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Anti-English Spectrum Dude on ATEK Petition

Another cornerstone of Korea’s progressive press — this time the Kyunghyang Shinmun — gave space to Lee Eun-ung of “Citizens Group or Proper English Education” (or “Citizens Movement to Expel Illegal English Teachers”) in the recent issue of its weekly magazine. Here, Lee talks about ATEK’s petition to the Human Rights Commission… and about how we need to keep all these drug-addled, disease-infected foreign penises out of our women.

OK, he didn’t put it exactly that way. But as always, his chief concern is never far from the surface.

Nice photo of that Daejeon creep, too. Great shirt.

‘Are Drug Tests for Foreign Teachers Discrimination?’
Weekly Kyunghyang, Feb 24, 2009

Last March, 2am. An officetel in Ilsan, Gyeonggi-do. The foreign teachers began to gather. This was to smoke pot they’d bought through a broker they met at a bar in Ilsan. This writer and others, having gotten intel that foreign teachers in the area were planning to restart smoking pot as soon as cannabis was excluded from the medical exam they needed to submit to get E-2 visas, followed them for about 150 days in order to secure concrete evidence. Ultimately, the foreigners we caught this day faced the judgment of the law and were deported.

Foreign Teacher Group’s ‘Equal Checks for All’ Campaign

The opportunity to create the “Citizens Movement to Expel Illegal English Teachers” was a January 2005 post at an online foreign teacher community. Many people were outraged not only at the lewd clubs in front of Hongik University that degraded Korean women, but also sexual assaults by foreign teachers on middle school girls. We voluntarily formed our group so that at least our children would not be exposed to such unqualified teachers. Afterwards, we carried out activities to deport these unqualified teachers, such as seeking legislations and providing tip to relevant institutions. As a result of these efforts, more than 90 unqualified teachers have faced justice.

Another fruit is that in 2007, health checks (venereal diseases, drugs) and criminal checks were included in the immigration enforcement ordinance to get E-2 visas.

Recently, foreign English teachers have petitioned the National Human Rights Commission, claiming the drug and AIDS tests are discrimination based on nationality. The petitioning body is the Association for Teachers for English in Korea (ATEK). On their homepage, they are conducting a campaign themed, “Equal Checks for All!” According to media reports, the association’s goal is to improve the quality of all English teachers and to better protect all Korean students, and the best method to accomplish this goal was for equal checks to be carried out. While petitioning the Korean Human Rights Commission, they are also petitioning the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and encouraging their members to post protests against discrimination to the National Human Rights Commission through the ATEK homepage.

Their claim of discrimination based on nationality appears reasonable at first glance. According to Paragraph 4 of Article 4 of the current National Human Rights Commission Law, section on “discrimination” is stipulated as the following 14: “sex, religion, handicap, age, social status, place of birth (refers to place of birth, place of registration or primary place where one lived prior to reaching the age of majority), nation of birth, ethnicity, psychical conditions such as looks, marriage status (single, married, separated, divorced, widowed, remarried, common-law marriage), pregnancy or birth, family form or family situation, race, skin color, ideology or political opinions, criminal records in which the validity of the sentence has been voided, sexual orientation, education, and medical history.

In particular, concerning employment, the National Human Rights Commission Law defined the act of favoring, excluding, classifying or disadvantaging particular people in employment (including recruiting, hiring, training, deploying, promoting, wages and other articles, wage advances and retirement) as discrimination.

Are AIDS and drug tests for foreign teachers discrimination that run counter to human right? As we’ve conducted activities to expel illegal English teachers, we’ve discovered that it isn’t. According to the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS (Marmot’s Note: I think this is this group they are referring to), about 60 nations worldwide conduct AIDS tests on foreigners, depending on the visa. Foreign teachers with AIDS have actually been confirmed, too.

In spring of 2007, our group received a tip from a woman who wanted help. A teacher from Australia threatened her, saying he’d had sex without a condom in southeast Asia and she should be careful of AIDS, too. The tip also said the teacher was loitering around her place, trying to terrify her. After this writer and others pursued him with the cooperation of relevant authorities, he was finally arrested by police in the capital region after living at a guest house in Seoul. It was learned that the teacher had before been fired for molesting a child and had been added to the Korea English Teacher Recruitment Association (KETRA) blacklist.

In early 2007, we got a tip about an American teacher who, while hiding his status as a married man, had approached a woman and had sex with her. This American teacher was teaching children at an educational facility in Gyeongsangnam-do. When we began to pursue him, he fled to the United States; it was later revealed that the female victim had contracted a venereal disease. It was also later revealed that 80% of the counseled at an AIDS counseling center in Itaewon were foreign white collar workers and English teachers. Scandals related to corrupt sexual relations with some unqualified foreign teachers are already widely known.

The same goes for the drug tests. According to the job classification of total drug offenses reported by the Korea Customs Service, 22 of 225 — that is, one in 10 — were foreign teachers. The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, too, in its white paper on drugs, pointed out that foreign teachers were smuggling in new kinds of drugs. In its white paper, the SPO said the reason for the increase in drug crimes by foreigners from the United States and Canada was the inflow of English teachers. In the case of the foreign teachers caught in southern Gyeonggi-do, they were caught growing and sharing pot in their home, which was equipped with a heater and other equipment. In August 2008, this writer personally witnessed in Itaewon foreign teachers trading cannabis resin for cash, too.

You Must First Take Own Actions Against Unqualified Teachers

In some quarters, they claim that only some teachers are drug offenders or criminals, but making tests of these kinds mandatory could plant stereotypes by making it the problem of all teachers. But when we look at the examples uncovered, statistics, and drug crimes committed by foreign teachers, the National Human Rights Commission petition protesting drug testing will have a tough time earning the agreement of the bulk of Korean citizens.

We are not taking issue with the English teachers’ petition itself. This is because unqualified foreign teachers provided the reason for the execution of AIDS tests and drug tests. More than anything, we have a duty to lessen the insecurity of school parents who entrust their children to foreign teachers. Only if foreign teachers, sensing the stinging glances of Korean citizens, formulate their own measures to eradicate illegal teachers will their petition earn the agreement of many Koreans.

