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Slanty eye? Really now?

More racist service sector asshatery, this time at at Starbucks:

Last month, two non-native English speaking Koreans at a Starbucks location in Georgia discovered that their barista served them more than coffee. They each got a drawing of slanted eyes on their cups, where customer names are usually written.

Is this some sort of dipshit trend?

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

  • babotaengi

    ^.^

  • cm

    Big freaking deal!

    This is news, and this is enough to cause a storm?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Of what ethnic background were the folks at the Starbucks? Were they whte, black, hispanic, asian, etc…

    And it’s interesting in this case the call goes out to “All Asians”… Not exactly the same story when other Asians are looking to Koreans for help.

    Besides, boycotting the whole chain because one franchise hired a dipstick is simply an attempt at gaining attention.

  • Creo69

    Please … a couple wee little slanty eyes on a cup? EVERY time I go to a sauna Koreans (young, old and in between) never miss the opportunity to check out my package to see whether or not it measures up to their stereotype of the white mans’ copulatory organ.

    Should I go crying to the guy at the counter about racism?

  • Bodoblock

    I’m glad things like this are being brought up. It may seem small and inconsequential but stereotypes and small incidents of racial discrimination against Asian-Americans have frequently been dismissed by the mainstream in America simply because we are Asian. And Creo, if you feel that you’re being singled out for your race, maybe that would teach you empathy more than being dismissive. It’s hard to understand what it’s like being the minority unless you actually are one. Now that you are one in Korea, hopefully you can see how frustrating it can be being on the other side. In the end, sometimes it’s not the big things that get to you. It’s the small instances which accumulate day by day where you know you’re not given a fair chance or someone is looking down on you simply because of your race. I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of that in Korea. We’ve gone a long way in the US in tackling racial inequality but we still have a long way to go.

  • CKSeoul

    Creo69,

    Racism… you are so far off understanding it. Truly, you don’t understand how far away you are. Do you know what though, I can’t be bothered to explain it to you. You’re on the internet, do some research or stop talking about it.

    cm,

    This story shows that Asian people are victims of racist aggression in everyday American life. Is that not a big deal for you? Is that not something you think is worth talking about?

  • babotaengi

    ^^;;

  • numberoneoppa

    ㅡ.ㅡ

  • bumfromkorea

    @cm
    It is a newsworthy story, and it’s not causing a storm. You’d have to look pretty deep in the news websites to find these stories.

    Rather than the idiot employees at a fast-food place trend, I’m concerned that there is a trend where racism against Asians are dismissed much more easily. The Papa Johns, Chick-fil-a, and Starbucks incidents are symptoms to the disturbing fact that the idiot employees thought it wasn’t that big of a deal to conduct themselves that way in public. Same thing with Rosie O’Donnell a few years back, where she thought saying “ching chong ching chang” on broadcast TV wasn’t that big of a deal.

    Imagine that it was a black guy instead, and the employee wrote “spearchucker” on his receipt. You can’t imagine it, because that would never, ever happen – the societal norm dictates that such actions are wildly inappropriate. But as seen with these idiots, the norm isn’t as clearly established for Asian slurs.

    @Creo
    I love the way you equated the Asian Americans with the Koreans in Korea, then shifted the balance through the bs connection you pulled out of your ass.

  • YangachiBastardo

    There’s a growing trend of anti-Asianism but it doesn’t have to do strictly with racism, check in the dictionary the words “envy” and “frustration”, you’ll find more adequate explanations

    EVERY time I go to a sauna Koreans (young, old and in between) never miss the opportunity to check out my package to see whether or not it measures up to their stereotype of the white mans’ copulatory organ

    Will you stop talking about your dick ? Truly it is kinda creepy oh btw thought it was black people who enjoyed that reputation not crackies

  • John from Daejeon

    Can this be considered racism?

    Whatever it is, these guys have got some cajones taking on big, bad China in their own back yard, but somehow the same thing is called racist, and worse, when the U.S. is trying to enforce its immigration laws.

    Anyway, you can read the whole story about the Chinese locusts here. It definitely makes one wonder about the future of “our” world.

  • YangachiBastardo

    Yeah like H-Kers really have anything to complain, didn’t they want their Mainland -induced boom ? Be careful what you wish…

  • bumfromkorea

    @john
    If China is the benchmark for the standards of US’s immigration policy, then we’re in big trouble.

  • Railwaycharm

    Korean journalists are required to churn-out stories daily. This is why you see repeated stories in both the Korean and English language papers. It is always a slow news day in the land of the moaning clam.

  • keith

    My Korean language skills aren’t very good.

    My wife and I went into the bank to close down a mutual fund we had some rather serious money in – it had lost quite a bit of money, it was a bad product. My wife asked if I could get the bank card that works as a subway card for me. I didn’t actually care, but the way the clerk said ‘foreigners can’t have that’ with a hint of disgust, means I’ll be shutting that bank account down. If you treat customers like shit, they won’t come back!

    I make far more money than the average Korean, I’m a permanent resident with a lot of money in your bank! I have no debt. I’m changing banks.

    I’ll probably just keep it open, with a minimal deposit. Why? It costs them money, if a bank annoys you just keep $5 in it and it will cost the bank money in the long run.

    The fund lost money for us, they had the cheek to ask us if we wanted to buy another one.

  • DLBarch

    I don’t know if I would classify this boorishness as a big story, but it definitely deserves attention, if for no other reason than to remind folks that (1) this shit still goes on, (2) it’s unacceptable, and (3) the companies involved need to exercise greater control over their employees.

