Korean assaulted by white kids in Australia, gets finger cut off

Another racist attack on a Korean in Hojustan. From the Chosun Ilbo:

A Korean man studying in Australia says he lost a finger in a racially motivated attack there and was also abused by local police.

The 33-year-old man, identified only by his last name Jang, reported to the Korean Consulate in Melbourne that he fell victim to a knife attack by a group of teenagers on Nov. 5 while walking through a park near his home with a Korean friend.

He said the teenagers asked him for a cigarette, and when he refused started assaulting him and shouting, “Fucking Chinese.”

And one of them cut off his finger with a knife, Jang said. He said police only arrested one of them and let the others go.

The English version didn’t mention the race of the attackers, which made me wonder. White kids? Vietnamese? Lebanese? Fortunately, the Korean version makes it very clear from the headline—it was a bunch of white kids.

Anyway, Jang felt the local constabulary did not take his case seriously, but since the incident went public, police have pledged to reinvestigate. The Victoria state government has also agreed to pay him damages.

  • bumfromkorea

    What a terrible day for Jang, but why is the Victoria state govt paying him? It’s not like the governor of Victoria went up to this guy and chopped his finger off personally.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Bit curious about that myself…

  • Bendrix

    I’ve always had a feeling I didn’t want to go to Australia ’cause the place would be crawling with racist hicks. I know that’s a bad generalization but it’s just a gut feeling I have. This story doesn’t help much.

  • madar

    Eight or ten years ago I spent a week in Sydney with my Korean girlfriend at the time. You couldn’t help but notice the difference. The locals bent over backwards to be friendly to me, and if I hadn’t been with my girlfirend, I would have thought they were the friendliest people on Earth. But, right after treating me kindly, they, (and I’m talking about service people as well as normal people), would turn around and treat her like dirt.

    While in the airport, the staff there, a security guard and a money changer, were holding a discussion on how people from Thailand were little better than monkies, because they had crossed the yellow “stand behind the line” sticker, while I was changing money. The Thais were standing right there! They were really nice to me, however! People in pubs would buy me a drink and chat me up in the friendliest of manners. But when I told them I worked in Asia they would drop comments like, I can’t believe you can stand working for (insert racest comment here). That happened twice!

    I can count at least 7 different incidents from a week in Sydney that I can remember years later. It was a shock to say the least.

  • tinyflowers

    Stay classy, Australia.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    #4, same with Italy. I came away from Italy hating the place to the core after visiting there with my wife who is Korean.

  • PeterDownUnder

    Fuckin Straya Cunts! lol

    Don’t know having lived in Australia my entire life people complain about racism but I guess I haven’t really experienced the egalitarian supremacy in Europe or America I guess.

    Think the thing in Australia is that racism didn’t really haven’t been an issue like in the states or Europe so there hasn’t been much crackdown of thoughts, just pretty general living condition here.

    Living here all my life its just second nature to avoid certain areas of ethnic enclaves and such or housing commission areas. Walking around in the CBD on a Friday night you will definitely get drunken slurs from passer bys as simple as “Fucking Asian” but like I said I haven’t lived elsewhere so always thought that was the norm.

    So I am guessing if I lived elsewhere random people don’t yell out racial slurs? Never really been an issue, like I said its the norm here.

    I once had a muslim couple telling me at work that someone lied about leaving a parking space because of her hijab and explain that “this wouldn’t happen in Europe”.

    Guess I should travel more and see this egalitarian world everyone compares us to about.

    Sydney and Melbourne is in general can be dangerous, and its just common sense to avoid certain areas. I heard from friends in other less ethnic cities like Canberra you can walk around anywhere at anytime without fear of assault but here in Sydney/Melbourne you gotta just be a little street smart. Might be a generalisation but if you bump into a group of young men of any race in Australia you have a high chance of getting assaulted lol. Just the Aussie thing I guess.

    Multiculturalism at its finest.

  • dokdoforever

    The Victoria state government may have been hoping to avoid some type of lawsuit.

    Racist hatred is humanity at its worst.
    Australians may feel insecure about their cultural isolation – next to more populous Asian nations with booming economies.
    They’d do much better by getting along with their neighbors.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    #7, Geez,

    and to think, I almost took a job in Australia. What a shit hole. Ill avoid it at all costs.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/funny/page/3 Jakgani

    why is the Victoria state govt paying him? It’s not like the governor of Victoria went up to this guy and chopped his finger off personally.