The claim of discrimination also runs counter to the recent domestic opinion calling for foreign teacher credentials to be strictly qualified. Choe Yeong-hui, a Democratic Party lawmaker, said a bill is being prepared to include crimes committed by foreign teachers while in Korea when they seek employment (Marmot’s Note: It wasn’t included before?). The petition submitted by ATEK is reportedly being handled by the National Human Rights Commission’s migrant rights team. According to the Commission’s internal regulations, when a petition is raised, an investigation must me competed within three months, and responsible institutions are advised in accordance with decisions by the pertinent committee, such as the Subcommittee on Discrimination. We hope for a prudent decision by the Human Rights Committee.

Lee Eun-ung (Administrator of ‘Citizens Movement to Expel Illegal English Teachers’)

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

  • Scipio

    Glad I’m in Japan.

    While we might get a lot of flak from the government – when the National Police Agency wants to increase its budget, it brings out a lot of bogus figures on the increase in foreign crime or when the government needs to experiment with the idea of creating a national data base, it uses foreigners as the guinea pigs under the guise of stopping ‘foreign terrorism’ – the Japanese people generally leave us alone, no matter what their personal prejudices are.

    Korea seems to have all its warts and all out there for the world to see and I’d be embarrassed, if I were a Korean, by this man and his group’s actions.

  • R. Elgin

    If foreign teachers should be tested for drugs and AIDS, then ALL teachers, Korean or foreign should be tested “to lessen the insecurity of school parents who entrust their children to” any teacher in Korea.

    I would not consider this Lee Eun-ung someone I would willingly invite into my home either. I do not care for bigots of any color.

  • NetizenKim

    If it’s OK to assume that young Korean women who arrive at US immigrations in wheelchairs are prostitutes then why is it not OK to assume that Engrish teachers are diseased druggies?

  • dude1

    #2 Let’s not kid ourselves here, I’ve got tons of white friends here, and basically 75% of them are pot smoking, college dropouts. My friend also works in the Korean consulate approving E2 visas. You wouldn’t believe the idiots who apply to come here. If these regulations weren’t in place, you’d have more “losers back home” coming to Korea to get wasted.

    Seriously, for all the white guys out there? Why the hell did you come here anyway? No white person with a good life back home, a girlfriend and solid future comes here. It doesn’t make sense… And if you HAD to come to Asia, why not pick Japan? The truth is most, but not all, white guys here come here… then stay here… because you’re fucking kings in Korea. Back home, you guys are nothing… And don’t deny it, everyone knows it’s true. I don’t blame you for staying here either… If I was white (I’m gyopo), I would do the exact same thing. So I’m not jealous or anything. But it gets me upset when white people try to pretend its not true… It’s cool that you’re here… But Jesus, just recognize the reality of your situation, and that you’re nothing back home.

    Yeah, all Korean teachers should be tested too… If you’re a teacher. However, I don’t think getting F4 visas tested is good. I’m not a teacher, so that doesn’t make sense.

    Koreans aren’t stupid, despite what most posters here think. They know the reality: that most white people coming here are losers and need testing. But, they also need the native speakers… So they need you for English… And you need them to feel good about yourself and not be a loser anymore… ha

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    (I’m gyopo)

    You don’t say?

  • http://erikorea.blogspot.com ecorn

    Dude 1 – I do hope you’re being sarcastic.

    I, for one, left a solid job in the US and came to Korea to experience living in Asia before I got tied down with a family. After teaching for a year, I decided I like Korea and decided to stay, but got a non-teaching job. If you’d like to call me a loser to my face, I’m happy to arrange a meeting.

    As for the article, two parts are especially interesting to me:

    It was also later revealed that 80% of the counseled at an AIDS counseling center in Itaewon were foreign white collar workers and English teachers. Scandals related to corrupt sexual relations with some unqualified foreign teachers are already widely known.

    First, what’s the source for the 80% figure. Second, going to an AIDS clinic doesn’t mean you have AIDS. Third, what are corrupt sexual relations, exactly? Sounds painful.

    I also enjoyed this:

    Only if foreign teachers, sensing the stinging glances of Korean citizens, formulate their own measures to eradicate illegal teachers will their petition earn the agreement of many Koreans.

    That’s the spirit, treat everyone who isn’t Korean like shit until every last one of them starts acting like an upstanding member of society. Korea is well on its way to becoming the hub of Northeast Asia!

  • exit86

    Dude1:
    Why can’t you just realize that gyopos have serious issues that they never seem to be able to work through?????
    Why can’t you just admit that US gyopos are total fence-sitters who want to be Korean when the situation is fitting, and American whenever the situation calls for it????
    Why can’t you just understand that gyopos don’t know who the heck they are??????? Why can’t you just admit that gyopos love coming to Korea for all the lovin???? You know that gyopos are an easy ticket out of this place for lonely Korean ladies looking for marriage; why can’t you admit that gyopos totally take advantage of this????
    Why can’t you just say that gyopos love Korea because they can live like kings and porn stars in this place????? Why can’t you just admit that gyopos get p’od at non-gyopo non-Korean teachers because they themselves are making sweet coin as English teachers and don’t want any competition??????

    Dude1: Wow! How ignorant and bigoted this sounds!!! How does it feel to be stereotyped, classified, and judged????????

    Knob.

  • http://www.jdlink.co.kr Linkd

    If I may ask: Why are you here, dude1? (Physically here in Korea, that is, not virtually here in this blog.)

  • jdog2050

    The thing is, this guy has the “truthy” arguments that Koreans love. His assertions are easily batted down, but as foreigners the opportunity to do this in a medium that Koreans actually pay attention to will be rare.