    This, of course, goes for Korea as well. I know I ran into a fair amount of unabashed anti-Semitism at the (unnamed) law firm I worked for in Seoul for about 10 minutes a few years back, and in my case I just chose to suck it up and look the other way. I like to think I’d be less reticent about it now if it ever happened again, but at the time it seemed the professionally prudent thing to do.

    Of course, if one’s a customer rather than an at-will employee (employment contracts in Korea are not worth the paper they’re printed on), then maybe it makes more sense to pipe up.

    So bravo and brava to the customers at Starbucks, et al. for making an issue of this. Let’s also hope these complaints go a bit toward correcting the impression of Asians as the perfect foils for racist jokes because of their perceived reluctance to make a fuss. The sooner those days come to an end, the better.

    DLB

  • CactusMcHarris

    Let alone the fact that the companies would hire employees stupid enough to do something like that on company POS terminal receipts….

    And I’ve been called Mr. Monkey any number of times, but I tried to tell them in Korean that since I was tailless, they’d be correct in calling me Mr. Ape, despite my lack of a simian look.

  • DLBarch

    CMcH,

    You’re avatar to the contrary, no doubt!

    DLB

  • http://www.busanhaps.com Bobby McGill

    For so many, the knee-jerk response when they hear about instances like this is, “Well, that’s nothing, you should have seen this…” or “Oh yeah? Well when I go to the bank or the sauna, this happened…”

    Take a moment to listen to yourself, you’re defending one idiot act by saying it is somehow less of an idiot act. Really??

    *Disclaimer: The Marmot’s Hole in no way feels that being an idiot is necessarily wrong. If you were born an idiot, TMH respects your lifestyle and in no way meant to offend.

  • cm

    It was an idiotic act by an individual employee of Starbucks. It doesn’t deserve a world wide press and calls for apology and boycott. Stupid stuff like this happen all over the world, and they don’t get this kind of publicity.

  • gbnhj

    I’m sure Starbucks does not endorse racist remarks, and while not defending the actions of that employee, I don’t think they are representative of the norm. Abberations such as this one are unfortunate, but they are also random, and in the mind of the individual. I see nothing that shows a corporate culture at Starbucks which supports such behavior.

    DLBarch, what greater control over its employees could Starbucks have exercised that would have prevented a single employee from taking action as he or she did in this instance?

  • http://www.busanhaps.com Bobby McGill

    I just noticed, but do Koreans usually write in Korean on the English version of Korea Times comment section or is that just a mirror of the Korean version of the site?

  • jk6411

    I think service sector employees should be more careful these days, in this age of Facebook and Youtube.

    (If you’ll remember the Papa John’s incident, the victim then did not intend to tell the whole world about her experience. The thing just blew up on its own.)

    Technology is making it very easy for customers to complain about bad service. (and tell the whole world about it)

  • redwhitedude

    It looks like the employees got too lazy and just passed the asians off like that.

  • DLBarch

    Gbnhj @ 21 raises a fair question, and it deserves an answer.

    First, Gbnhj is right to observe that these kinds of incidents may be aberrational and do not reflect corporate culture or corporate norms. One might add that since Starbucks outlets are franchises, there are even greater chances for aberrational service than otherwise might be. Fair enough.

    But if these are aberrational sins of commission by rogue employees, they are just as easily sins of omission by Starbucks and/or its franchise owners. No doubt, if a Starbucks employee spit in someone’s coffee, or failed to wash his hands after using the john, then Starbucks would be all over the problem as part of its QC efforts. Starbucks retains a reputational “good will” interest in every single one of its franchises.

    So is Starbucks racist? Almost certainly not. Has it made every effort to make sure its employees don’t go rogue with racist graffiti — however subtle — on its customers’ cups? Who knows.

    But I will bet dollars to donuts that over the next few weeks, Starbucks will be bringing this little incident to the attention of every one of its franchisees, with instructions to pass the word on to their employees that Starbucks takes a zero tolerance approach to this kind of customer dis-service.

    DLB

  • Creo69

    Ckseoul,

    Please explain to me how asians singling me out due to a sterotype they have of my race is NOT racism. Racism against non asians is so common in asia that it is jusr accepted as the norm. Then they go abroad and cry like babies when somone singles them out.

  • jk6411

    Please explain to me how asians singling me out due to a sterotype they have of my race is NOT racism.

    Maybe it’s not racism, but fascination?
    Have you ever been beaten up in Korea, due to your race?
    Or been cursed off?
    Or bullied?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Please … a couple wee little slanty eyes on a cup? EVERY time I go to a sauna Koreans (young, old and in between) never miss the opportunity to check out my package to see whether or not it measures up to their stereotype of the white mans’ copulatory organ.

    You know, there are much worse stereotypes in this world than people thinking you’ve got a big dick. In fact, this is a stereotype I not only tolerate, but wholeheartedly encourage locals to perpetuate, too.

  • jk6411

    Haven’t we had enough penis talk, this year?

  • gbnhj

    DLBarch, I agree – this episode is probably going to work its way down the HR pipeline as a reminder of company standards and practices. If you collect on that bet, save a donut for me :)

    I wonder, though: Will that message go out to units outside the U.S.? And, beyond any legal protection that it might provide the company against indemnification in any future cases, should it? Or, would pointing out this ‘teachable moment’ only reinforce a belief that “that’s just what they do over there”, wherever ‘there’ may be?

  • bumfromkorea

    Racism against non asians is so common in asia that it is jusr accepted as the norm. Then they go abroad and cry like babies when somone singles them out.

