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Ko-Am groups slam SF Chonicle’s series on Korean prostitution

OK, you’ve all read the SF Chronicle‘s four-part series on human trafficking and the Korean sex trade both in California and Korea.

Well, a whole lot of Korean-American organizations have slammed the series as “misleading” and “sexploitative.” They say:

Instead of educating Chronicle readers about the cultural background of South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, the “Diary” series dwells at length, and with questionable purpose, on the titillating details of one individual’s forced sex acts and non-typical family history. The Chronicle series includes many cultural inaccuracies and paints a distorted picture of Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city. Busan is an international coastal resort known for its open-air seafood — not sex — markets, and as host of the annual International Film Festival, the largest such event in Asia.

The “Diary” series’ emphasis on sex and room salons also misleadingly portrays South Korean women’s contemporary roles. In fact, women play a key role in diverse areas of South Korea’s economy, and are encouraged to pursue higher education. Women officials occupy top posts in the South Korean Cabinet.

They also take the paper to task for failing to interview Korean-Americans:

As a major newspaper, The Chronicle should be expected to maintain high standards of journalistic integrity, especially in topics impacting mainstream perceptions of a particular ethnic group. The Chronicle‘s series makes false, sweeping cultural assertions — such as the outrageous claim that “many” Koreans support their families through prostitution — and yet fails to interview any Korean Americans or obtain their community input. This one-sided, anecdotally based coverage did not meet journalistic standards of fair and responsible reporting.

Salon’s Carol Lloyd offers her own opinion on the dispute.

Personally, I have my doubts about just how “typical” the story of The Chronicle‘s series is, and I guess it would have been nice if they’d gotten some input from the Korean-American community, even if the piece itself was not about the community per say and one almost gets the feeling the real motivation behind that criticism is a belief (Marmot cringes in anticipation of a flame war) held by some—but certainly not all or even most—Korean-Americans that information about Korea must be “filtered” through them first prior to be disseminated among the general public. In this case, Korean-American input should have been sought in relation to the prevalence of prostitution in the Korean-American community. As for the Korean end, the reporters should have—and did—talk to actual Koreans, not Korean-Americans.

Having said that, it’s not like the subject—-Korean prostitution and the trafficking of Korean sex workers to the United States—was a big secret. Most major Korean dailies had run feature pieces on the issue, and like it or not, it has become a major pending issue in Korea-U.S. relations, especially on this end as it pertains to the possible inclusion of Korea into the U.S. visa-waiver program.

As for the cultural inaccuracies, I’d didn’t catch anything particularly flagrant (although I’ll be honest, I didn’t scour the pieces looking for stuff). Prostitution is conducted fairly openly in Korea, albeit slightly less so since the enactment of the Special Law on Prostitution.  The Chronicle series didn’t really tell us (i.e., anyone even remotely familiar with Korea) anything we didn’t already know.  Yes, OK, there is more to Busan than just brothels, but the piece wasn’t about the Pusan International Film Festival or the Jagalchi Fish Market (which is indoors now, BTW). It was about prostitution. If you want to argue that the Western media focuses on only certain aspects of Korea—mostly political issues such as North Korean nukes—at the expense of presenting the nation as a real, live country with an actual society and culture, I’d be all with you. That doesn’t mean, however, that a piece on a focused issue—in this case, prostitution and human trafficking—should also mention that the hangeul writing system is the world’s most scientific or that “Oldboy” won the Palme d’Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

If I were writing a piece on the Pusan International Film Festival, I wouldn’t fell compelled to include something like, “Oh, and did you know that you can’t walk 5 minutes in any direction in this city without passing a place where you could get a handjob by 60,000 won?”

Since we’re on the subject of prostitution, I did get to thinking about something after The Chronicle released its series. Namely, if there were something unfair about this whole thing, it’s this—even before Korea started exporting its hookers to the American market, it seemed Korea had been taking a lot of shit for its sex trade, especially in comparison to Japan. Prostitution is just as big in Japan as it is here, but there, outsiders seem to just accept it as part of the local business culture. In Korea, it’s exploitive and sexist. In Japan, it’s, “Oh, those Japanese businessmen like their women and song when they make a deal.” When Korea imports ladies from Russia, it’s human trafficking. In Japan, it’s a quaint cultural quirt that gets negative attention only when a white chick gets killed and eaten. If I’m misreading something here (and I probably am, as I’m in no means as familiar with prostitution in Japan as I am with prostitution in Korea), feel free to let me know.

(HT to reader)

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • iheartblueballs

    So much ridiculousness, so little time.

    1. It was a 4-part series on prostitution and sex-trafficking, not a 4-part series on the Miracle of the Han and the Wonderment of Korea’s Splendid Four Seasons. The intent was to inform readers about the massive problem that trafficking poses to the Bay Area, not to educate them on the cultural background of South Korea. I suppose the KA groups were similarly outraged when the SF Chronicle expose on Barry Bonds and BALCO failed to devote 90% of its column space to Bonds’ charity work and the marvelous dental care benefits that BALCO gives its employees.

    2. The part of the letter calling the coverage of sex-trafficking “entertainment,” and then proceeding to demand coverage of “issues of serious world import” like the appointment of Ban Ki Moon as UN Secretary General was fucking priceless. The irony of that statement lies in the fact that, given the room-salon culture that dominates Korean business dealings, sex-trafficking is the means which supplies a large number of Koreans with the end of “entertainment.” Koreans see sex slavery as part of the price of their entertainment, and are mystified why whitey gives a shit. They may as well said “Fuck you worthless whores, can’t you see there’s a famous Korean who’s being ignored?”

    3. “Our Korean-American communities join in condemning the sex-trafficking offenses around the world.” Uh, right…sure you do. At least when you’re not busy building the infrastructure to support it, running the thousands of businesses that sustain it, and supplying the majority of the demand that makes it profitable. Dollars to donuts says that an overwhelming majority of male KA’s involved in those signatory groups have dipped their pens in the sex-slave inkwell numerous times.

    4. Instead of putting their time and effort into composing laughable letters to the editor, perhaps all those KA groups should put together a national campaign which focuses on eradicating a Korean business culture which not only accepts, but wholeheartedly embraces prostitution as its bedrock.

    Instead of asking the SF Chronicle to quit focusing on whores and pay attention to the Great Hub of Asia, how about asking the business leaders within your community to quit supporting the room salons and “entertainment” establishments which employ all those whores and lead to the Chronicle writing those articles in the first place?

    The simple fact is, Korean business culture (and Korean culture in general) involves a heavy dose of prostitution. It is accepted as standard practice, both in Korea and in Korean communities abroad. The hooker racket by nature trails a noticeable stench, which attracts journalists and other do-gooders not so keen on the practice. So my advice to those self-righteous KA groups so smug in their letter writing, is to deal with the fucking stench instead of expressing outrage at those that have the audacity to smell it and complain about it.

    6. “Given this global problem, it is misleading and highly inappropriate to single out one particular ethnic group as the subject of this article. By contrast, the contributions of mainstream Korean Americans to the larger community receive little or no coverage in The Chronicle.”