  • http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com Brian D

    This guy is trash, as is his whole organization, but *sigh* he does make a good point that ATEK or whomever should take steps to “formulate their own measures to eradicate illegal teachers” and not simply assume we’re all gentlemen and scholars. I mean, have you ever been to Itaewon? There are lots of douchebags among us. And, yeah, the potheads, the losers, and the half-assed “teachers” make the rest of us look terrible. (Doesn’t help that the media isn’t very discerning, but whatever). If we want our industry to be more professional—as much as that’s even possible—we also have to do our part to act it.

    But, and a very big but . . . isn’t it immigration’s job to keep the illegal teachers out? Would you have us hunt down and turn in the teachers we know to have tourist visas or private lessons? (I know the answer to that). The issues of illegal teachers and interracial relationships *cough* have nothing to do with what ATEK’s trying to do.

    By pursuing the teachers rather than the incompetent immigration officers or the unscrupulous school owners who continue to hire any white guy with a pulse, we’ll continue to call this group out for its racism and hatred.

  • mechyotda

    “I’ve got tons of white friends here, and basically 75% of them are pot smoking, college dropouts.”

    Who a person’s friends are says a lot about that person.

  • uno

    I very rarely comment here, but I can’t really believe that a post like dude1′s was actually written here. I’ve read some pretty bad ones, but this has to be one or the most bigoted ever! Imagine this message being written in North America: Each instance where the race “white” was replaced with another immigrant minority, and “Korea” was replaced with “the U.S.A.”, there would be a nice shiny spot on the Klan’s website for this piece of racist diatribe. I think everyone acknowledges there are bad foreigners in Korea, but there are also bad Koreans in Korea too! It’s too bad anyone has to read self-righteous garbage like this.

  • R. Elgin

    Well, “dude”, I meet some people here who teach and though some are not nice people, most are competent and some very nice, articulate and intelligent enough not to make the faulty observations that you make herein.

    Personally, I would prefer hearing a thoughtful comment rather than hearing that you are a “gyopo”.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I’ve copyrighted the word “douchebag” when it pertains to foreign teachers. Every time you use it, you must pay me 5,000 won :)

  • Ladron

    I’ve got tons of white friends here, and basically 75% of them are pot smoking, college dropouts.

    I’m sure your “friends” love the fact that you secretly hate them. I’m pretty sure you’re ecstatic that there’s no drug test for F4 visa holders seeing how you’re mostly likely right there with them Phelpsing the night away.

    Too bad they don’t sell Doritos here, eh?

  • http://ghosttreemedia.com hoju_saram

    I was thinking the same thing as Ladron and mechyotda; I wonder, dude1, do your “friends” know you hold them in such low esteem?

    Anyway, this also caught my attention:

    Koreans aren’t stupid, despite what most posters here think. They know the reality: that most white people coming here are losers and need testing. But, they also need the native speakers…

    Kind of jives with a passage quoted over at Brian D’s blog from an old book titled Korean Patterns (thanks Brian):

    The Westerner working in Korea needs to keep certain philosophic principles in mind. First, a Westerner can never become a Korean. He will never be completely accepted by Koreans as a “person.” He may be accepted by a small group of people who look to him for leadership or benefits.

    (emphasis mine)

    See any parallels?

    The biggest irony here is that while Koreans are doing their best to keep out the lowest western denominator, the way in which they’re going about it, and the associated demagoguery that goes along it, serves only to dissuade better teachers from coming, and good teachers from staying.

    I don’t really think ATEK knows what they’ve got themselves into. The right to be treated equally is a western ideal, not a Korean one; as Dude1 and NetKim and Lee Eung-ung clearly show, bigotry and taxonomy are here to stay; big-nose may as well try to shift Jiri-San on its foundations as expect to be able to defeat 편견 or be treated the same as the locals.

  • hamel

    to the dude1 and all gyopo/local Koreans (including author of linked focus article): now is probably a good time and place to link to this recent column in the Korea Times. I found it quite thoughtful: http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2009/02/137_39640.html

    ecorn: hi! next time i see you i will be sure to call you a loser to your face. [grin]

    Netizen Kim: I fought against just such an assumption in the other thread. Go check it. My question to you is this: why does it seem that you only ever argue “if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander” in the negative sense (e.g. we suffer shit so you should suffer it too) and never in the positive sense (e.g. we fight for better treatment so you can too)?

    To the issue: I am a white man foreigner on an F-5 (permanent resident) visa in Korea. I do not teach children, but if I did, I would not object at all to drug testing and criminal background checks. When I first arrived here I remember thinking with sadness how this country could easily become a haven for kiddie fiddlers. If I had kids I would want all people who worked at his/her school to be background-checked – visa status or nationality regardless.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    I’ve got tons of white friends here, and basically 75% of them are pot smoking, college dropouts

    This says more about your judgement in choosing friends than in the friends themselves. Only a loser would choose to hang out with and be friends with such a large amount of other losers.

    Birds of a feather, and all that.

  • Granfalloon

    This article further supports my long-standing theory that Lee Eung-ung is a total asshole.

  • madar

    It is up to the hogwan’s to police the quality of teachers, not the teaching community itself. It they weren’t so worried about how propaganda effects the bottom line, (the white face), and even a bit concerned about the quality of education, most of these “nefarious” English teachers would be gone.

  • misuda

    Being a girl, I agree with uno. The above post by dude1 is one of the most vile posts I have seen on this website and deserves to be criticized as such. I have been working in Korea for 5 years and have met many diligent, mature males from ALL english speaking countries. I can’t believe I’m responing to it, but I don’t believe his comment should be left unchallenged. And no, I am not a male fucking machine and I do not smoke pot. It is a myth that white guys are over here screwing around any more than anyone else.
    Argh, people like Dude1 make me so angry….

  • John from Daejeon

    With the falling won, I hope you don’t plan on becoming rich.