    Sounds like you need a hug. Not from the racist Asians (who gives a shit who and where? They’re all the same entity), I’m sure.

  • bumfromkorea

    @DLB

    But I will bet dollars to donuts that over the next few weeks, Starbucks will be bringing this little incident to the attention of every one of its franchisees, with instructions to pass the word on to their employees that Starbucks takes a zero tolerance approach to this kind of customer dis-service.

    And really, that is the appropriate way of handling such incidents. With the Papa Johns + Chick-fil-a, that’s exactly what happened even though in both cases the customers weren’t really doing anything other than posting the receipts online with a humorous quip. No lawsuit, a public apology, new corporate policy, and maybe a complimentary cup of coffee or two for the customer.

  • αβγδε

    CM’s lax attitude here is the reason AAs don’t already have more political clout and that there isn’t a stronger culture of intolerance toward this sort of bull in the first place. Even if this is just a pedestrian act of idiocy, fact is it’s been highlighted and I do not believe it is wise to squelch the momentum of correcting the wrong.

    Remember when Miley Cyrus and others took picture of themselves slanting their eyes with their fingers? Some of these pictures featured Asians just sort of sitting there. Me so solly!

    And I still can’t stand Rosie O’Donnel for her ching chong BS and especically for her attitude about it afterwards. Limbaugh tried pulling the same crap, with less backlash here I’m guessing because everyone already knew the guy is a douchebag.

    Well, I’m glad the Papa John’s Pizza employee was fired. I hope she/he really was.

  • gbnhj

    Well, you can plainly see I’m not an attorney: indemnification is hardly something one would want to be protected against! Hope you all understood what I meant :)

  • Creo69

    “You know, there are much worse stereotypes in this world than people thinking you’ve got a big dick. In fact, this is a stereotype I not only tolerate, but wholeheartedly encourage locals to perpetuate, too.”

    Robert, honestly I agree with you. I still scratch my head wondering why people are so fascinated with me after so many years. But, this is an example many foreigners in Korea can relate to.

  • Creo69

    I think it is laughable that the media in Korea even has the nerve to print this article. This is a country where foreign women can be (and are) told they are “whores,” “dirty” and “infected with AIDs” and then be refused business at a public sauna.

    Oh, the media writes about it and the human rights commission of Korea writes the establishment a letter kindly asking them to refrain from doing this but so frick’n what? To this day there are still NO laws prohibiting this type of behavior.

    Am I really supposed to get worked up because some pimply faced teenager working at Starbucks put some “chinky eyes” on a cup? Racism? Ignorance? Stupidity? I have no idea what this person’s intent was.

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    Black customer who received ‘N-word’ receipts settles with restaurant

    “MSNBC followed up on the story and obtained copies of three messages sent by a Landmark bartender, who is white, to McHenry:”

    In one voicemail, the bartender said: “Yo Mark. Hey it’s [NAME WITHHELD]. Give me a call when you get a chance man. Just wanted to apologize for that tab, dude. You know we were totally jokin’ around.”

    In a follow-up text message, the bartender said: “I know I made a big mistake by crossing the line. I have a family & mortgage that depend on me.”

    In another text message on Christmas Eve, he said: “merry christmas! hope to see you soon. we miss you! please forgive us for being stupid. its not the same without you there. luv u bud!”

    “However, court documents show the bartender who sent the messages to McHenry was fired a week after the lawsuit was filed last March.”

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I think it is laughable that the media in Korea even has the nerve to print this article. This is a country where foreign women can be (and are) told they are “whores,” “dirty” and “infected with AIDs” and then be refused business at a public sauna.

    And that was much bigger news in Korea than this incident.

  • αβγδε

    @#37 – After reading the full article, I’m glad the customer received compensation because then that means the employees involved got what was coming to them in return. I have no sympathy for the bartender there, who obviously wrote those messages to cover his ass. I’m glad to see jackasses get their due in this world. This world can’t be all wrong all the time.

  • Creo69

    “And that was much bigger news in Korea than this incident.”

    And what came of it? Nothing.

    That is the second or third time now that same Busan sauna has been caught and I think the media just reprints the same article from the year before. The media writes about it, the human rights commission of Korea writes a letter…the Korean government does nothing to pass legislation to make this type of behavior illegal.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    And what came of it? Nothing.

    A Human Rights Commission advisory is not nothing, and the issues involved don’t lend themselves to simple legislative solutions.

  • Creo69

    “….the issues involved don’t lend themselves to simple legislative solutions.”

    I agree with your point about the Human Rights advisory. And, even though “simple legislative solutions” may not exist, legislation is a part of the solution to this problem …. Koreans might as well get cracking at it sooner than later.

  • Creo69

    Robert,

    I think you and I have very different ideas about what the government can and can’t tell a business to do though. So, let’s not even get on that topic. I am sure we both are too busy for that.

  • holterbarbour

    DLBarch @25 In the US, Starbucks is not a franchise.

    http://investor.starbucks.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99518&p=irol-faq#26956

  • CKSeoul

    This is so grim. I will never have sympathy for white people who think they’ve experienced racism.

    Creo69, clearly your research isn’t going so well. To be honest though, I think it’s not only knowledge you’re lacking, but also basic human empathy.

  • CKSeoul

    “Am I really supposed to get worked up because some pimply faced teenager working at Starbucks put some “chinky eyes” on a cup? Racism? Ignorance? Stupidity? I have no idea what this person’s intent was.”

    Dude, you realize intent isn’t a prerequisite, right?