    Sorry douchebags, but the subject of the article IS mainstream Korean Americans. Mainstream Korean Americans run the whorehouses that serve the mainstream Korean American customers. You’re getting plenty of coverage. Just not the boot-licking type you want.

    7. Back in the late 90′s, Time Magazine ran a front-page story about the Japanese Sex Industry, focusing in particular on the sexualization of school girls and the societal acceptance of the violent, rape-centric manga. It brought national shame to Japan and spurred legislation there. Japan was also singled out by the 2004 TVPA (Trafficking Victim Protections Act) Report by Congress, and responded by cutting entertainment visas to Philipinos. In the last couple years I’ve seen no fewer than 3 segments on national news magazines shows (20/20, Dateline, etc), on the dangers of hostess work in Japan. Japan has not received a pass as you’re implying.

  • dogbertt

    I don’t see how this issue actually has much to do with Korean Americans as a group. The only connection between the principals of this matter (i.e., the prostitutes and the traffickers, who are nearly all Korean citizens) and Korean Americans are their shared ethnicity.

    It seems that this group of Korean Americans simply objects to non-ethnic Korean Americans reading unflattering, albeit accurate, accounts of Korean society. These Korean Americans know that the vast majority of Americans don’t know about the extent of the sex trade in Korea and want to keep it that way. They arrogantly admit as much in their screed.

    Of course, they are also peddling b.s. of their own. If Busan is an international coastal resort, then Peoria is America’s financial hub.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    The metropolitician also wrote about SFgate’s series on trafficking, so I will simply reproduce what I wrote there.

    I will sadly have to agree with seouldout regarding the SFgate claim of ‘trafficking’. I cannot speak for what is happening in SF, but in my home of Sydney, there has been a literal Korean wave of South Korean women that are working in massage parlors, and prostitution establishments. I would estimate that Korean women make up greater than 50% of women working in the sex industry in Sydney.

    The massage parlors and prostitution establishments advertise for women in newspapers and on the internet. They compete with eachother to offer the best possible conditions to attract willing women, in terms of pay, accomodation, cash advances, etc. There are sites on naver (in Korean) that spell out exactly what the conditions and pay are for women that will work in Sydney and other cities in Australia. I dont think there is any evidence that they are forced to do what they are doing.

    As seouldout mentions, women that are busted working as hookers have two options. One, admit they are hookers, be deported, fined, possibly jailed, and have a black mark against them for the rest of their lives, or claim they are the victims of forced sex trafficking, by which they will be treated as refugees and go towards to front of the line for US permanent residency. In terms of game theory, claiming to be a victim is a no-brainer. The existence of the T-visa guarantees an ‘increase’ in sex trafficking, as seouldout says. In Sydney, prostitution is mostly legal, and prostitutes are not being busted, so we do not get women claiming to be victims of sex trafficking even though it is almost certain that they were recruited in the same way as the Korean women in the US.

    Robert Says -

    Korea had been taking a lot of shit for its sex trade, especially in comparison to Japan. Prostitution is just as big in Japan as it is here, but there, outsiders seem to just accept it as part of the local business culture. In Korea, it’s exploitive and sexist. In Japan, it’s, “Oh, those Japanese businessmen like their women and song when they make a deal.”

    You really think so, Robert? Maybe you just are not paying enough attention to what people are saying. Also, Korea is taking shit for exporting hookers – when your country starts to fill up with foreign hookers, of course the media is going to take notice.

    Robert Says -

    When Korea imports ladies from Russia, it’s human trafficking. In Japan, it’s a quaint cultural quirt that gets negative attention only when a white chick gets killed and eaten.

    Cheap shot about the white women being killed and eaten, Robert. By the way, the guy that killed and ate the English girl (Lucy Blackman) that you are referring to was an ethnic Korean.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    shakuhachi—fair enough.

  • slim

    Iheartblueballs comment, slightly cleaned up perhaps, should be sent to the Chronicle, if it hasn’t been already.

  • montclaire

    Actually, what you say about the rosy image of prostitution in Japan applies also to Korean-on-Korean prostitution in Korea. A night in a room salon is treated as good clean fun, with the girls laughing and having a great time while the drunk man hops around with a necktie on his head. Even the red-light district movies like Bad Guy do not seem negative about prostitution as a whole.
    Ah, but when it comes to foreigner-on-Korean prostitution, the SK pop culture has always treated it – and never more so than under the allegedly pro-American dictators – as this ghastly shocking exploitative thing that ruins women forever.

  • seoulmilk

    as a korean-american, i saw no problems with the aforementioned article, at least in connection with the portrayal of korea and korean people, including korean-americans. it pretty much reported what i’ve already known, seen, and heard about in korea regarding the subject matter. i don’t think the article warrants a letter by the kor-am community to write such a letter. in fact, it only brings more attention to this article, and the problems of prostitution and human trafficking in korea.

    having said that, while i’m not defending the letter, i think the kor-am group wrote that letter because many ignorant readers might associate the word prostitute and korea together, after reading the article. perhaps, the words “korea” and “prostitute” are linked together, but as a korean and korean-american, why wouldn’t one want to defend the culture and enlighten the people with the positives of one’s culture, before a negative stereotype is engraved in people’s mind. since korean culture is not as widely known as chinese or japanese, an article like this can easily develop a stereotype of koreans with prostitution. (ie, you say fortune cookies, you think china, you say sushi, you think japan, you say prostitution, you think korea, etc.)

    even in a diverse city such as seattle (where i grew up), there still are many ignorant people, who after reading something like this, will assume korea, to some extent all asians (since we all alike to some), as a nation that tolerates prostitution. perhaps korea does turn the other chick when it comes to prostitution, but as a people, why would you want non-koreans to associate it that way? so, to some extent, i can understand why they would want to write such a letter.

  • seoulmilk

    but having said that, the korean-american community should try to solve this problem within the community, instead of writing a letter like that, which to me, is blaming others and not taking any responsibility.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    seoulmilk—fair observations. As I mentioned in the post, it seems Western press coverage of Korea is very focused on North Korea and negative news (like violent anti-American demonstrations) from South Korea. Even film director Wonsuk Chin hit on it in the Slate piece I linked to yesterday — Koreans might recognize a North Korean military parade or Kim Jong-il, but would they recognize any image from South Korea if they saw it? So I can certainly see how said Ko-Am groups might fear that articles like the one on prostitution might give Americans a wrong impression of Korea. Heck, I used to worry that the stuff I posted here would give foreign audiences (as opposed to readers in Korea who knew better) the wrong impression of Korea. Truth be told, when I first read the SF Chronicle piece, my first reaction was to roll my eyes and go, “Oh no…” But if their primary concern was that non-Koreans might get the wrong impression, they should have written a letter pointing out that Korea is a lot more than just hookers (which it is) rather than attacking the series as misleading and inaccurate (which, as far as I could tell, it wasn’t).