  • r.rac

    so many points to argue here as long term e2 holder (ive been here on and off since 1996)

    1) regarding immigration rules, i think atek is off base here on it being a human rights issue, as visitors here, korea as a sovereign nation can decide who they want in and out. arab countires keeps holders of isreali passports out and nobody gripes at that (exception of the recent tennis tournamnet) I got no problem with this or drug/hiv tests for ALL visa apps, again my problem here is the lack of consistency. i get sick of the argument “its legal or pretty much legal in canada why should i be kicked out because i did it there” crap. remember the korean who blogged about doing weed in amsterdam and got busted here because korean law applies to koreans overseas? yeah it sucks for that but it is in their realm of law

    2) the problem becomes though is with the inconsistency with policies for various visas. the korean govt needs to pull its head out of its ass in believing that only holders of e2 visas are possible criminals, cpn didnt have an e2 he was on an e7, the guy in daejeon was on an e1. this where i think atek should of focused its energies. however i dont think korean immig would even listen to this solution coming from a foreigner or a foreign group

    3) the solution then is and there are going to be some people mighty pissed at me for saying this is that there needs to be a seperate teaching visa class for childrens teachers or for people on f visas who teach children to have a crim check done before immig or whoever gives its approval. heck in some parts of the states you cant even get into a park where a youth sports league is playing without passing a background check. maybe then still have the e1 for tenure track profs then an e3 for non-tenure track univ and adult hogwon (i havent figured out what to do about the unigwons that teach kiddie classes)

    atek had the right idea just the wrong way of getting it implemented. i’m not even say what i think about Mr Lee’s comments, hes as much a part of the problem as the rest

    rant over

  • babotaengi

    No, Racoon, they should just test/check anyone who is teaching kids. It should be an MoE issue, not an immigration one (no clean drug/vd/criminal check, no job, no immigration problem). That way there won’t be the doubtless 1000′s of Koreans molesting their students out there anymore. Just kidding! We all know they don’t actually charge, much less convict, Korean pedophile teachers here, so they’ll still be free to run amuck while the parents of the children they are abusing are giving us their “stinging glances”. Hahaha. Koreans. So cute.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    regarding point 3, there is no reason to create yet another visa.

    1) if the point is to protect children, then this should be a ministry of education issue, not immigration. the MoE should require ALL teachers of children (Korea, foreign, F2, F4, F5, public school, and hogwons all) to be checked. PROTECTING THE CHILDREN IS NOT AN IMMIGRATION ISSUE. “Protecting the children” is the entire argument Immigration has used as the impetus for the new checks… they can’t “protect the children” by excluding large groups of teachers from the checks.

    2) if immigration wishes to require foreign workers to submit the various checks, that’s their prerogative and right to do so, but come on… let’s be consistent and require it for ALL work visas and not just one small segment of foreigners that are cool to demonize (this is currently being addressed by Congress right now)

  • gbevers

    Here is my proposal.

    I think every adult, Korean and foreigner, should be regularly tested for HIV and tuberculosis (TB) and have their test results certified. If people know they are infected, then they could take preventive measures.

    Also, if two people are considering having an intimate relationship, they could ask to see each other’s health certificates. If one of them refused to show his or her certificate or claimed he or she left it at home, then the other people could choose to find another partner.

    Likewise, if students are concerned that they may somehow get HIV or TB from their teachers, then the students or their parents could ask to see their teachers’ health certificates. If a teacher refused to show it, then the student could choose to study with another teacher or study at another school.

    I paid only 20,000 won for a chest exam and an AIDS test in Korea. That is cheap enough that almost every adult could afford to do it every couple of years.

  • R. Elgin

    “if students are concerned that they may somehow get HIV from their teachers”, then they should not be screwing them or sharing needles when they shoot-up drugs. The whole idea of getting HIV from teachers is like the notion of getting mad cow disease from using a tampon. It is a sign of scientific ignorance.

  • JW

    The whole idea of getting HIV from teachers is like the notion of getting mad cow disease from using a tampon.

    Uh…

  • gbevers

    That’s a bad example, Elgin. I have heard you CAN get mad cow disease from a tampon.

  • JW

    Ohhh, I get it, so it’s like teacher = tampon. Damn, that took a while. Elgin, your sophisticated abstractions are too much for me.

  • NetizenKim

    #16 1) if the point is to protect children, then this should be a ministry of education issue, not immigration. the MoE should require ALL teachers of children (Korea, foreign, F2, F4, F5, public school, and hogwons all) to be checked. PROTECTING THE CHILDREN IS NOT AN IMMIGRATION ISSUE. “Protecting the children” is the entire argument Immigration has used as the impetus for the new checks… they can’t “protect the children” by excluding large groups of teachers from the checks.

    I keep hearing this a lot: “test both Koreans and expats alike”.

    Two problems with this:

    1.It presupposes that a native teacher and the expat teacher are equivalent creatures. They are not. I don’t think I have to spell out in excruciating detail why this is so. But the typical expat in Korea considers himself as some kind of an iconoclast, perhaps a “rebel” or a “maverick” and takes special pride in non-conformity in contrast to conventional Korean social mores. Compare that to the average Korean. Which one do you suppose is more likely to be, say, a pothead? The answer is quite obvious.

    2. A new bureaucracy is needed in order to implement such a policy. This means more bureaucrats and additional expense coming out of taxpayer’s money. Not gonna happen. The Koreans will apply the drug/disease testing regimen to the areas where it is most severe.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    Whose more likely to use pot? The foreigners, as you say.

    However, who’s more likely to have those awful sexually transmitted diseases? With all the barber pole action in this country, it’s the Koreans.

    So, again if all this is to “protect the children” as they keep saying over and over, how are they protected if only 20,000 teachers are tested (drugs, HIV) and checked (criminal records) and the other 100,000+ go untested and unchecked?

    No need for a new bureaucracy to oversee the policy. One ALREADY exists to implement it for current public school teachers. Public school teachers are tested and checked (Korean, foreign, e2, f2, f4, and f5 all), why are hagwons exempt? Test and check them, too. If not, then there has to be a new justification for the E2 requirements because “protecting the children” isn’t it.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    And who is more likely to beat their students? That answer is pretty obvious, too.

    But it’s the foreigners they need to be protected against.

  • NetizenKim

    I don’t think physical discipline is a problem.

    We can surely use some of that here in the States, where in many places teachers are in fear of the students.