  • Creo69

    “This is so grim. I will never have sympathy for white people who think they’ve experienced racism.

    Creo69, clearly your research isn’t going so well. To be honest though, I think it’s not only knowledge you’re lacking, but also basic human empathy.”

    Not sure what you are talking about, but nice to see how you try to avoid answering my question. Again, how is my example NOT racism? Plug “define racism” into Google and I think you will clearly see which of us is right.

  • CKSeoul

    hahaha. Typing that into google gets you the dictionary definition of racism. Among people who concern themselves with anti-racism, there’s a bit of a running joke about people like you who go to the dictionary to support their arguments. It really belies the simplicity of their thinking.

    I said from the start I wasn’t going to explain to you. I wish I could, but trust me, you are so far gone it would take a long time to rehabilitate you. It’s work you have to do yourself!

    I’m out.

  • CKSeoul

    All right, I’ll give you a hint! Try to complete this formula, and it’ll set you on the right track. Racism = prejudice + ?

    Happy hunting!

  • Creo69

    “Dude, you realize intent isn’t a prerequisite, right?”

    Me calling a random asian “China Man” … racism?
    Me calling my Korean friend of seven years “Kimchi” … racism?
    Two black guys calling each other “nigger” … racism?

    I guess in a totally politically correct world all these would be labeled as some form of racism. Personally, I think you have to use a bit of intelligence and try to determine a person’s intent before labeling an ignorant fool a racist however.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Technology is making it very easy for customers to complain about bad service. (and tell the whole world about it)

    except in korea, of course, can expose you to an action for libel/defamation, particularly if you are an “insensitive” foreigner.

  • Creo69

    “I said from the start I wasn’t going to explain to you. I wish I could, but trust me, you are so far gone it would take a long time to rehabilitate you. It’s work you have to do yourself!”

    I’ll take that (along with your hasty exit) as a sign that you cannot make a case as to how my example is NOT racism.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Where doing so can

  • CKSeoul

    oh jesus… the last thing I am going to say. I’m not going to explain to you because it will take TOO LONG. I can’t be bothered! I can’t go around correcting everyone who doesn’t get racism on the internet.

  • jk6411

    Hey CK, just let it go.
    Creo is gay.

  • Creo69

    “oh jesus… the last thing I am going to say. I’m not going to explain to you because it will take TOO LONG. I can’t be bothered! I can’t go around correcting everyone who doesn’t get racism on the internet.”

    Just try a short explanation then…I am pretty sharp…I might catch on!

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    But if these are aberrational sins of commission by rogue employees, they are just as easily sins of omission by Starbucks

    really? Is it also a “sin of omission” on Starbucks’ part if one of its employees commits felony murder in the course of perpetrating a robbery. Do you really mean to suggest holding them accountable for any socially proscribed behavior of their employees outside the scope of their employment?

  • Creo69

    jk6411,

    Sorry you had to cancel our coffee date Saturday… let’s make it another time ;)

  • jk6411

    ha

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Maybe it’s not racism, but fascination?
    Have you ever been beaten up in Korea, due to your race?
    Or been cursed off?
    Or bullied?

    i’ve been cursed often and physically assaulted a few times, including once with a pushcart and twice with automobiles. The assault cases always puzzled me, since I look like the sort that can and will defend himself. I got the answer once from a taxi driver whose nose i had broken after he deliberately swerved his car to sideswipe me and hit me with his mirror while i was walking with my daughter and then – wait for it – stopped and got out to accuse me of damaging his cab (the mirror broke off). When the police came, the responding officer knew me because his commander is my get out of jail free card, and he ordered the cabbie to leave off and just go get his mirror and nose fixed. As he walked away, The cab driver resignedly whined about how unfair it was that in His Own Country he didn’t automatically prevail over an outsider. That was some time ago, and i think there has been some movement away from such attitudes in Korea, but they still are depressingly widespread in all sorts of situations here.

  • αβγδε

    Sperwer’s example is a good example but not of racism but of xenophobia.

    This blog is not the best example but it’s still a good example of how superficial an understanding white people tend to have of racism, as I’m able to see that there’s quite a difference between a white person’s understanding of racism vs that of some who is not white.

    When a person hates you or demeans you and thinks little of you and believes you are inferior not merely because of your location (an American in Seoul) but because of your ethnicity regardless of your location, that’s racism.

    Some of you haven’t got a clue! And that’s already beside the point.

  • Creo69

    “Sperwer’s example is a good example but not of racism but of xenophobia.”

    And some of you make some grand assumptions in trying to whisk away racism against white people. Certainly, based on the words of the man who assaulted “Sperwer we could assume he is xenophobia. However, you have absolutely no idea as to why he did what he did in the first place … the assault with the vehicle. Maybe he hates white people (and is racist and xenophobic) … maybe he doesn’t.

    Nice try though.

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    Sperwer #57: really? Is it also a “sin of omission” on Starbucks’ part if one of its employees commits felony murder in the course of perpetrating a robbery.

    Perhaps not directly on point, but your post reminds me of a hoodlum in D.C. who killed a former NY Times reporter, then, in trying to use the dead man’s credit card, wore his own work uniform with his name on the tag. It was caught on surveillance camera. Later, the fool showed up at the police station asking why his face was on TV, wearing the same uniform.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    (-(-(-(-(-(-.-)-)-)-)-)-)

    I think the whole thing is funny.

    First, I think Asian eyes are cute! I always have…

    second, for these Korean-Americans to get upset that some idiot customer-service person drew their eyes on their cup instead of asking their names is not necessary – no need to be upset over such a small thing.