    BTW, I don’t know to what extent the Korean-American community needs to “accept responsibility” for this issue. Judging from what I gather in the Korean dailies, Korean-style prostitution is fairly prevalant in Korean-American communities, but even if that were the case, I’m sure a lot of the girls’ clientele are as white as I am and, ultimately, this is an issue to be resolved by the legal authorities on both sides of the Pacific, not one that requires the inputing of some sort of communal blame.

  • Wedge

    “perhaps korea does turn the other chick when it comes to prostitution”

    Nice freudian slip. ;-)

  • seoulmilk

    Robert,

    I agree fully. But the Korean-American community needs to go further beyond just writing a letter. I understand the clientele is diverse, but if the community wants its image portrayed in a positive manner, the Korean-American community leaders need to take some action cooperating with the local city and county leaders, and disassociating themselves with the industry. I understand why they would write such a letter, but they do have some responsibility, however minor it might be.

  • http://www.lostnomad.org/ Nomad

    iheartblueballs,

    Well said.

  • iheartblueballs

    the knee-jerk overreaction from the KA groups can be summarized pretty easily: me thinks thou doth protest too much.

    if the article is not misleading and inaccurate (and there’s no evidence to the contrary), then why would there be any need to worry that it gives the “wrong impression” of korea?

    facts are stubborn things. the reality is that prostitution is readily accepted and tolerated in korean society, and the particular room-salon culture has been exported to korean communities abroad to serve koreans (and a few waygooks) living outside of korea. so if readers came away from the article understanding that reality about korea, then they in fact came away with the CORRECT impression, at least in regards to prostitution. it may not be the impression that the Hallyu boosters prefer, but it is the truth nonetheless. and anyone fighting to suppress that truth in favor of pointless back-slapping and nationalistic bragging obviously has suspect motives and no fucking clue to boot.

    and doesn’t it seem pretty presumptious of and insulting to american readers of that series to assume that they’re not intelligent enough to understand that the article is specifically dealing with the sex trafficking issue, and that it is not serving as the single, defining, all-encompassing summation of korea as a nation?

  • pawikirogi

    I didn’t have too much of a problem with the chron writing about Koreans and prostitution since Koreans should be ashamed of their room salon culture. My problem was that this was the first time I can remember the chron doing a four-part series on Korea. Why was prostitution the first thing they wanted to look at? South Korea is one of two nations that, in my lifetime, has been able to catch up to the West. Why not tell us about the country and culture of the people who were able to do that?

    Wouldn’t that be a better INTRODUCTION to Korea?

    btw, blueballs, I’m a mainstream Korean American. I’ve never used a prostitute in my life, but I’ll bet you and quite a few of the expats here have. That means the expat contributes to the problem.

    Ain’t it ironic that the dudes who are going to take Koreans to task for prostitution are users of prostitutes themselves? Just look at dogbert. He surely uses them with all his 120 pounds of might.

    Here’s the sunset, blue: where’d you buy that scrotum so blue? I’ll bet you have one hanging on that massive truck you own held up with glue. Ain’t it true, blue?

    ****

    My would-be conversation as Korean minister to chief architect of doom, donnie rummy:

    rummy: we saved your ass. You better remember.

    K minister: yes, I want to thank you for that. I personally want to acknowlegde your military contributions in saving us from the red beast.’

    rummy: Uh, well, I never served in the military.

    K minister: Yes, I know.

  • H. Kim

    Helene Kim’s letter to the editor should be considered the fifth installment in the series, but with the title: “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil — the Korean American angle.”

    Her letter is emblematic of the smug hypocrisy and self- righteousness indifference that many upper-middle class, church-going West Coast KAs have toward the global Korean sex-trafficking problem taking place right under their noses .

    Incidentally, pedigreed women like Miss Lawyer Helene Kim, who’ve had prep-school/name-brand university educations, really look down upon their fellow countrywomen like You-me with unreserved and unabashed contempt — simply b/c they feel so much more superior to girls like You-me and her ilk. This is the spirit of her letter and it comes shining through so very well.

    As far as what has been said so far by ihearblueballs and Robert, I agree that not only is the “KA angle” totally irrelevant to a piece like this — which I think deserves the Pulitzer btw — but the vast majority of Korean people do not want to talk about these kinda things, let alone have their ‘dirty laundry’ aired in public.
    for the world to see.

    Let’s look at the hard facts though, that many Koreans try to gloss over:

    1) The fact that 80-90% of monthly prostitution arrests in the L.A. and Bay country area since 2004 have been and continue to be undocumented Korean women in the 20- 30-year-old age range;

    2) 100% of the women in the North American Asian massage parlor industry are without a doubt undocumented Korean women;

    3) 100% of the Korean sex trafficking, pimping and management is being perpetrated by Korean and Korean-American accomplices;

    4) 100% of these services are being offered in Korean-owned and operated anmas, room salons and business clubs located in major metropolitan areas and Koreatowns throughout the world.

    What Helene Kim should’ve said if she didn’t have her head stuck in the sand, or is she weren’t such a typically stuck-up, prissy, elitist Korean American Princess, was:

    “Thank you San Francisco Chronicle for exposing the insidiousness and the ugliness of the human trafficking and sex worker industry in our community through your reporting.

    “Hopefully, such a piece will create enough outrage and grass-roots support to stop the proliferation of such exploitation and gross human rights abuses from continuing in the future. ”

    Incidently, the KA community is heavily fragmented opinion wise. We are famous for infighting, factiousness, dissensions and subverting each other, as there has historically been competing KA organizations vying against each other to be the official mouthpiece of the community to the mainstream media.

    What has happened in the past, since no groups can typically agree who speaks for the community — nor can any one KA community group typically agree as to what the community’s articulated position is — it’s usually some uppity KA female — typically graduated from a name-brand law school (an Ivy or U of C school no doubt) — who takes the bull by the horns and bandies about flirting with the media as the ostensible “voice” of the community, just like Angela Oh did back in April of 1992 during the LA riots.

    I don’t believe that these bitches are representative of anything or anyone except their own petty middle-class narcissistic agendas though — as they’re about as representative of the KA community as Paris Hilton is representative of the American mainstream.

  • dogbertt

    btw, blueballs, i’m a mainstream korean american.

    Which nicely sums up the image problems this community has.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Pawikirogi: i’m a mainstream korean american.

    Now, that really would be something to ponder.

    And just for future reference should you pen any more hypothetical conversations involving the U.S. defense secretary, Rummy was a Navy pilot.

  • wolfgang

    “..articles were unnecessarily “sexploitative” in their manner …. exaggerated headlines and lurid photos .. disproportionate emphasis to a small immigrant segment ….”
    “As a major newspaper, The Chronicle should be expected to maintain high standards of journalistic integrity, especially in topics impacting mainstream perceptions of a particular ethnic group.”

    I totally agree. How dare the San Francisco Chronicle do that. The Korean press would never do such a thing to its foreign community.