  • NetizenKim

    I will allow that the battle-cry of “protecting the children” is probably mostly fiction because whenever some group claims that, it’s usually bullshit.

    However, you must admit that your own concern is not really about the children either, as that of most expats whining about being tested for drugs/diseases. If you have nothing to hide, why worry? To paraphrase Hamlet: “The expat doth protest too much, methinks.”

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I couldn’t agree more. I don’t hang out with losers back home, so why would I do the same here?

    Birds of a feather indeed…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Is anyone stupid enough to be fooled by these numbers? 80%? If anything, it shows that the clinic caters to foreigners who can’t speak Korean very well.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    He came to party with his loser white friends. ;)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    1) Yes, exactly. Besides, given that the same argument is used to enforce censorship, I highly doubt it’s about ‘protecting the children’.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    We aren’t talking about rapping the students’ knuckles with a ruler like they used to do up until 40 years or so ago, you know.

    I used to teach at a high school here in Korea. One of the Korean English teachers told me that he once punched a student in the chest. The kid was standing there when he told me. He couldn’t have weighed more than 97 pounds.

    Besides, if you want to discuss the safety of kids, then you can’t honestly do so without mentioning alcoholism. Oh, but that’s not the same, right?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Nah, man. You don’t get it. You judge a democracy by the way it treats its minorities.

    I have the right to vote here. This is my home. That’s why I’m concerned by it.

  • Zonath

    You do have to wonder what, if anything, that 80% figure is supposed to ‘prove’, seeing as the clinic referenced is 1) in Itaewon, favorite hangout and central meeting area for ‘degenerate foreigners’ of all stripes, and 2) in Korea, where the social stigmas against both STDs and receiving mental health assistance of any kind are pretty pervasive. But then again, this guy seems to be his own worst spokesperson, what with the pervasive non-sequiturs and the otherwise shoddy rationalizations for his group’s actions…

  • GyopoTim

    Dude1, WTF…

  • Granfalloon

    What I find most forehead-slappingly frustrating about the link between teachers and AIDS is not that’s it’s blatantly false, but that it’s actually driving the spread of AIDS in Korea. AIDS spread like wildfire for a while in America because people believed it was a disease of the “other.” Mainstream Americans believed it was a “gay” disease, and hetero folks need not worry about it. Hence, it skyrocketed. In wasn’t until people realized that it was most certainly not “a gay thing” that the spread began to abate. Korea is doing the same thing. As long as Korean believe that AIDS is “a foreign thing,” AIDS cases in Korea will continue to increase.

    Assholes like Lee Eun-ung actually help spread AIDS in Korea by painting it as a disease of foreigners. Asshole.

  • R. Elgin

    Both of you people are pathetic trolls.

    During the demos, some middle-school students made this outrageous claim, that one could literally get BSE from by-products that were contaminated with the prion.

    Please go out and quit posting.

  • JW

    According to below site on AIDS information, rate of new HIV infections compared to year before has been on downhill climb since 2001. They are apparently doing something right, or else incredibly lucky. Of course, the absolute number of HIV/AIDS cases in Korea is relatively minuscule.

    I have to ask you, are you even capable of reading in Korean to be able to find out if Koreans have been doing anything about whatever problems that you are so eager to dress them up with?

    http://www.aidsinfo.or.kr/Board/Html/Infor_02.html

  • R. Elgin

    You — “netizen” — are dead wrong and should read up on this issue.

    I have seen with my own eyes an eight-year-old child come home from school with a blackened, purple nose because the teacher thought they needed to use physical abuse upon the child. Most Americans know if such had happened back in the states, the teacher would face disciplinary action from their administration or arrest by the police.

    Though violence is a problem in some school districts in the states (like Prince Georges County, outside of DC, for example) the rate of violence in Korean schools has been increasing. Note: I linked to *only* once source.

  • JW

    BTW, I have to chuckle when people want to say that there is a serious STD problem in Korea. Here is watertight proof showing that STD is most definitely NOT a problem. I have a cousin in Korea who visits prostitutes like it’s his favorite pasttime (as I’m sure alot of men in Korea do). I’ve always wondered how it can possibly be that they do not worry about infections spreading to them. Their response? There is no STD problem in Korea. These guys are the ones that put their health at risk for some elective fun. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t believe them.

  • http://ghosttreemedia.com hoju_saram

    1.It presupposes that a native teacher and the expat teacher are equivalent creatures. They are not. I don’t think I have to spell out in excruciating detail why this is so. But the typical expat in Korea considers himself as some kind of an iconoclast, perhaps a “rebel” or a “maverick” and takes special pride in non-conformity in contrast to conventional Korean social mores. Compare that to the average Korean. Which one do you suppose is more likely to be, say, a pothead? The answer is quite obvious.

    And what about gyopos? The screening clearly distinguishes between white foreigners and korean foreigners.

    Are you seriously trying to tell me that your average big-nose is more likely to smoke pot than your average LA gyopo? Or more likely to act the rebel/maverick?

    The problem here is that the rules distinguish who is bad and who is good by blood, not by the particulars of their upbringing.

  • JW

    Come on hoju, that’s not good enough. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this policy, (I simply don’t know enough) but if the gyopos are the real problem, then it’s fair to demand that expat teachers simply ask for gyopos to get checked also.

  • Granfalloon

    Oh, I can read Korean, all right. But to be honest, I give more weight to information from international organizations, often written in English, then I do to Korean sources that I’ve never heard of. Here are a couple of examples:

    http://www.thebody.com/content/world/art50507.html

    http://data.unaids.org/pub/Report/2008/korea_2008_country_progress_report_en.pdf

    I trust these sources more than the one you linked to. You can call that “stupidity,” or even “racism,” if you like. I prefer to call it “critical thinking.”

    All of this is actually only tangential to my point. AIDS, as the above information shows, has in fact started to level off in the past year or so, after a large increase throughout this decade (is that the “downhill climb” you referred to? I have no idea what that term means). Now, I freely admit that I have no idea what Korean children are taught about AIDS in Korean schools, so maybe I should STFU. But unless you can prove to me that the xenophobia spewed by the likes of Lee Eun-ung is actually helping the AIDS situation in Korea, then maybe you should too.