    Slant eyes are cute, so are rounds eyes.

    Starbucks was correct getting rid of the idiot – if names are supposed to be written on the cup – then the person should have asked for their names – but if I walked into a Starbucks in the USA and they wanted to know my name – so they could write it on the cup – I would probably walk out again – angry that they want to invade my privacy – (my name is none of their business) – so the customer-service person would probably have to draw a much more complex picture of me – such as this –

    _________uu$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$uu__________
    _________u$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$u_________
    ________u$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$u________
    _______u$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$u_______
    _______u$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$u_______
    _______u$$$$$$”___”$$$”___”$$$$$$u________
    _______”$$$$”______u$u_______$$$$”________
    ________$$$———u$u_______u$$$________
    ________$$$u______u$$$u______u$$$________
    _________”$$$$uu$$$___$$$uu$$$$”_________
    __________”$$$$$$$”___”$$$$$$$”__________
    ____________u$$$$$$$u$$$$$$$u____________
    _____________u$”$”$”$”$”$”$u______________
    __uuu________$$u$_$_$_$_$u$$_______uuu__
    _u$$$$________$$$$$u$u$u$$$_______u$$$$_
    __$$$$$uu______”$$$$$$$$$”_____uu$$$$$$__
    u$$$$$$$$$$$uu____”””””____uuuu$$$$$$$$$$
    $$$$”””$$$$$$$$$$uuu___uu$$$$$$$$$”””$$$”
    _”””______””$$$$$$$$$$$uu_””$”””___________
    ___________uuuu_””$$$$$$$$$$uuu___________
    __u$$$uuu$$$$$$$$$uu_””$$$$$$$$$$$uuu$$$__
    __$$$$$$$$$$””””___________””$$$$$$$$$$$”__
    ___”$$$$$”______________________””$$$$””__

  • Granfalloon

    I see no reason why a person can’t be xenophobic AND racist at the same time. They’re not mutually exclusive.

  • αβγδε

    Just to make my previous comment clearer, substitute to these lines:

    -> often able to see

    -> usually quite a difference

    Anyway, it’s easy to learn about racism when you’re on the receiving end. It’s an overwhelming experience of culture, reality, of yourself and the way you fundamentally relate to yourself, and others, and our future. Psychologically, racism is profound and can function in many significant ways throughout society especially where that racisms is institutionalized or normalized or standardized and is therefore predictable. I don’t think it’s really about whether people stare at you while you’re at a sauna or riding in a bus.

    And I don’t care if any particular ajosshi hates on some American in the streets, Creo69, you fucking dolt, there’s no culture in Korea that links that ajosshi to some norm that states whites are abominable and inferior or something no matter where they are. However, there are norms that do have a lot do with nationality (for instance, anti Americanism in Korea), which makes the conclusion that ahjosshi was just tending to his hatred of foreigners, much more likley.

    See, I’d even have it that one can safely conclude that a white person knows shit about racism when he finds the distinction between xenophobia and racism offensive, which is so often the case with white people even on this blog from what I’ve seen. I find that sort of response in turn offensive.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @61

    I agree that my experiences did not involve racism – at least not in the sense that i was so victimized. In fact, the tenor of the various experiences i have had suggest that if racism is involved it’s in the sense that the koreans who assaulted me have done so as a way of acting out their own feelings of having been derogated by acting out against someone they perceive as a representative of the supposed oppressors. In that sense, far from being denigrated on a racist basis i have been accorded a weird kind of superiority, albeit in a back-handed way.

    I have often heard Koreans denigrating other white groups in an unmistakably “racist” manner, eg Russians., though – although the ground of their disdain is more ethno-nationalist than “racist” in the strict sense of the word.

    There also are organized groups of korean reactionaries, eg the confucianists down in Jirisan, who do preach an unabashed version of the inferiority of all white (and other non-Asian) races to Koreans, whom they also regard as distinctly superior to other related Asian groups), and one hear echoes of their views in the unexamined assumptions of many ordinary koreans about the absence in white and other cultures of the sort of “human” values – respect for family, etc, of which the alleged korean form is supposed to be the only genuinely human expression.

  • αβγδε

    our future -> your future.

    No, Granfaloon, they are not exclusive at all. However, where there is admixture there is still the ability to test for each element and see how they relate to each other, sort of in a triangular way, if you will – that is, between xenophobia and racism and racism and xenophobia, and then these two things to culture, “culture” that is to say the bits of information and behaviors that are most frequent to a people in a given society.

  • Creo69

    “See, I’d even have it that one can safely conclude that a white person knows shit about racism when he finds the distinction between xenophobia and racism offensive, which is so often the case with white people even on this blog from what I’ve seen. I find that sort of response in turn offensive.”

    Glad you cleared that up for me. I get your point, white people are never the subject of racism. Please, I’ve lived in Chicago in a predominately black neighborhood, Los Angeles in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood and Korea… glad you believe your bullshit cause I sure ain’t buying it.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘Robert, honestly I agree with you. I still scratch my head wondering why people are so fascinated with me after so many years.’ white talking about his penis

    excuse me but you say they look cuz they fascinated. sorry, they look to make sure you really a man. lol, what stupid ass!

    loser, child molesting white guy. you cant make this shit up, folks.

    .