    By the way, wouldn’t it be nice if Korean culture would allow the relatively innocent practice of western style strip clubs. But that would be too shameful as it would allow open displays of sexualness. As compared with actual sex behind closed doors. Even if it’s a group of 20 friends having sex behind closed doors.

  • http://www.slg.co.kr Brendon Carr

    Thus spake pawikirogi:

    my problem was that this was the first time i can remember the chron doing a four part series on korea. why was prostitution the first thing they wanted to look at? south korea is one of two nations that, in my lifetime, has been able to catch up to the west. why not tell us about the country and culture of the people who were able to do that?

    wouldn’t that be a better INTRODUCTION to korea?

    It doesn’t appear the Chronicle article was intended to be an introduction to Korea. From my perspective, it was intended to be an introduction to where the human-trafficking sex trade in America comes from. Where did all of these sex slaves come from, and who would do such a thing to another human being? is the question. The answer, of course, is Korea, where beastly treatment of others is standard and accepted — if you don’t know them. To the extent that behavior is incongruous with the prevailing view on Korea, and the one Korea itself is very eager to advance most of the time — that it’s an advanced, developed society worthy to be called a peer to the United States — that’s news.

    The same criticism could be levelled at Japan. Japan has a thriving human-trafficking undercurrent and the savagery of it is quite shocking compared to most Americans’ view of Japan. For that matter, the same goes for the Netherlands.

  • seouldout

    Most folks can understand how some in destitute lands are driven to desperate messures. Certainly Korea isn’t a destitute land, and it prefers it be recognized amongst the rich and powerful. Fair enough. Pawikirogi would like for the SFC to begin with “Miracle on the Han” myth, and the mesmorized Americans see Korea “catch up to the west”. Okay, let’s begin with that story.

    Hurrah, the Americans see Korea as a first-world nation.

    On to Part II, Korea the human trafficker. This is a story about how a first-world country behaves like a third-world one. Kind of like a Hollywood starlet caught shoplifting or an evangelical preacher caught in the cathouse. Strikes me that with pawikirogi’s proposed one-two punch the Americans will have actually have a lower opinion of Korea. How is it that a wealthy, developed nation still pimps out its women?

    If Korea want to keep its well-earned title Dymanic Pimp of Asia, and doesn’t want the first world to pass cold, hard judgment, it really ought to cultivate the perception that it’s still in the third world.

    Insisting that it all ways must be Korea’s way just doesn’t work. It’s bound to make you nutters.

  • seoulmilk

    iheartblueballs,

    i agree with your comments under 13, except for the last paragraph. presumptious? perhaps. but why would i imply such a thing if i have never experienced such idiotic people? when gary locke was the governor of washington state, a member of the democratic caucus came up to me thinking i was one of his asian supporters. when i said i’m a card carrying republican, her next words out of her mouth was, “but you’re asian.” if what i was implying was insulting, so be it. but i never said all readers. and by no means was i defending the kor-am group, just that i could understand their reasoning.

    another incident…my cousin from korea transferred to my high school in 2000. as he was being interviewed by the vice principal, he asked my cousin what his dad did for a living. my cousin said his dad works for samsung. the vp asked what’s that? i said a conglomerate, like sony. the vp, “wow, you must have lot of toy gadgets at home.” so yes, there are stupid readers out there. not all, but some. in america, in korea, in whatever country. and for the record, i did defend the articles in question.

    have a nice weekend.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    A lot of you do not seem to know that newspaper business is a business. A business like Denny’s or Walmart.

    When a newspaper like SF Chronicle singles out a people and runs an article which seems reasonable and fact-based (like all politicians’ comments are fact-based and with statistical data to prove it), one must think about why are they running it and why are they doing it now.

    The answer is “because the readers like to read about such article and the newspaper can sell reinforcing the readers’ pre-conditioned state”. Yes, babies (WKRP in Cinncinati, Dr.?), it is a business. Selling newspapers! Fairness. Fuck Fairness. Make money. Write something readers will pay for!

    It is a purely economic proposition. Newspapers are economic ventures. Yes, they do sound sincere. Yes, they underline their fairness. But, the bottom line wins out every time.

    Ask the reporter in the movie, the Insider. He has to quit the best news show on TV, when he reported something that hurts the bottom line. He is working for a non-profit organization, PBS, now.

    The SF Chronicle is not a non-profit organization, the last time I checked. It works for profit. Yes, they have to sell their stories to the readers. Whet the readers appetite. Up their sexual organs. Evoke a fear or a sexual fantasy.

    Young oriental women in the message parlor gives off pheromones. Makes men to imagine sexual fantasies. It sells!

    KoreanAmericans should boycott any attempts like this. A few years ago, LA Times ran an almost racial attacks on KoreanAmericans. How KA are slow to learn English, do menial works, how poor, etc.

    Now, LA Times doesn’t do any of that. It can’t. Too many KAs. Heck, some day in near future, a Korean congramerate may buy the stupid newspaper and turn it pro-Korean.

    So, Learn babies, learn, as Dr.King said. Make money, and buy out the SF Chronicles. That is the only way to stop these type of Yellow journalism.

  • seouldout

    Heck, some day in near future, a Korean congramerate may buy the stupid newspaper and turn it pro-Korean.

    The Moonies own The Washington Times. This count?

    …Yellow journalism.

    As it’s capitalized I’ll assume this was intentional. Bravo your life.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    “Let’s look at the hard facts though, that many Koreans try to gloss over:

    1) The fact that 80-90% of monthly prostitution arrests in the L.A. and Bay country area since 2004 have been and continue to be undocumented Korean women in the 20- 30-year-old age range;

    2) 100% of the women in the North American Asian massage parlor industry are without a doubt undocumented Korean women;

    3) 100% of the Korean sex trafficking, pimping and management is being perpetrated by Korean and Korean-American accomplices;

    4) 100% of these services are being offered in Korean-owned and operated anmas, room salons and business clubs located in major metropolitan areas and Koreatowns throughout the world.

    Wow, man. These data speak for itself. It shows your fairness. As a KA, I stand educated. You are no different than a Korean who says all evils in the world are caused by Americans. 100%, like you said.

  • slim

    Imagine what a candlelight vigil in front of the Chronicle would do for Korea’s image.

  • H. Kim

    “You are no different than a Korean who says all evils in the world are caused by Americans. 100%, like you said.”

    In the accompanying SF Chronicle podcast, the reporter recounts how she and her editor came to the decision to tackle this subject. Apparently, it was after looking at reports from recent prostitution busts in the area like “Operation Gilded Cage” that prompted a series of questions.

    Why were 100% of the indictees undocumented Koreans? Why weren’t there representative numbers of Chinese, Vietnames, Thais, Japanese, Philipinas, Laotians, etc., if in fact this was a global human trafficking issue?

    The reason why there weren’t any of these nationalities represented in not only the Gilded Cage busts but similar busts across the nation in DC, NYC, Dallas, Atlanta, etc, was b/c this is a 100% Korean network — from top to bottom –perpetrating trafficking around the world.

    If you wanna continue to deny it, go ahead and stick your head back in the sand like so many helpless Koreans are doing.