  • Scotty

    I would also hazard a guess that reported cases are the tip of teh iceberg, due to reluctance and refusal to get tested, and perhaps even downright ignorance. Add to this the growing number of Korean sex tourists to AIDS hotspots in Asia, and you’ve got a real crisis looming. So testing for all, I say!

  • JW

    Uh, the first link you posted cites the same source that my link did, a Korean source. The second link doesn’t work. And the RATE of new cases has been decreasing.

    And I won’t believe that you can read Korean until you prove it to me somehow. No way jose.

  • JW

    I resent that. I love Marmot’s Hole just as much as you hate Koreans.

    Ok, I’m just kidding. But only half-kidding.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    I don’t think physical discipline is a problem.

    Then you’ve never worked in a Korean public school.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    If you have nothing to hide, why worry? To paraphrase Hamlet: “The expat doth protest too much, methinks.”

    I don’t worry. I’ve been tested and checked for years before Immigration made them a requirement, as a condition of employment at my uni. I’ve also been fingerprinted at least 4 times by Immigration over the years, all without protest.

    Of course the cry of “protect the children” is bullshit, but as long as they insist on using it, I will insist on equal checks for all. If they want checks only for the diseased pothead bignoses, then they have stop with the “protect the children” battlecry; it’s disingenuous.

  • DLBarch

    Dude1,

    The comments section is running pretty heavily against you, bro, but you are onto something. Fair or not, the “English teacher as loser” meme is quite prevalent throughout Korea.

    I worked as an M&A attorney for one of the bigger law firms in Seoul in 2007 and 2008, and was quite surprised at how widespread the anti-English teacher sentiment was at the time, even among well-educated Korean professionals who should have had a more nuanced grasp of the diversity of the expat community in Korea. I even met expat teachers in Japan who looked down on their counterparts in Korea, and those guys really ARE losers!

    One problem I think is that there’s a tendency for foreign expats to circle the wagons when it comes to Korean criticism of the English teacher community. I actually think more foreign teachers should join efforts to better regulate the industry, if for no other reason than to have a seat at the table.

    Robert, you should also copyright the terms “loser” and “lech” when it pertains to foreign teachers. You’d make a killing even with the won in the tank!

    DLB

  • R. Elgin

    No, I only dislike the love of ignorance, regardless of who promotes such.
    I admire and have affection for far more Koreans than I dislike.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Funny that you bring this up. I wanted to copyright the word “douchebag” when it pertains to lawyers…but apparently it was already done 5 minutes after the word “lawyer” had entered the English lexicon. ;)

  • SomeguyinKorea
  • IamMagical

    Not exactly analogous. Most of this screaming is done by the left/confucian political party. Confucianist is basically synonymous with ugly mother fucker.

    Their inadequacy is heightened even more if you consider foreigners. More importantly foreigners have a 3rd point of view of everything is this simple fact is very dangerous if you want to turn Korea into a Confucian society. Honestly Koreans need to wake up and realize their own history, I feel at this point I know more about Korean history than most Koreans.

    Japan on the other hand, cannot even get their women to have sex with them on a national scale so foreigners having sex is a moot point for them. FYI Japan has ranked dead last in the Durex sex survey for 4 years in a row i believe, maybe more.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    You make it sound as if these choices are deliberate, but based on what I’ve observed, it isn’t.

    Trust me when I tell you that many English hagwon didn’t know what they were getting themselves into when they decided to open up their schools.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Not that I’m a pothead, but Doritos are sold as “Nacho” in South Korea. It’s manufactured by Orion.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    He’s just pissed that one of his white friends puffed and didn’t pass. ;)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “I actually think more foreign teachers should join efforts to better regulate the industry, if for no other reason than to have a seat at the table.”

    The government sure seems to be unwilling to let that happen with its new E2 visa regulations. It seems clear enough that they expect E2 visa applicants to come for one year and then leave.

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

    Another cornerstone of Korea’s progressive press — this time the Kyunghyang Shinmun

    Let’s not get started on how this “paper” went from a Catholic mouthpiece to a leftie rag…

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

    The Koreans will apply the drug/disease testing regimen to the areas where it is most severe.

    Or at least, head firmly planted in sand and all that, where it’s *perceived* to be severe…

  • Arghaeri

    Looks like “fucked up Dude1″.

    Not only bigoted, but somewhat unlikley stats, college dropouts generally don’t get visa’s in the first place and particularly not as E2 since 4 year degree is the minimum requirement.

  • Arghaeri

    Absolutely, the statistic is meaningless, if it only represents a clinic aimed at foreigners in the first place. Should be compared to all such clinics in korea.

  • Arghaeri

    “I mean, have you ever been to Itaewon?”

    Looks like you got part of the same broad brush problem!!

    Yes, been there, always feel safe, never been offered drugs, never suffered any mindless violence, good restuarants and bars, in parts a little unsavoury, but much less so than some other “local” areas in korea I’ve seen. Not to say these are always the case, but feel a lot safer and cleaner than areas back home, where I would never go alone without backup.

  • Arghaeri

    “I mean, have you ever been to Itaewon?”

    Looks like you got part of the same broad brush problem!!

    Yes, been there, always feel safe, never been offered drugs, never suffered any mindless violence, good restuarants and bars, in parts a little unsavoury, but much less so than some other “local” areas in korea I’ve seen. Not to say these are always the case, but feel a lot safer and cleaner than areas back home, where I would never go alone without backup.

  • Arghaeri

    No you got it back to front…you get tampons from mad cows!!!\

  • Arghaeri

    Netizen, do you actually know anything about social mores IN Korea.
    One of the main reasons my wife (a korean) disapproves of our living in korea is that I may be corrupted by the “social mores” of korea!!

  • Arghaeri

    Netizen, do you actually know anything about social mores IN Korea.
    One of the main reasons my wife (a korean) disapproves of our living in korea is that I may be corrupted by the “social mores” of korea!!