    In Australia (not just my birthplace of Victoria – but ALL states) – if you have an accident in public, someone hurts (attacks) you, etc etc etc

    The government always pays you compensation. It’s the law.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/funny/page/3 Jakgani

    p.s. – this shit rarely happens in Australia (except on Gang turf in Sydney) – he should have just given the little buggers a few ciggs.

    The kids were obviously in the wrong and will be punished.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    I’m just amazed by the contrast – I’m a white guy who’s taken cigs away from Korean kids, meanwhile in Australia white kids chop off a Korean guy’s finger for not handing over his.

  • hamel

    This story was already in the KTimes a week ago: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/11/116_124143.html.

    At that time (and today) I wasn’t able to find any related stories in the Aussie media.

    I listen to the morning police round-up from Melbourne several times a week, and even before this attack I had learned that if someone asks you for a cigarette in England or Australia, your choice is fight or flight.

    This happens far too often. What happened to that Korean student is terrible, and I am sorry it happened to him. However, despite what the kids shouted, I don’t think it is a racially motivated attack, since they would have done the same with any vulnerable person of any race in that park at that time.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Who cares if its “racially motivated.” Its an attack and they should be rounded up and dealt with harshly. But true to Western form, they will be dealt with leniently because they are kids or because they come from a “disadvantaged” background, or some other bullshit sob story. Cut off their fingers.

  • Anathema

    I’ve always considered Australians to be about equal to Afrikaner South Africans when it comes to racism. It wasn’t that longer when they still employing their hidden Apartheid-esque whites only immigration policies, either.


  • http://bensmatrix.info ElCanguro

    Sounds more a case of unlucky guys being at the wrong place/wrong time encountering thugs. Thugs took advantage of passersby being outnumbered, noticed they were Asian and decided to throw in some insults along with the attack. Not a race crime per se as I’m sure they would have attacked any other pair of hapless passersby unless they were deemed a threat.

    Terrible that it happened to the guy and I hope the Police find all responsible and hold them accountable for their actions.

    Sure, Australia has thugs, it has racists, it has bogans. They exist. But, they are best avoided and are easy to do so, as their often broadcast their ignorance as a badge of honour. #15 – Greg Ritchie being a prime example of this, a buffoon who is facing consequences after his racist speech.

    Having grown up in Sydney, lived in Melbourne and currently living in Brisbane, and having visited the States and UK on a couple of occasions I’d say Australian cities are as safe as British and safer than American cities of comparable size.

    A lot of people, often North Americans who’ve never visited, seem to like to dump on Australia as some kind of Arkansas by the beach. But, the reality is that whilst racism does, unfortunately, still exist it’s not quite as prevalent as some seem to imagine. My girlfriend’s half-Tongan but I’ve never noticed any racism directed towards her. (She does say though that she did experience some growing up in Ipswich – a working class city outside Brisbane).

    This is the country in which 50% of people were either born overseas, or had one or both parents born overseas. Australia has had its issues in the past and successive waves of migrants did face hardships initially. There still are bogans, particularly in Brisbane, but they slowly but surely be outnumbered.

    A case of thugs being thugs, racist thugs to be sure. But, not a hate crime.

  • Arghaeri

    #4, same with Italy. I came away from Italy hating the place to the core after visiting there with my wife who is Korean.

    No problems experienced in either!!

  • http://bensmatrix.info ElCanguro

    Though I do concede that Australia does have issues with its customs officers. I, being a Caucasian Australian, have never had a problem leaving or entering the country. But, almost to a person everyone I know who’s visited here who happens to be a non-Caucasian visitor have experienced issues with overzealous and/or prejudicial customs officers. I have seen this with my own eyes too and it doesn’t make for a great first impression for tourists that’s for sure.

  • jeanalesi

    And for some balance…from the same city.


    “The slaying of a Melbourne taxi driver will be the subject to a coroner’s inquest after police determined the only suspect died in a fiery crash.

    Homicide detectives have formally identified a 25-year-old Korean as the man suspected of brutally killing Stephen George Seymour this year.

    The 56-year-old veteran driver’s body was found dumped in Mount Waverley in the city’s east on August 1. His stolen taxi was discovered crashed a few blocks away with his dead passenger slumped behind the wheel.