    If you wanna face up to the facts of what’s going on, let’s at least admit that there’s problem — both in Korea and in the KA communities — that is aiding and abetting this problem.

  • slim

    “… and doesn’t it seem pretty presumptious of and insulting to american readers …”

    That large group of signatories appear to be the only readers who WEREN’T “intelligent enough to understand that the article is specifically dealing with the sex trafficking issue, and that it is not serving as the single, defining, all-encompassing summation of korea as a nation?”

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I think this type of reporting gives a false hope to the readers, the consumer of their garbage, that if Koreans are somehow stopped from coming into the US, prostitution problem would go away.

    Very similar to the idea that if Columbian routes are severed there will be no drug problem in the US.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but these problems, prostitution, drugs, corruption, etc are human problems. It is in the genes. And, it is as a part of country as apple pies and baseball. As long as there are consumers of these evils, the merchants will supply.

    Lots of Chinese women come to the US for prostitution. Some Eastern Europeans and Russians do, too. However, singling out Korean women was advantages in San Francisco because there are few Koreans in the city. The LA Times will think twice about running these type of “expose”. It has to count the cost in terms of heat, the article will bring. It must calculate how many readers it can gain and how many it will lose. Again, it comes down to money.

    Selling a quick-fix to the age-old problem must be done after mulling over the books.

  • cm

    I didn’t read the SF Chronicle series, but I didn’t need to.
    Reading others, it seems like a fair article. Korean news has also done numerous series on prostitutions and human smuggling in Korea. There have been no complaints in Korea about this SF article either.

    I think the reason why those KA’s are bitching is part defensiveness. Eventhough prostitution in Korea has little to do with KA’s, the rest of America will point at the KA’s as problems that have been imported by an overly generous immigration policy. KA’s are pissed off at the Koreans are giving them the bad name, but they also know the majority of average anglo Americans wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a “Korean” and a “Korean American”, let alone, “Asian American”.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    H. Kim,

    To you, Operation Gilded Cage is the only and the final word on prostitution.

    “You are SO DEEP”, William Hurt from the movie, Big Chill.

    ” I kept the entire set of dishes when my ex split. What is she gonna eat out of? She must be going hungry.”, Pat Morita from Happy Days.

  • cm

    H. Kim is right on the money. Too bad no matter what he says, to people like dogbert, H.Kim’s nothing but a kyopo who defends his mother country to death. Words go right into one ear, and just come right out the other. It’s people like pawi and baduk that dogbert gets a hard on.

  • H. Kim

    “Lots of Chinese women come to the US for prostitution. Some Eastern Europeans and Russians do, too. However, singling out Korean women was advantages in San Francisco because there are few Koreans in the city. The LA Times will think twice about running these type of “expose”. It has to count the cost in terms of heat, the article will bring. It must calculate how many readers it can gain and how many it will lose. Again, it comes down to money”

    FYI, newspapers make their money by selling advertising space. While circulation levels indirectly affects advertising rates, managing editors of reputable papers do not make decisions solely based on what will increase circulation. I know this b/c I worked for a newspaper. If you wanna reduce everyone’s motives to the lowest common denominator, go ahead, but isn’t your dismissive and cynical attitude an excuse to stick your head back in the sand?

    And if you don’t think “Gilded Cage” is representative of a national trend involving undocumented Korean sex workers and traffickers, then check out these links:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-sentencing_19met.ART0.North.Edition1.2485f44.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/16/AR2006081601513.html

    And how about substantiating your own allegations with cites instead of obscure and smarmy comments?

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    I think there should be an honor system about using Korean-sounding name as an id.

    I believe H.Kim is a Caucasian. The same is true for WonJoon Choi. Either there are extreme bananas(Koreans who wanna be white so bad that they start attacking other Koreans or Korean culture) or whites/blacks who pretend to be Koreans. I believe they are the latter.

    Just like Sakuhachi (another Caucasian who pretends to be a Japanese to irk Koreans or Korea-lovers), these individuals think they are superior by fooling other people. A sort of spy or a saboteur, if you will.

    I just think they are insincere and mentally-damaged in their upbringing. And, they are only funny to themselves. To me, they just delay the discussion (by pretending to belong to the other point-of-view) and de-focus the discussion by diluting the issue with their ids.

    I hope they stop, but they won’t. As I said, something in their childhood has damaged their brain and they cannot engage in sincere and honest dialog. They just want to “get back at the world and take out as many as they can”. Period.

  • cm

    You forgot to add “Mizar5″ to your list of bananas, baduk.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    “I know this b/c I worked for a newspaper”

    - I am glad that you no long work. With your “100%” logic, you will do much harm to the organization you work.

    “FYI, newspapers make their money by selling advertising space”
    - As I said, San Francisco can print these “one-sided” and “one bad national origin” stories, because Korean merchants in the area do not yet advertise on this newspaper. Once the city is teeming with Korean businessmen, the newspaper will sing different tune. And, this has been true for any minority in the US history – blacks, hispanics, Germans, French, Italians, Polish, etc.

    There are no absolutes or “100%”, only attempts to sell their goods and services, more than next organization. It is too bad that most US cities have only one dominant newspaper per city. Things will be much better if two or three papers survive in any given city. Fair competition is the most American way.

  • slim

    All of the Western media coverage of Shiite death squads in Iraq focuses on the death, never on the squads. You call that fair?

  • H. Kim

    “I believe H.Kim is a Caucasian. ”

    Sorry Baduk, wrong again — I am, like you, just a lowly Korean American. But keep up the knee-jerk comments — you are entertaining!

    “I just think they are insincere and mentally-damaged in their upbringing.”

    Hey — what’s with the ad hominem stuff? Just state your pov, provide any cites, make a conclusion, and move on! Is it really that difficult?

    ” hope they stop, but they won’t. As I said, something in their childhood has damaged their brain and they cannot engage in sincere and honest dialog.”

    You’re obviously 1.5 generation. I’m not gonna say anything more…except that I pity your tortured sole.

    “Once the city is teeming with Korean businessmen, the newspaper will sing different tune. \”

    Well, I’m not gonna hold my breath, but let me know when KAs start taking over the Bay Area by storm. FYI, smart KAs know better than to spend the rest of their lives hanging around K-town. It tends to rot your soul if you stick around too long. Get out and see the world son….

    “There are no absolutes or “100%”, only attempts to sell their goods and services, more than next organization.”

    Whatever. You’re obviously drunk or deranged, as your following non sequiturs regarding the one-newspaper cities vs. three- newspaper cities indicate complete incoherence on your part.

  • dogbertt

    cm, doesn’t this article illustrate what I’ve been saying all along? In general, kyopos feel they have some duty to present “correct” information about Korea and Koreans to us ignorant white folk. I’m sorry, but I don’t need kyopos to filter my knowledge about Korea, especially considering that I live here and I speak the language better than nearly every kyopo I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

    As far as H. Kim, I have nothing against the man. I thought his comment in this thread rang _extremely_ true and I’m very open to what he has to say and his insight.