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    ‘Robert, honestly I agree with you. I still scratch my head wondering why people are so fascinated with me after so many years.’ white in delusion

    excuse me but you say they look cuz they fascinated. sorry, they look to make sure you really a man. lol, what stupid ass!

    loser, child molesting white guy. you cant make this shit up, folks.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Glad you cleared that up for me. I get your point, white people are never the subject of racism. Please, I’ve lived in Chicago in a predominately black neighborhood, Los Angeles in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood and Korea… glad you believe your bullshit cause I sure ain’t buying it.

    that obviously wasn’t the point at all. That discrimination doesn’t necessarily entail racism – though it may invole equally unacceptable ( if somwhat less reprehensible) prejudices – was. Bar more, your chicago experiences don’t seem to have been inspired by racism. – unless of course you’re suggesting it stemmed from an unfavorable comparative judgment on the size of your johnson (as opposed to your roscoe)

  • αβγδε

    @#69,

    I know about how whites or white males might be portrayed among black and hispanic folk living in the inner cities in America. And indeed some whites living in that sort of demographic that issues that sort of depiction of white people are going to grow up with mental problems – inferiority complexes, self-identification problems. Some of these folk may even go on to express their hatred of their white skin. And all of that is interesting and practically real. No denying that. And I haven’t denied such a thing as a non-white hating a white person for racial reasons. But, outside of this, there’s also no denying the greater reality of “white priviledge.” And that’s the bigger picture. That’s the context. It’s what the professor means in all those cheesy Hollywood movies when he says — You can’t be racist if you don’t have the power.

    To consider this a little more in depth, minority can be racist toward majority. But the interesting thing is that minority can be racist but minority can’t develop racism toward majority because majority implies prevalance, and this carries a very real practical meaning. One smaller culture depicting a certain people as inferior and abominable would get washed out by the sheer enormity of the cultures of the larger population — ie, by the media at large, by the educational institutions at large, that gives the opposite depiction. So there’s just not much by which some small culture could sustain itself in any serious way and not reflect back on itself and identify itself as a mere reaction. That makes it a racism without the large capacitance of Racism. It’s an imaginary or a fantasized racism, the sort you’ll definitely see among discontented minorities. But in the end, that’s not racism or if it is racism it’s not a viable one (because it’s automatically contradicted). And if it ain’t viable, then it’s not really worth crying over. The way you do. The way the memetic, “whiny expat” does.

  • jk6411

    white people are never the subject of racism

    With white people, it’s not the same.
    You know why?

    Because white people rule the world.
    There, I’ve said it. White people rule the world.

    They’re the richest, most powerful, and the fairest looking of all the races.
    So racism against them doesn’t really make sense.
    Do you feel better now?

  • Wedge

    Ah, good to see the word “racism” continuing its long journey into meaninglessness on this thread.

  • CKSeoul

    Wedge: anti-racists have a VERY clear idea of the meaning of the word racism. In fact, we are trying to save that word from the meaninglessness it slips into when white people complain about experiencing ‘racism’ in saunas in Korea, or in certain neighborhoods in America.

    Creo69: “Please, I’ve lived in Chicago in a predominately black neighborhood, Los Angeles in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood and Korea… glad you believe your bullshit cause I sure ain’t buying it.”

    I couldn’t stay away. It’s like you’re going through a list of the dumb things white people say about racism. White people cannot experience racism in America. http://raceandhistory.com/selfnews/viewnews.cgi?newsid1024893033,80611,.shtml

    To claim you have experienced racism is an insult to those who have to live with what it truly is.

  • http://www.cfekorea.com nayaCasey

    jk6411 #73, I am reminded of what Susan Sontag once wrote or said:

    Susan Sontag: “Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history. It is the white race and it alone – its ideologies and inventions – which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself.”

    That is definitely quote of the day, no matter which day it is quoted…

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    What can one say about Sontag other than her comment is both bad history, insofar as it attributes the enumerated faults of western civilization to the implausibly genetic monocausal factor of race and, insofar as it thus villipends the supposed white race as such is itself a prime example of racist thinking.

  • Arghaeri

    Maybe it’s not racism, but fascination?
    Have you ever been beaten up in Korea, due to your race?
    Or been cursed off?
    Or bullied?

    Kind of raising the bar aren’t you!

    And the answer is yes.

  • CKSeoul

    sperwer: you are BEHIND the starting blocks!!! I don’t think anyone in this conversation is talking about race as genetic! Everyone knows it’s a social construct, including Sontag.
    And see above (and a million other places on the internet) for a response to the ‘oh but she’s being racist against WHITES’ thing.

  • Arghaeri

    Maybe the starbucks guy was just fascinated!

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Pawi, please don’t refer to somebody as a child molester unless, of course, they really are a child molester.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  • http://josephjsteinberg.wordpress.com/ Hume’s Bastard

    This is Georgia, right? That multicultural mecca where German businessmen and Hispanic farm workers aren’t even welcome? This barista is an asshat, but let’s not hail Koreans, or Asians, for victim status just yet. This is the Deep South – why would anyone want to visit a region, where a subsection of white men fearing for their government checks and jobs, literally doesn’t want anyone to visit it, or. mercy be, stay?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    @80

    If that is so, please explain the purpose and meaning of her second sentence and why she again uses the term “white race” instead of something like ” “western civilization” in the third. Then defend the preposterous generalization of the last sentence.

    Or you can Just carry on with your radical chic vogueing.

    I’m happy to be behind the starting blocks that are the launch pad for such stupidity.

  • Railwaycharm

    English Teachers.

  • CKSeoul

    @ Sperwer,

    Happily.

