So, the Dong-A Ilbo is running a series entitled, “Australia’s Koreans Are Trembling.”
The first piece is an interview with the poor guy who got his finger cut off during an assault by white teens in Melbourne. You can read the interview (in Korean) on your own, but the point to take away from it is that as bad as the physical trauma was, the psychological trauma might be worse.
The second piece deals with the racism Koreans in Hojustan routinely put up with. This includes:
- One 45-year-old Korean in Sydney got hit with a water balloon thrown from a car by Aussie teens on his way to work in August. The teens laughed and swore at him as they drove off. A 12-year resident of Australia, the man said he always looks behind him when he’s walking about, and that he and his wife run into abuse-hurling teens several times a year. He said seven or eight out of 10 Koreans say they’ve experienced racism.
- Other Korean students or expatriates the reporter met in Australia had experienced various forms of assault on account of being Asian? On 20-year-old girl attending an Australian university said somebody threw an egg at her as she was heading home from the library one night. One 35-year-old Korean expat said if Koreans are talking on the subway, they can hear people saying that Asians are loud. He said they do this only to Asians, even though white people also sometimes talk loudly.
- It’s not easy for Koreans to actively talk about the problem since it would have a major impact on the Korean-oriented tourism and education industries should these experiences become know to other Koreans. A 64-year-old Korean who has lived in Australia for 30 years said if people keep bringing up that there’s not only assaults and muggings, but also racial discrimination, the number of Koreans who come to Australia for tourism or study would decrease. Since this would directly hurt Korean restaurants, Korean supermarkets and Korean schools, everyone keeps quiet about the racism. After the attacks on Indian students in the Melbourne area in 2009, the number of Indian students in Hojustan dropped from around 120,000 to 37,000 this year.
- There are many cases in which assaults go unreported. The head of the Korean association of one Australian university said talk of assaults on Asian students around the university at night is commonplace, but many victims don’t report their assaults because their English is poor, and that most cases go unsolved even when they are reported. One Korean woman on working holiday in Sydney was recently assaulted by three white guys one night. The assailants took her bag and cell phone, and punched her in the face. She reported the attack to the police, but a month went buy without any news. When she emailed the coppers to find out what was happening, she was simply told to wait.
- Hojustani police also think the victims are partially responsibly. One Australian police official told the reporter that Asian students and tourists don’t know the roads very well, don’t know the local laws and suffer from language barriers, and because of this, they become easy targets of crime.
- Some quarters of the Korean community expressed concern that the mob attacks might hold another meaning. One official from a local Korean association said in the two assaults on Koreans in Sydney, they hit the victims with golf clubs when all they needed to do is take his money. He said he’d heard that white folk also suffer muggings in Australia, but he’d never heard news of them falling victim to mob assaults, adding that while it may have disappeared externally, he felt the White Australia policy was still alive in the hearts of some Australians.
There’s apparently another piece coming.
UPDATE: In a related piece in the Dong-A, it appears a 28-year-old woman was assaulted in the Gold Coast late last month by a white guy and two Maori girls, all three presumably teens.