  • tinyflowers

    “I trust these sources more than the one you linked to. You can call that “stupidity,” or even “racism,” if you like. I prefer to call it “critical thinking.””

    As a compromise, how about we call you a stupid racist incapable of critical thinking?

  • Granfalloon

    I don’t think the word “compromise” means what you think it means.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “These guys are the ones that put their health at risk for some elective fun. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t believe them.”

    Mmm, sure…and all guys have 12 inch dicks.

    http://www.koreamed.org/SearchBasic.php?DT=1&RID=69943

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL_DxT2UOyo

  • aaronm

    I’m wondering where all this rage that Lee Eun ung has comes from. I’m guessing that it has to do with either feelings of inadequacy due to the size of his member, mommie issues, not being able to get a shag or a combination of the three. He probably forces himself on women too, since he seems to have such a fixation on rape and sexual assault.

  • http://www.law4u.net/winnie ●~*

    Wow, the petitions.
    ATEK is doing good jobs. ^^b

  • Dimebag Lives

    I have read some worthwhile suggestions, sound arguments, and ignorant assertions from both ends of this issue. I am personally very affected by and emotionally involved with this issue for a couple of reasons. (1)Because I’m a teacher who genuinely cares for the education and welfare of my country’s children, and (2)because I happen to be bi-racial and have plenty to say about bigotry/discrimination/racism in Korea.

    Although I’m very busy and my time is quite divided as it is, I would still like to do my part to open minds and find solutions. Many people have pointed out that Koreans tend to think and react emotionally where they should reason objectively. I wholeheartedly agree. One poster also mentioned that there is a serious lack of channels through which foreigners can rationally articulate their opinions on this matter and be heard/read by a significant audience of the Korean public. I agree with this, too.

    As a bilingual dual-citizen and freelance translator, I would love to set aside time to compile views/arguments/proposals from all of you that I may write a lengthy piece in Korean…perhaps to submit as opinion articles in Korean newspapers and magazines, or to present to the appropriate branches of the gov’t, or whatever way in which it may be useful. The point is, no matter how much sense foreigners might make (or not), they aren’t heard widely. The claims/views in the Korean media are heavily one-sided, and they’re mostly not based on dispassionate reasoning or genuine concern for the purported aims.

    I admit, I lean heavily towards agreeing with the foreign teachers’ arguments on several aspects of this multi-tangled clusterfuck of an issue, but I have no reason to dismiss the concerns that many Koreans have.

    (If you would pardon a slight digression on my personal background)I am in a unique and fairly objective position– I grew up here for most of my life under a Korean father, so I understand our traditional values and Confucian conservatism. Yet, because my mother is Brazilian, and because I was born in America and educated in an English curriculum, I can distinguish between “traditional Korean, Confucian values” and MODERN trends in Korean social “conservatism.” I put “conservatism” in quotes because what Koreans today seem to consider conservative are often traits of mere nationalism and based little if at all on older mores. An extreme example of a genuinely conservative practice– Pops raised me to never walk equally alongside an elder, but to stay to his left and a half-step behind, and also to avoid stepping on even his shadow. How fucked I was when the sun was shining down from the right and cast a shadow to my elder’s left…but the point that was instilled in me was to be ever-cautiously mindful in the presence of elders. A more moderate and universal example– Mom was always okay with me dating, but Pops insisted that I not so much as even kiss a girl until I was able to marry and provide for her, and had received her family’s approval. Most Koreans today would say this is too much, especially coming from the father of a SON, and not a daughter. Yet, when I tell them that my mother is Brazilian, they immediately assume that my father is very “liberal” “Western-minded” and “unconcerned with Confucian values.” To which my father replies, “Since when is racism and bigotry a virtue? Respecting the dearness of another parent’s daughter, taking responsibility for your family, and honoring the sanctity of your marriage vows– these are conservative values. Judging a person’s worth by the color of one’s skin? Nowhere in the Analects does Confucius advocate this!” (I now end my digression, and thank you for your patience).

    I hope these anecdotes help to suggest that I would in no way dismiss Korean customs or “take sides” with foreigners out of ignorance or lack of respect for Korean moral values. Nor would I flare up against “evil Westerners” for threatening the “moral purity” of my homeland.

    As a Korean, of course, I DO get angry when I see foreigners behaving disrespectfully and condescendingly toward their host country’s culture and people. And I shake my head in dismay when I see some of my foreign colleagues’ “teaching techniques” that amount to killing time and robbing students of their tuition. As an American and Brazilian, however, it also angers me when Koreans jump to brash generalisations about foreigners and concoct discriminatory policies based on few and isolated incidents, cultural misunderstandings, and pathological insecurities.

    Since Korea is my home and I will likely live most of my life here, and since I’m naturally concerned for my country’s future development, it is only sensible that I attack our own (Korea’s, that is) social vices, flaws, and injustices in the interest of our posterity’s social, moral, and educational flourish. I forget who I’m paraphrasing, but someone once said that a true patriot must reveal and condemn his country’s wrongs, not mask or justify them with blind nationalism. It is with this patriotic passion, and not from any antagonism towards Korea itself, that I sometimes venomously critize the hypocrisy, irrationality, racism, and moral corruption that taints my country.

    As I said near the beginning, I would welcome everyone’s thoughts/observations/insights/opinions on the this whole “foreign teacher issue,” provided that you argue your points articulately, methodically, and dispassionately. Please, if you have valid points that are worth considering, relevant facts or statistics, send me an email at: stone_lotus@hotmail.com . I will also re-read this thread from the beginning to take note of valid and persuasive points from both sides. Again, I’d like to compile as many voices as I can, so that I may arrange the strongest arguments in written Korean, and present the public at some opportunity with a dispute that must be rationally debated, and not emotionally driven. I don’t want your names or anything that you might think could become a hassle– I just want your views. Also, I don’t want impassioned rants that involve namecalling or immature accusations (like Dude1′s). Unless, of course, you want your rant to work against your stance in print.