    As far as nulji, he claims to be representative of mainstream Korean-Americans, so I don’t feel unjustified in my generalizations. Sorry ’bout that.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    Just like Sakuhachi (another Caucasian who pretends to be a Japanese to irk Koreans or Korea-lovers), these individuals think they are superior by fooling other people. A sort of spy or a saboteur, if you will.

    I am not pretending to be Japanese. I have said that I am a white Australian time and time again.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    H. Kim,

    Are you saying you are 2nd generation KA and, therefore, you are a full American and attack other KAs more Korean than you, like 1.5 generation KAs for example.

    FYI, to the majority of Americans, you are a Korean. And, when you diss Koreans and KAs, you are dissing yourself and your children.

    You think you are one of a kind, a fair person, who is above and beyound your heritage. Well, you are not. You are brainwashed by American press which serves white majority audience. It just stopped attacking BlackAmericans only recently but it is still vicious when it comes to Hispanics, Asians and other minorities.

    With your “100%” logic, you are brainwashed well and on your way to serving white supremacist in detriment of your own kind. From your writing, you are fully ashamed of your parents, your bro/sis and even yourself. You are a banana.

    Not even a good banana. Since your 100%-logic shows you are a still oriental in your logic.

  • bluejives

    I agree with H.Kim’s assessment about Helene Kim’s statement.

    You have to wonder why would a Korean woman protest a newspaper article that discusses “injustice” being done to other Korean women. The difference is that Ms Kim is, like HKim says, an “uppity, educated, middle-class professional” and the prostitutes are not. The only common factor is that both the prostitutes and Ms Kim are of Korean ethnicity.

    In the United States, despite having reached a fair degree of success in both business and the professions, many kyopos, even some of the most banana-split, twinkified 2nd generation variety, have a sensitivity stemming from the perpetual foreigner syndrome and loss of individuality due to stereotyping.

    Despite the fact that the prostitutes and Ms Kim are of two completely different worlds, she fears more the effect that the stigma of a “Korean women are prostitutes who work in massage salons” stereotype would have on someone like her than of any real injustice, whether real or imagined that the newspaper article purportedly covers. To an ambitious, upwardly mobile professional woman such as herself, it simply would not do to be possibly perceived as a “sucky, fucky…me rove you rong time” Asian whore who just happens to be wearing a business suit by her peers, co-workers and superiors.

    The real problem behind this “prostitution issue” is not so much the prostitution itself but the underlying causes behind it:

    1. Asian Fetish. Influx of Korean prostitution into the US happens because there is a demand for it. In rags such as the Village Voice and the New York Press, one finds multiple full page, color ads for Asian girl escort services.

    2. The uneducated, underprivileged classes in Korea and the persistent perception that “the grass is greener on the other side” in the US. Often, it is not. If you are uneducated and unskilled, you will have a tough time where-ever you are, whether Korea or the US. Informal conversations that I’ve had with many newly arrived Koreans working in the hair-cutting salons, restaurants, and nail salon in the Korean communities consistently reveals that life in the US is hard, lonely, and difficult due to language/cultural barriers.

    3. Possible lack of effective social activism in native Korea. Prostitution is a feminist issue. It can be argued that perhaps other, better opportunities are lacking for young women who choose to go into prostitution. But society is slow to change, if at all, and the problem persists. Why? Because instead of agitating for social change within the Korean society, they simply choose to leave Korea and go to the US (which doesnt remove any problems but rather is actually trading one set of problems for a different set of problems). And the Ehwa-dae, educated, privileged women (the Korean cousins of Jaemi-kyopos like Helene Kim), who are in a position to actually do something about it, are for the most part simply NOT interested in the plight of their less fortunate sisters, but are more concerned about marrying a doctor or a guy who works at Samsung.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    H. Kim,

    FYI, all KAs even those just obtained the citizenship are Americans. Yes, Americans. When you diss KAs, you are dissing Americans.

    Now, if you say KAs are not Americans, I must say you are against American government and making your own laws. And, I will add that the governor of California was not born in the USA.

    If you say that he is not an American, I have nothing more to say. And, if you say he is different because he is a Caucasian, then I will call you a racist.

  • jiwonsi

    Shakuhachi said:

    I cannot speak for what is happening in SF, but in my home of Sydney, there has been a literal Korean wave of South Korean women that are working in massage parlors, and prostitution establishments. I would estimate that Korean women make up greater than 50% of women working in the sex industry in Sydney.

    There has also been a similar Korean Wave of room salons and massage parlors in Manila. The only difference are that the women are Filipinas. Just like in Sydney, they openly post signs hiring women and advertise their establishments in the local Korean newspapers.

    It’s hardly an open secret and it’d hypocrisy that makes the Korean American angry-the hypocrisy of maintaining a good image without really paying attention to the substance.

  • Cobra III

    It’s interesting to note how the sort of posts that generate enormous amounts of feedback on this site are the ones that deal with sex, anti-Americanism, and interracial dating. In other words, the sort of solipsistic and narsissitic shit that can only be of real concern to foreign (mostly white) and gyopo expats.

    I guess I wouldn’t be that perturbed by the whole thing if the likes of a dogbertt, bluejives, iheartblueballs, pawikirogi or the “sages” who opine away had actually something insightful or fresh to say about the issues. But that sadly isn’t the case nor do I think it ever will be. Cause in the end what the vast majority of these comments have in common (despite their animosity towards each other) is that instead of adding anything interesting to say about the issue at hand all the reader gets are psychological and emotional snapshots of the commentators themselves. Now, I know that any writer invests his experiences and emotions into what he says. But usually the best ones (or at least those not so enamored with their “wit”) find ways to temper or at least compliment those mastubatory urges with outside wisdom or knowledge.

    I mean really, who really gives a fucking shit how many times you were dissed for dating a Korean girl, how other white expats are hording on Korean female booty, or what some stupid GI or English teacher did yet again. I’m sure these are wonderful stories to be told over a nice warm campfire on a starry summer night. But please, don’t try and pawn this sort of anectodal shit off as some sort of insight or revelation about Korea. Cause really in the end there just your problems that only you can fix.

    I find it incredibly ironic that here we have white expats here in Korea to experience a new culture and gyopos out rediscover a culture and all they’ve really done in the end is discover themselves all over again! Talk about redundancy. Not to mention a complete waste of fucking time.

    But I guess I shouldn’t be to harsh in this regard. After all, if your going to pontificate and you really don’t have anything substantial to say just talk about yourself.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    H. Kim,

    Upon carefully re-reading your post, you seem not to be a banana but a disillusioned social activist.

    This is what I believe.

    1) There are more Hispanic (Mexican) hookers in california than Asian prostitutes. Korean prostitutes may be less than 10% of total prostitutes in California after including white, black and hispanic streetwalkers.

    2) Koreans are made an “example” because they are new and still a minority. Newspapers can attack this group without much “response”.