    She’s pointing out that, although different peoples all over the world have always visited atrocities upon one another, it is almost exclusively white people in modern history who have committed crimes against humanity so extreme that they erase nations from the map and whole peoples from the face of the world. The Native nations and empires of North and South America have been obliterated by genocide (this word is a strong one, but widely accepted by historians. In fact, many use an even stronger one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qra6pcn4AOE). Africa has been brought to its knees by European colonialism, where it was once a thriving continent of wealth and blossoming civilization (for a lesson on untaught African history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58l3kqcW-zY). You ask why she calls the white race the cancer of human history: this is why. No other race has subjected another to this kind of treatment. The metaphor is a perfect one: cancer spreads and kills other living cells. It’s happening to this day, to surviving Natives in North and South America.

    You ask why she chooses to say ‘the white race’ rather than ‘Western civilization’. Well, she is trying to draw attention to the massive importance of race in this history. After all, ‘Western civilization’ was not a particularly driving concept behind any of these atrocities, from slavery to the holocaust and everything in between. Mention ‘Western civilization’ to a plantation owner or a concentration camp guard and they would just blink at you, baffled. The whole concept is an irrelevance, is not an anachronism. These people did what they did because of race. To this day, racism is thought of as a dirty word. People don’t like to talk about it or acknowledge its importance. That’s why Sontag’s quotation is so shocking.

    She’s also trying to show that this History hasn’t ended. People tend to underestimate the influence of the slave trade, and European imperialism in general, on our world-view to this day. The structures of racism in this society were designed to sustain and justify slavery and the colonization of the Americas and much of Asia. Some go so far as to claim that racism did not exist before European imperialism. I would agree that racism AS WE KNOW IT, in its brutally systematic and stringent form, certainly did not exist. This is all to say that the racism in our society is still founded on what happened back then. To use phrases like ‘Western Civilization’ is to consign history to the past. To use phrases like ‘white race’ is to remind us that we are still living in the same world.

    Finally, this is why it’s annoying when you say that SONTAG is being racist. Sontag is simply pointing out racism where she sees it. It’s a sad fact of life that the person who calls out racism is often branded the racist.

    Finally, I feel I need to put this as a disclaimer just in case I’m misinterpeted: none of the above means white people are bad people. WhiteNESS is bad.. Racism is bad.. no one on this thread hates white people! Not even Sontag! Enjoy your day.

  • YangachiBastardo

    CSK: i agree with you that the social consturct of race was behind many of the atrocities committed by Europeans and European descendants.

    I strongly disagree that genocide is a “Western”, “European”, “White” whatever invention.

    The scale of recent atrocities was much higher to higher population density and technological advances: can you imagine what Genghis hoardes would have done with machine guns ?

    The Roman Empire, the Mongols, the ancient civilisations of Meso America, the warring city states of Mesopotamia etc. etc. they all displayed unbelievable, hellish cruelty and practiced systematic mass enslavement, rape, relocation and butchering of conquered peoples.

    Actually if i’m correct the first records of what can now be called genocide, the systematic onslaught of a population, can be found in ancient Assyria

  • White devil

    “it is almost exclusively white people in modern history who have committed crimes against humanity so extreme that they erase nations from the map and whole peoples from the face of the world”

    It’s as if the Mongols, Arabs, and Incas never existed.

    “none of the above means white people are bad people. WhiteNESS is bad”

    Jews aren’t bad people, JewishNESS on the other hand…..

  • Granfalloon

    Seems to me any action that could send you to a hospital definitely IS something to cry about, whether you want to label it as racism, Racism, a reaction to the injustice of socio-cultural power dynamics, etc.

  • CKSeoul

    @87, totally agree. Actually I wrote this in my original response and I think I must have accidentally deleted it. I believe Sontag is talking about the huge chunk of ‘modern history’ that has happened since the advent of the slave trade. Certainly she is talking about the history we still live with. None of the genocides you mention have any continuing resonance in the racial constructs of today’s society.

    As for genocide being a white ‘invention’… Of course I would never claim that all genocides are perpetrated by whites. But I would hesitatingly say that RACIAL genocide is either a direct consequence of the forms of racism that were invented by white people, or has its roots in those forms. Remember that it was Belgian colonizers who decided the Hutu and the Tutsi were different ‘races’. So even the Rwandan genocide had its roots in European inventions of race. And I can’t stress enough that racism, strict categories like ‘black’, ‘white’, ‘asian’, ‘caucasian’, ‘negro’ etc., simply did not exist before white people invented it. Genghis Khan didn’t give two hoots about the ‘race’ of his victims. Race and ethnicity were not important in the organization of his Empire. Similarly, the Romans divided the world in terms of civilized and barbarian, and they had nothing like the racial code invented by the European empires.

    I’m gonna say though that I don’t know the history of every genocide ever, and I’m perfectly happy for someone to contradict me…

    (Also a typo in my post: *IF not an anachronism…)

  • Creo69

    “White people cannot experience racism in America …. To claim you have experienced racism is an insult to those who have to live with what it truly is.”

    Trust me, a bunch of black guys chasing you down the street yelling “white motherfucker” is racism.

    That said, sorry to have gotten a few of you so worked up. Believe it or not, I come from one of the most liberal cities in the US and one of the birth places of political correctness. When I was younger, I used to run around beating my chest against the evils of racism too. I was probably even naive enough to believe racism was a white thing. Now, I live in Korea. The most unpolitically correct place I can imagine and I am glad I got to experience it. Had I not lived here, I might actually still believe a couple chinky eyes on a cup is something to be considered newsworthy.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    But I would hesitatingly say that RACIAL genocide is either a direct consequence of the forms of racism that were invented by white people, or has its roots in those forms.