    The 25-year-old is believed to have flagged down Mr Seymour’s cab in the Melbourne CBD before stabbing him to death, fleeing in his vehicle, and being killed when he smashed into a power pole.”

  • hamel

    @SalarymaninSeoul #14:

    Who cares if its “racially motivated.” Its an attack and they should be rounded up and dealt with harshly. But true to Western form, they will be dealt with leniently because they are kids or because they come from a “disadvantaged” background, or some other bullshit sob story. Cut off their fingers.

    Pardon me for interrupting all the righteous chest beating, but the question of racial motivation is not a theoretical one, but a legal one. If it is deemed to be racially motivated, different laws and charges come into play.

    As I said, the crime is bad enough by itself. Catch the crooks and punish them for it.

    By the way SalarymaninSeoul, have you considered a job in Australian talkback radio? I hear Derryn Hinch will be out of work shortly – perhaps you could replace him.

  • Bendrix

    America’s rural and suburban areas can be just as bad. at least they were at times when I was growing up. that’s why I moved to the city where this kinda stuff happens less. I think these days there’s even been an improvement in the rural and suburban parts of America. but I will always hate American small town folk for this very reason. as for Australia, I think I’d rather not be around people who’d remind me of small town Americans only with different accents.

  • cm

    If you’re Asian, just stick to big cities with multicultural ethnic enclaves, and you will be fine. Stay away from small towns, country towns, rural areas which are homogeneous. And it’s bad ideal to send foreign students to Australia. Canada is way way better, and more accepting and tolerant of different races.

  • sumo294

    What would have happened if some white guy in korea got his finger cut off?

  • hamel

    sumo294: depends if he did it himself, or if he got someone to help him.

  • 37degrees

    This is an odd one. I’m Melbourne born and bred and enjoy living here because of the multiculturalism, egalitarianism and typically Australian relaxed attitude to life. I read this story in the Ol’ Chosun and immediately started to dig around. I couldn’t find any (as in zero) reference to this story in the media here at all – not even in the more sensationalist (Murdoch-run) media outlets here. And they usually thrive on such a story.

    I think it’s just a one-off event, that happens anywhere from time-to-time. As for Australia being a racist country, I beg to differ. Sure there are pockets around, but the reason I, my Korean wife and lots of friends of various ethnicities live here is because it’s a very tolerant society (especially Melbourne). Violent crimes do occur, but check the stats – according to the OECD, Australia is one of the least violent countries in the world (also, check the assault chart on that page):


    Melbourne is also currently ranked number one in The Economist’s ‘Most Livable Cities in the World’ index.


    I don’t think you’d be ranked the world’s number one city if you’re a hotbed of crime and racism. (Note: I don’t work for Melbourne Tourism. I just like to get my facts straight before putting them in words in a public forum).

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “What would have happened if some white guy in korea got his finger cut off?”

    He’d be congratulated for joining the Dokdo crusade.

  • Baek-du boy

    I live in Sydney, grew up in Auckland. Lived in Asia. My Gf is Korean, I have joined Korea/Asian online meet up groups and no one has ever complained about racism here being an issue. Perhaps an isolated incident or two.

    My friends and colleagues envy me when I talk about my experiences in Seoul and Singapore. We usually go eat Asian food after work.

    Australia is one of most multicultural countries in the world and I wish these old attitudes about racism here would go away. Yes, this country has a had racist policies years ago, but today is very different. Of course there are some red necks here too, usually in rural areas, no different to the U.S.

    I’ve never had any complaints about life here from my Korean friends. I tend to complain about how pretentious people can be here now and how expensive living costs are.

  • Baek-du boy

    I read a news story in 2009 about a black man and his son in the states being shot and killed for accidentally trespassing on some hicks property. I mentioned this to an American friend in conversation and she got angry at me generalising that Americans are racist (which wasn’t my intention) – it was on the topic of gun control.

    At least Australia is not riddled with gun’s and our bigots are not armed to shoot people.

  • Flyingsword K

    Ban knives next…they are dangerous also.

    BTW, good to see the gun ban keeping violent crime down….


  • SomeguyinKorea

    Stories like this are meant to sensationalize. Fact remains that the vast majority Koreans who were victims of crime, lets say 99.999%, were attacked here in South Korea.