    3) Korean hookers mainly work as a group in massage parlors instead of walking the street. When arrests are made, it looks good to print “a major sting in prostitution ring – over fifty prostitutes are arrested in one location”. Individual arrests of street hookers are not that sexy.

    Instead of knocking other Koreans(this may have to do with your perception of other Koreans – your upbringing has bred contempt for other Koreans), let us build KoreanAmerican Coalition. Let’s back this KoreanAmerican attempt to present other side of view, be it done by Angela Oh or by Helen Kim.

  • slim

    H.Kim and Bluejives nail it quite well here for me. But I’m not entirely on board with the Asian fetish as a cause in this situation. There’s no denying the fetish exists, but the escort ads in big cities offer all races (in my area they are heavy on Latinas; Eastern Europe is a popular flavor). Maybe johns simply like young, slender and well-maintained as opposed to fat, skanky and crack-addled. It is my understanding — I’m ready to stand corrected — that many of the K-town establishments like those featured in the Chronicle series turn away non-Koreans, just like many of the room salons back in Korea.

    A lot may well be explainable by supply meeting demand, with a confluence of factors (South Korea’s purported crackdown on the vast and well-organized sex industry, credit card debt explosion, still limited advancement opportunities for women, relatively unchecked organized crime) making Korea the most ready supplier in recent years. And as iheartblueballs points out, Korean society is shot through with the world’s oldest profession.

    I would also note that in the case of the WW2 Comfort Women, there is considerable social activism in Korea, but that is a different story….

  • jiwonsi

    Cobra III, new around here?

    The real spectator sport is watching how many contortions some posters can turn before running out of steam. I don’t think many people actually read the Comments section for wisdom.

  • bluejives

    Baduk,

    I hear your point about Koreans possibly getting a disproportionate level of scrutiny, compared to their actual numbers in the general mainstream, regarding a matter that is sure to garner lots of attention (such a prostitution). Asian-Americans, in general, still pretty much have a weak, diluted voice in the political dialogue. Furthermore, the majority have a tendency to think that it is OK to either disrepresent or outright smear Asians because Asians are perceived to be passive, non-complaining, Model Minorities incapable of formenting any kind of backlash.

    But on the other hand, I hardly think Korean-Americans are being singled out in the press for dirty-laundry coverage either. I’m sure the Hispanics, Mexicans, and East Europeans have had their share of exposure plenty of times as well for similar issues. I’m sure many times it was not entirely sympathetic either. It’s just that whenever something about KAs appear in the news, it just happens to stand out more since it happens to be something about our own community. It’s a kind of a myopia. There could just as well be a 10-page feature about the Russian mafia and their human-trafficking, prostituting ways in the New York Times magazine next week but you and I wont pay as much attention to it simply because it happens to be about the Russians and not KAs.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    H. Kim,

    What percentage of KoreanAmericans are involved in sex trade? 1%, 5%, 10%?

    My guess is less than 0.1%. Yes, 99.9% of KoreanAmericans have nothing to do with sex trade or massage parlors. Yet, you are saying Korean community is not doing enough to recognize the problem.

    When only 0.1% of KAs are involved but is overblown by American media, why shouldn’t KoreanAmerican community raise hell about the series? You as a social activist may see hypocracy in the situation but I don’t. There is no prostitution problem in KoreanAmerican Community.

    Some newspapers like to say so, but it ain’t.

  • caliboy888

    OK, first of all, I would agree that the tone of Helen Kim’s letter to the Chronicle was pretty knee-jerk and I don’t think the article really needed to extoll the wonders of PIFF and the Jagalchi Fish Market to have been fair.

    That being said, there were a lot of exploitative aspects to the piece. I’m involved in the legal community here in the San Francisco Bay Area and have acquaintances who were involved in representing trafficking victims (including some described in the article) and they weren’t entirely happy with some parts of the coverage.

    In particular, a lot of the photos ran seemed to be designed more to tittilate than to provide much meaningful information. (Yeah, you probably need to run a photo of a Korean brothel, but probably not 5. And what’s with all the soft-lighted silhouettes of the profiled prostitute?)

    Also I was kinda annoyed by the night in shining armor at the end of the series who rescues the star of the series. I think it plays into some johns heroic fantasies that somehow they’re not facilitating the sex industry, but instead are just looking for the “hooker with a heart of gold” to save and take away from all of this.

    Also, Korean Americans did have a useful role in being interviewed since the article alluded that Korean Americans were directly involved in the trafficking (the woman who got paid to drive the prostitute across the border in Tijuana) and were paying customers as well.

    I would’ve been interested getting a sense of how aware the average Korean American is about the size of this sex industry within their community here in the U.S. and whether the community as whole is facilitating, opposing, or entirely ignoring what’s going on. I know anecdotally K-A’s who are doing each of these 3, but have yet to get a sense of how people feel across the community, which I felt would’ve been a useful part of the article.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    How many Italians are involved with Mafia? 1%, 5%, 10%? My guess is less than 0.1%.

    Yet, other people are tend to think about 5-10%. Perception is made by media. And, for the people who have no contact with Italians, Koreans for example, would think nearly all Italians are Mafias.

    The same thing about Korean prostitutes. Media like to sensationalize the issue and will not stop till the majority of Americans think Korean women are all prostitutes.

    KAs should stop this process. Not by studying prostitution in KA community (which is less than 0.1% as I stated) but by directing the media to the right direction.

    Yes, it takes money and political influence. KAs do not have much either. So, just grin and take it?

    Each KA has an obligation to put correct image about Korea. Downplay the negatives like this prostitution problem and accentuate the positives. Each one of us has to do this. Our immediate welfare and our children’s future in America depend on it.

  • bluejives

    Whatever the motives that the writers and editors of the SF Chronicle had for publishing this feature, I believe in the final analysis it’s for a good cause.

    The KA community is notorious for being a callous, apathetic, self-serving lot when it comes to issues such as these. ESPECIALLY the self-righteous, church-going, han-in jang-noh kyo-wheh set who come to church more for socialization rather than true worship and to tithe regularly expecting that God will bless them and reward them by making their dry-cleaning or japagagae businesses successful. The modern Pharisees of the Korean Presbyterian Church would be outraged and blatently scornful if one of these prostitutes stepped foot withing the sanctuary. Christ did not come for the healthy, He came for the sick. He reached out to the outcast, the marginalized, the weak, the prostitutes, widows, children.

    The 1-gen KA Christian religious community is simply sycretized Confucianism wrapped up in a Christian wrapper. More concerned about money, their businesses, successes and saving face rather than what is going on within their own communities. Go to any fucking Korean church and take a good look at the parking lot. Mercedes, BMWs, Lexus…is this a church or a damn country club?!?

  • iheartblueballs

    Thank you cobra III. Your fresh contribution to the thread involved displaying your inability to differentiate between “your” and “you’re.” followed up by your keen insight into the incorrect usage of “their” and “they’re.”

    Thank god we’ve all been illuminated by your 3rd grade grammar and 2nd grade analysis. Do tell your hagwon teacher to go over that chapter again. The only thing more boring than a holier-than-thou armchair psychoanalyst is one who can’t string a sentence together.