    Of the many intertwined facets of this clusterfucked issue, here are just some that I would personally like to address, divided into four main categories, although some will inevitably overlap:

    1) educational background & legal status– adequate qualification/certification. competence as an instructor of English. economic supply/demand of “native” instructors. illegal employment practices of teachers and hagwon wonjangs. parents and private lessons.

    2) criminal background– procedures for checking. threats that foreign teachers pose to their students in terms of sexual abuse or violence. threats that foreign teachers pose to other members of Korean society. gender bias. ethnicity bias. nationality bias. crime statistics. threats that Korean public school teachers pose to students in terms of sexual abuse or violence. legal consequences. numbers of sex abuse cases reported. frequency of rape in Korea– by Koreans vs by foreigners.

    3) disease– STDs and AIDS testing. potential threats to students or other members of society. promiscuity of foreigners. promiscuity of Koreans. statistical comparisons. stereotypes. invasive procedures. incentives & deterrents to testing. prostitution abroad and in Korea. sex education abroad and in Korea. double-standards of interracial/international relationships. women’s rights. male dominance.

    4) drugs– personal history and habits. potential threats, bad influences on students or other members of Korean society. cultural differences– perceptions of drug use, harmfulness/addictiveness of various drugs. legal differences abroad and in Korea. effects on job performance. marijuana vs alcohol. subversion of local values. stringent laws.

    That’s all for now…I prefer if you email me with your thoughts (stone_lotus@hotmail.com), but I will keep an eye on this thread for more valuable insights from all of you. As well, if you have links to insightful comments, articles, etc., on other sites, please leave or send a link. I really appreciated the link to the Korea Herald article by a Korean instructor who confronted and confessed, then overcame his own misguided, subconscious prejudices. Very uncommon for a Korean, indeed.

  • Dimebag Lives

    By the way, on a somewhat minor point that nevertheless irked me:

    To those of you who categorically equate potheads with under-qualified dropouts, inarticulate morons, and deviant detriments to society….guess what? My clock always reads 4:20. ^^

    Just so you don’t form any stereotypes, aiight? ;)

  • R. Elgin

    The story about the ATEK case has made the L.A. Times. They quoted this slimebag, anti-waygook as such:

    . . . The outsiders make themselves become discriminated against,” said Yie, who declined to reveal his profession. “Foreign teachers get much more pay — and enjoy all kinds of pleasures — while better-qualified South Koreans are struggling with their unemployment.”

    This man should be sued at the very least for slander, libel and ignorance.

    Discrimination like this affects all foreigners and not just teachers since it leads to discrimination against any foreigner.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-korea-teach24-2009feb24,0,5668407.story

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #30,

    “(If you would pardon a slight digression on my personal background)”

    Actually, I’m pretty sure we used to hang out many years ago (we would have had a mutual friend).

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #31,

    http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Roll-a-Joint-by-Pierre-Berton-8047

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Berton

    Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare, Norman Mailer, Woody Harrelson, Robert Mitchum, etc, etc, etc.

  • Dimebag Lives

    #33,

    No shit? What’s the mutual friend’s name? How many years ago was this? Youg got me curious now…

  • Dimebag Lives

    #34: Awesome links, by the way. Not related to our cause at hand, but good laughs. :)

  • Uncle J

    Dear Lee Eun-ung (Administrator of ‘Citizens Movement to Expel Illegal English Teachers’). I am with you 100% on drug using foreigners, disease carriers and so on. But you must be aware and never forget that most, YES MOST (95%+) English teachers in Korea are good good people. If you can find and bust illegal teachers in Korea and you feel that it is of good service to your country man then you go for it.

    I do think that all teachers in Korea, not just foreigners should be cheacked and tested though. But overall, I agree with the testing because we are dealing with mostly young people who deserve clear headed and qualified people to be teaching them. They do not deserve a foreigner who can only just pull their hungover body out of bed to just make it to work on time and who has no idea of what today’s lessons will be about. That is not cool.

    However is it just foreigners doing the drugs or is it your millions of “I have no true identity” GYOPOS being naughty.

    Please read:

    Men Busted for Smuggling New Drugs, Selling in Itaewon, Hongdae
    by Robert Koehler on November 6, 2009

    The names are all Korean????????????? Please explain this anomaly?

  • Uncle J

    Dear Dude 1

    I was hurt by your stereotype of white foreign teachers. I am not a loser who came here to be famous as I was a nobody in my hometown of Auckland New Zealand. You are dead wrong!!!!

    I met a lovely Korean lady in Auckland years ago and got married to her, we had a son. I am a qualified English teacher who was working at a Tertiary College in Auckland, my salary was very nice. I also have a family and a home. Now I wanted to come to Korea and try teaching here, so with my wife and son in tow I halfed my salary and my living conditions to go to Korea. Well this country is great and I am now on my third visit here. There are often issues that come up but generally Koreans are really lovely people. But you are not I feel.

    There some naughty teachers here, but every industry has this problem. Have you ever been out with Korean teachers for a sumkipsal/ soju and multiple Noraebang party????? Well trust me, the foreigners usually look like quiet little lambs compared to the Koreans. I do see some crazy foreigners here, usually mid 20′s fresh out of Uni, not really teachers, who do drink too much and sleep with hot Korean girls each week. I say, boys go for it, I wish I was 15 years younger!!! It is the Korean governments fault this is happening, only let actual teachers come here—–problem solved.

    My issue is with you now….are you okay??? This is not aimed at all Gyopos as most I have met are nice, but Dude 1, you are scary. Do you really know who you are???—You look Korean but you’re not, you act and sound western but you are not!!! My advicxe youngster is to look in the mirrirand discover “Who you are” before you start labeling every white guy walking in the street in Korea.

    Peace to you brother, our blood is all red!!!!

  • Uncle J

    In case Dude 1 cannot read properly due to his tunnelvision!!!!!!

    INCORRECT SENTENCE EDIT FROM PREVIOUS POST: My advicxe youngster is to look in the mirrirand discover

    CORRECTION: My advice to you youngster is to look in the mirror and discover

    Later

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