  • slim

    How did this issue “go public” in Australia if there was no local media coverage? Is the Chosun playing fast and loose again?

  • bumfromkorea

    Listen, if the law is that if some racist asshole assaults a foreign national, the government must pay the victim damages… either the government is completely bankrupt or the incidences of violent racism (or violence in general) is really, really rare.

  • 37degrees

    It certainly didn’t ‘go public’ here. Fast’n loose it is. There is no mention in Aus. media at all (unless an Über-Googler can find it). Yonhap also say the student broke his arm (?) http://bit.ly/REdH3b

  • leguwan

    I guess the Korean guy gave them the finger (sign) :)

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    So some racists attack a Korean kid and all of a sudden the whole country is full of racist hicks. As for Madar’s story – I call bullshit.

    My wife is Korean – we’ve been living here happily for 5 years and she’s never had a single racist incident the whole time. (Ok, she had one – our 80-year-old neighbour invited her in for tea and remarked to her geriatric friend on the telephone that she was chatting to a lovely”ethnic” girl. Hardly earth-shaking stuff.

    When I was a kid there was plenty of casual racism around the place, and there still is in parts. But Australia is grown up considerably in the last 20 years. In fact, according to this study, Australia and Canada are now tied in first place for tolerance of minority groups.

    But the best judges of whether Australians are racist towards asians would be asians living in Australia – here’s a thread of them chatting about it. It’s generally positive.

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/tag/shocking Jakgani

    Thank you hoju_saram.

    I think the people on here talking negative things have never been to Australia.

    they still think the USA is the center of the universe.

  • YangachiBastardo

    #4, same with Italy. I came away from Italy hating the place to the core after visiting there with my wife who is Korean.

    To the partial excuse of my homeland i can say that yeah people tend to be very rude and inconsiderate here but the threshold of physical assault is rarely crossed and Asians (with the possible exception of the Chinese) are very low on the shit list.

    Also xenophobia is way more common than overt racism: the most hated people are by far Eastern Europeans, much whiter than us…hey not that this excuse anything


    What has happened to you exactly ?

  • John from Daejeon

    How’s the pulse of Australia in regards to China (one day soon) just taking over the country for its mineral wealth and wide-open spaces for their vast, and ever-growing, horde due to those lack of civilian guns? Is there any worry about a more militaristic China flexing their might now that they are becoming more entrenched and owning more and more of the continent for their mining and farming enterprises?

    Well, it seems that Chinese diplomats are already making a mockery out of Canberra’s workplace safety standards. It’s not often that you see diplomats actually risking life and limb in public for their country though.

  • dogbertt

    I’ve visited Australia a number of times and have nothing but good things to say about the place.

    That doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. is the center (thanks for spelling it correctly) of the universe.

  • 37degrees

    No. 38 > China is Australia’s largest trading partner, but I’m not sure why one would think they’re going to invade (neocon paranoia?) as our mineral wealth is slowly running out. Many here see China as being a good neighbour and colleague of Aus, not a militant aggressor. There’s also a big push for Aus kids to learn an Asian language, so (hopefully) a strong, lasting engagement with Asia is where we’re headed – which is great for us.

    Our pulse is fine, in fact strong and healthy – thanks to China, and soon to be Indonesia and India too. It’s a great time for Aus I think…

  • desafinado74

    The link below shows a shocking video of bus passengers racially abusing
    a French tourist in Melbourne. This video has been seen over 300,000 times around the world.


  • cm

    How can you hate on a French girl singing in French? What in the world? Here’s the video.


  • james.hannigan

    The attack on the Korean kid was almost certainly opportunistic rather than targeted. There are so many people of Asian descent in Australia’s major cities that I think it unlikely he was targeted specifically because he was Asian.

    @41 The abuse of the French-speaking people was truly disgusting and shows the ugly side of Australia. I wish every Australian participated in an exchange program to a non-English speaking country for at least six months sometime in their youth. The fact that no-one in the bus really stood up for them is appalling as well. If I had been in that bus it would have been a different story. I like to think the vast majority of Australians found this incident horrifying.

  • Alivepod

    Korea is a very big trade partner with Australia… Lots of Koreans are studying and living there, if this is a racist attack, Korean parents would hesitate to send their kids there… I guess that’s the reason of not saying what race they were. Korean media… you know how it goes, if you don’t look asian nor black or indian, you are white.