    Racism and racial violence are human traits and old as time. If we’re going to blame whitey for the Rwandan Genocide, shall we also blame him for Pol Pot? For the Moari cleansing the Moriori? For Imperial Japan’s sport in Nanjing? For Indonesia’s current genocidal activities in West Papua? What about all the ethnic cleansing going on in Meso-America prior to the Spaniards arriving? Carthage? Egypt? Assyria?

    Like Yangachi said, imagine what Genghis would have done with Vickers guns.

    I think you’ve got a pretty weak case there CKSeoul.

  • http://dok.do/4aVK41 Year of the Dragon

    a couple wee little slanty eyes on a cup? EVERY time I go to a sauna Koreans (young, old and in between) never miss the opportunity to check out my package to see whether or not it measures up

    Yeah.. I know what you mean.. Starbucks did the same to me and wrote a name for me on my cup – http://dok.do/h9JnMv

    .

    .

    .

    ok – it wasn’t my cup – http://tiny.cc/gclqw

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    starts off with slanty eyes on coffee cup

    some talk about white people and racism

    Do white people commit genocide?, discuss

    Anyone else see a bit of “space” between the first and last

    how about sometimes immature teenagers are douchebags acting out of immaturity alone

  • jk6411

    Now, I live in Korea. The most unpolitically correct place I can imagine and I am glad I got to experience it.

    Creo,
    I think you’re just hyper-sensitive to being treated differently by other people. (b/c you’re gay)

    But really.. Koreans (or Asians for that matter) are not racist to whites.

    (Now.. this might change, of course, if somehow Asians took over the world and whites became subservient to them. Then there might be real racism toward whites.)

    But as things are right now, no.

  • Creo69

    “Creo,
    I think you’re just hyper-sensitive to being treated differently by other people. (b/c you’re gay)

    But really.. Koreans (or Asians for that matter) are not racist to whites.

    (Now.. this might change, of course, if somehow Asians took over the world and whites became subservient to them. Then there might be real racism toward whites.)

    But as things are right now, no.”

    jk6411,

    First point …. agree with you partially
    Second point … disagree with you partially
    Third point … agree

  • DLBarch

    HB @ 44 is absolutely correct. Starbucks does license its stores, but is not technically a franchise. Nice catch! You should be a lawyer!

    Sperwer @ 57 raises a grim scenario that’s interesting from a legal standpoint but is, bizarrely, completely beside the point. Without getting into the no-doubt boring (to non-lawyers, anyway) nuances of vicarious liability and the doctrine of respondeat superior, employers are not generally liable for the assault and battery committed by an employee. That is, one hopes, clearly outside the scope of (most) employment, which is what courts look at when assessing employer liability.

    That, of course, is not at all what we have in the Starbucks case. But I suspect Sperwer already knows that.

    DLB

  • slim

    Vote with your wallets every time this happens to you anywhere and let everybody in your circle who cares about the issue do the same.

    I don’t find it instructive to bring practices and standards in Asia, where most of the nations are formed on the basis of a tribe rather than an idea and modern civil rights — let alone political correctness — is young and shallow where it exists at all, into the discussion. The US has to be held to a higher standard and walk the talk.

  • Granfalloon

    I’m sorry, but unless Starbucks management has been telling their employees to draw racist caricutures on cups, how the hell is a boycott justified? Starbucks fired the employee and gave the customer a gift card. How is their handling of this unsatisfactory?

  • slim

    @Granfalloon. I realize it looks like I’m calling for a Starbucks boycott, due to poor choice wording. I meant that an aggrieved customer should take his business away from THAT shop if not satisfied.

  • Granfalloon

    Fair enough, slim. I agree.

    Sadly, there definitely are people calling for a boycott.

  • Granfalloon

    Oh, question for the lawyers:

    If a boycott were to lead to a verifiable loss of business revenue for Starbucks, could they sue the ex-employee? Seems comical that an unemployed barista would be worth going after, but we live in comical times.

  • DLBarch

    G @ 102,

    The short answer is yes, and it gets even more interesting.

    Starbucks could sue its former employee for reputational harm and either negligent or intentional interference with economic opportunity.

    The Korean customer could sue the barista individually for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    And the Korean customer could (try) to sue Starbucks for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

    But the real thing to pay attention to is damages, ’cause if there ain’t no recovery, no one’s gonna be suing anyone for anythang!

    DLB

  • http://www.wm3.org/Updates iheartblueballs

    Regarding the IIED, the emotional distress has to be “severe,” so it’s likely not in play. The barista is going to be a turnip with no assets to collect on, and even if there were significant recovery possible, corporations very rarely sue their own employees (or ex-employees) unless it involves trade secrets or non-compete clauses.

  • gbnhj

    Negligence I get, but based on what occurred – an employee doodled some objectionable marks on two customers’ cups – how could one make a case that any interference here with respect to economic opportunity was intentional? Wouldn’t that require evidence of motive?

  • feld_dog

    DLBarch@16:

    I’m curious–what does Korean anti-semitism look like?
    Could you describe your experiences with that?

  • CactusMcHarris

    #106,

    I don’t know what Brother DLB has experienced, but here in the Hole we’ve been shown Korean establishments glorifying the Nazi symbol/mindthought – the whole ein Volk thing, I guess, sublimated eastwards…or perhaps they know not what they do. DLB, what’s your story with that?

  • Granfalloon

    Thanks for the interesting answers, Mr. Barch.

  • mvik9950

    unbelievable…