  • http://x85130c4.spaces.live.com/ Mark

    Bluejives, all I’ve got to say is a hearty “Hear, hear!” Glad to see that I’m not the only one who got that impression from Korean churches in the States. My wife and I tried two in the Fayetteville, NC area, and they both disgusted us so much that we never tried another. Hell, half of the congregation seem to be traffickers themselves…might as well be the Korean Chamber of Commerce.

  • seouldout

    Baduk vs. other kyopos has been a rather insightful read. Let’s see, any kyopo whose opinion differs from Baduk’s is 1) a Caucasion, 2) a banana, 3) spy or a saboteur, 4) insincere, 5) mentally-damaged, and 6) brainwashed, and who hold “contempt for other Koreans” and are “serving white supremacist in detriment of your own kind.”

    Each KA has an obligation to put correct image about Korea.

    My understanding of Baduk’s hatred of Kim Jong-Il has changed. It’s not because The Dear Leader runs a beastly show. It’s a hatred based on envy. Kim Jong-Il has what Baduk wants: the unquestioned authority to define Koreaness…to Koreans.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Cherished Crazy Cat.

    Let’s all give him a big sieg heil.

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    bluejives,

    I guess you have not noticed but America is a Christian country. One religion, the Christianity, has been the main strength of the US. I can be in immediate friendly terms with any American(white, black, hispanic, Asian, indian, etc) who professes his/her belief in the Biblical Christianity. Immediate trust and comradeship! One big brotherhood.

    This is America. And, this is what it means to be an American. Faith in Jesus Christ. I know some of you may object my assertion but you must recognize the influence of Christianity in the US.

    KAs are mostly Christian and some came to the US because of their belief in Bible. They correctly recognized the US to be a Christian country and they came to join a Christian country.

    I guess you have problem with that. I understand that there are hypocrates and money-worshippers in Christian churches. Yet, you must acknowledge that there are many good Korean Christians. They work hard at honest occupation, tithe, teach at church and help out the poor in the community.

    What is wrong with that?

    90% of KAs are examples of model minority. Why diss them? For what reason? Because you didn’t like your parents? You are only hurting yourself and your future offsprings; you are sabotizing your own future. If you are bent on self-destruction, just do it on yourself. Do not do harm on other KAs.

  • Haisan

    Bluejives’ comments in #52 were spot on.

  • Cobra III

    Hmmm…so I mistakenly used “your” when I should have used
    “you’re” and “there” instead of “they’re” and iheartblueballs jumps to the conclusion that this indicates my inability to compose a sentence. Okay, to each their own. However, I would add that this isn’t nearly as annoying as iheartblueballs liberal habit of inserting needless commas. I would remind iheartblueballs that this only goes to underscore just how petty and shallow he and his ilk truely are.

    And also, “psychoanalyst”? If I have an inability to compose a sentence then it’s clear that iheartblueballs lacks in the reading comprehension department. Could the gentleman please point to one instance where I attempted to splice and dice his psyche? Sorry, there isn’t really all that much to dissect given how one-dimensional and obvious everything he says is.

    Finally, “2nd grade analysis”? Fair enough. The criticism was directed at you and I shouldn’t expect you of all people to take it honorably. But please, could you show me where I was wrong in my line of reasoning? Did I make some wrong assumptions? If you could I’d be more open to your viewpoint. That being not the case, I’m going to go on assuming that my argument had merit and conclude that you haven’t got anything useful to say. But then again, this is a road we’ve gone down before.

  • iheartblueballs

    If you’re going to sit atop your throne and criticize other people as uninteresting, uninsightful, and boring, then I would assume you’d be under pressure to overwhelm the rest of us with something fantastically fresh and blazingly insightful of your own on this topic. So go ahead cobra, overwhelm us.

    Given your supreme judgment on what constitutes wit and wisdom, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to lay down a trail of interesting, fresh, and insightful comments on this topic that will undoubtedly leave the rest of us breathless.

    I’m personally looking forward to someone who will enthrall us with insight, while leaving out the psychological and emotional baggage that other, less interesting commenters always seem to drag with them.

    Here’s your chance killer. Put, up, or, shut, up.,

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’d ask commenters to play nice if I thought anyone would listen…

  • kpmsprtd

    Legalize prostitution; problem solved. There are no such stories coming out of counties in Nevada where prostitution is legal.

    Furthermore, at the risk of seeming cruel, young Miss Yumi knew exactly what she was getting into. She was desperate and she took the plunge. I do not pretend to be any better than her. I’m over 50K USD in debt to The Man, and I would seriously consider putting up with a similar deal for five months in order to achieve financial freedom. (Condoms required, of course, like they ALWAYS are in the massage parlors. For the record, most won’t even let you use quality condoms that you bring in yourself. You have to use their multi-layered latex ones.)

    For those who want to believe the fairy tale ending of the story as presented, go ahead. I’ve got my own likely ending. Yumi still spends money compulsively. Marriage ends within a couple of years. Yumi needs money, knows how to make it, and goes back to the massage parlor. Don’t get me wrong. I’m rooting for the happy ending too–for Yumi, her knight in shining armor, and myself.

    In fact, a guy I met in a bar downtown has invited me to Korea. He has a job lined up for me as an actor in crime movies. The first one we’re going to film is called The Gentleman Bandit. I have to dress up in a suit and tie because he says that nobody is suspicious of a well-dressed foreigner. The concept is John Dillinger of the East, or something like that. He’s going to send me around to banks with a toy gun, and bank tellers who are actually actresses, are going to hand over cash. Then I’m supposed to make a mad dash for the getaway car.

    When he was telling me about it, it almost sounded like we were going to be robbing banks for real, so I asked him about it:
    “Are you sure we’re not going to be doing anything illegal?”
    “No. No,” he comforted me. “These are just movies that I film with my concealed camera so as to make them seem more realistic. We wouldn’t really rob a bank. That wouldn’t be nice. And you seem like such a nice young man. I’m sure you’re going to be a great foreigner actor.”

    Well, my head did swell up with pride. I’m leaving in just a few days, and I can’t even sleep I’m so excited. This is my lucky break.

  • http://sungnyemun.org/wordpress/ dda

    And just for future reference should you pen any more hypothetical conversations involving the U.S. defense secretary, Rummy was a Navy pilot.

    Marmot beat me to it by a mile. But I also wanted to ask: what about you, nuljerk? Did you serve?

  • Zonath

    I think there should be an honor system about using Korean-sounding name as an id.

    I believe H.Kim is a Caucasian. The same is true for WonJoon Choi. Either there are extreme bananas(Koreans who wanna be white so bad that they start attacking other Koreans or Korean culture) or whites/blacks who pretend to be Koreans. I believe they are the latter.

    Jesus Baduk, you’re practically an Amos-and-Andy-style characature of Korean-Americans yourself, what with the frequent misspellings, rabid x-tianity, and so forth… Let’s not start casting aspersions on other peoples’ characters now.