alicia Amin, Pleads With Former Miss Universe Malaysia, “Educate Yourself Please”
A lot has happened in the past 24 hours. Amidst the goings-on yesterday is the news that former Miss Universe Malaysia, Samantha James, is being heavily criticised for a series of offensive comments about the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the US. Since then, people have been taking to social media for many reasons – to call her out on her untruths, to ask others not to follow suit and to slam her with comments about her intellect, beauty and everything else. One person, in particular, has spoken up to give people an insight as to what Samantha James is like as a friend, and that’s model Alicia Amin.
Taking to both her Twitter and Instagram stories, the 25-year-old model, host and actor spoke about making the decision to call out her friend of 10 years. She first addresses the issues of the term “All Lives Matter”, which has come up alongside the Black Lives Matter movement and caused controversy as people have used it to focus on their own struggles and take away from the struggles of the black community. She points out that “this is not about you”, the people who are trying to change the narrative. Alicia makes a point to note that their pain is just as valid, but that their narrative may be coming up at a wrong time. She then tags Samantha James, saying “I’m looking at u girl,”.
“As someone who has been friends with Samantha I wanna share a thread about why while being woke online and in public spaces is important- but even more so in private and your personal relationships.”
She states how Samantha (or Sammy as she refers to her friend as) started sharing “alternate ideas” with Alicia, who found herself agreeing with some and not others. She goes on to say that people are usually more tolerant of weird things that our friends say or do because they are our friends. She then reveals that amongst the “alternate ideas” that Samantha had, was the use of healing crystals, which Alicia decided not to comment upon, stating “she can have her opinions.
But Alicia drew the line at Samantha sharing her views on being against vaccination. Despite having a few conversations with her friend about it, Alicia said it was her mistake that she didn’t speak to her about it. Instead, feeling like she didn’t want to argue with her friend, she chose to listen rather than disagree.
Alicia remarks that she would joke about Samantha’s anti-vaccination ideas when it came time to her having kids. She shares that growing up with Samantha and seeing her statements have now become public fodder as a result of her ignorance, she feels like she’s failed as a friend.
“I wonder if I had said something at that time could I have changed her mind or her perspective?”
Addressing the fact that she has chosen to call out her friend publically, Alicia asks that people “don’t make the same mistakes” she did. She also asks that people choose to correct people privately first, before design to publically denounce them or leave the conversation “for another day”.
She shared her private conversation with Samantha, responding to her controversial stories with concern. In her conversation with her, Alicia tells Samantha that she loves her but also hopes that she respects the fact that she can’t let what has Samantha said slide. She tells her that if she is willing to open up her mind, she would be happy to sit down with her so they can get through it together. In turn, Samantha says that she understands Alicia’s concern.
In her post of the conversation, Alicia explains that she wants people to know the Samantha behind all the controversial thoughts and ideas, sharing, “This is the understanding Sam I know”. She comments that while it is difficult to call out friends, it is something one must do in order to change their perspectives as “a newly educated ally is better than one less person for the cause”. Alicia goes on to ask that people refrain from being “too hard on her” as cyberbullying is not the right way to let out anger and frustration over the situation. She also shares how Samantha’s “ignorance and tone deaf statement came from her own pain”.
Samantha’s Instagram account has posts with quotes about healing, acceptance and more. She has also shared a candid, raw post on what it was like growing up, where she delves into her mom’s absence due to work and her dad’s non-existence in most of her formative years. She talked about crying herself to sleep and feeling “neglected” and “abandoned”.
They say that there is more to a person than meets the eye and this is attributed to the fact that people have layers – layers of personality, experience, happiness, pain, understanding. Everything has a cause and with that cause an effect. With that being said, as not everyone has been constructive in their criticism of the pageant titleholder. Whether or not she chooses to take in the constructive criticism will be important; whether or not she chooses to change her stance and allow for those close to her to help her grow from this. It is important to push for education on the issue rather than to add to the hate and misinformation already circulating in the media. As Alicia (and countless others since this incident has blown up) has said, we can only hope that they “see this issue in the same light we do one day”.
*Cover image credits: Background: Oscar Keys on Unsplash