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Dong-A Ilbo on Australian racism

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.

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

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

    I recently had some dealings with a visiting Australian franchise. Some of the things the marketing team guys were just casually whipping out about “those Asians” and what not, was disturbing.

  • PeterDownUnder

    When in rome…

    Australia’s Koreans are trembling LOL hardly…

    Maybe these tourists need to really learn the lay of the land better. The above mentioned uni student that got egged probably goes to Sydney Uni which passes by the “block” in Redfern if you were to catch a train to it. The “block” being the infamous Aboriginal housing area where Taxi’s will never go into.

    Like if I was to goto America I would definitely avoid predominantly Black/Hispanic areas. Maybe we should make an online guidebook of Sydney danger zones.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    I’d like to see a poll or some hard data on the experiences of immigrants in Australia, because none of this jives with my experience, as a guy with a Korean wife, half-Korean daughter, Filipino aunt, half-Filipino cousins, Japanese brother-in-law and half a dozen Asian friends, some of whom I’ve known since I was a kid.

    I also had several very negative experiences travelling with my Korean wife through the UK and Europe. She seems to think Australia is not quite as tolerant as Canada, but better than any other country she’s lived and travelled through. I’ll take her word over a news reporter cherry-picking disgruntled Koreans for juicy quotes.

    Maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong (right?) crowd? Or the wrong neighbourhood? Or maybe the Donga is trying to sell newspapers?

    The only poll I can find is one I’ve already linked to in a previous thread, which is a survey of locals on their acceptance of immigrants, and has Australia at equal first position in the world for tolerance.

    As for trotting out the White Australia Policy, 1966 called and it wants it’s news back. Are we seriously talking about a 50-year-old immigration policy to prove a point on racism in 2012? Especially when said immigration policy didn’t even come close to being as racist as Korea’s current one?

    Anyway, whether it’s overblown sensationalism, or has some truth to it, it’s bad publicity, and bad news for Australia. We could do with more Korean immigrants – I can’t think of a better migrant group.

  • PeterDownUnder

    The police that think the victims are partially responsible are right because even they avoid certain areas.

    I remember my mate got robbed in high school and when he called the police they kept referring him to the adjacent suburb police station. For people familiar with Sydney, he called Strathfield police station and they told him to go Homebush vice versa.

  • Oneforall

    @PeteDownUnder

    Sure…..blame it on the non-whites. Nothing of remote importance here. The perpetrators must surely be black/aborigine/Hispanic.

    And yet Koreans/Asians continue to worship your skin and ingest everything you tell them like its the gospel!

  • Oneforall

    *it’s

  • Q

    There are ‘좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 (The Good, The Bad, The Weird)’ in any society.

  • Baek-du boy

    I’m sick of defending all these incidents which are clearly the minority of cases of all the 1000s of visitors and Asians/other races living in Australia.

    All are welcome here in Australia, however if you think you are not safe here, then my suggestion is (especially to Dong Ilbo journo) to go and work/study/travel in Eastern Europe. Maybe catch a football game or two there.

  • hamel

    This series of stories is a complete waste of time. I am sorry that Robert felt compelled to waste his time and energy to bring us a translation/summary of the article(s) in question.

    Move on, nothing to see here.

  • guitard

    Q wrote:

    There are ‘좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 (The Good, The Bad, The Weird)’ in any society.

    I think the saying is supposed to go, “좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 그리고 못생긴놈.”

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

    I recently had some dealings with a visiting Australian franchise. Some of the things the marketing team guys were just casually whipping out about “those Asians” and what not, was disturbing.

    I also recently (in July 2012) went to Australia and took a Korean student with me.

    We were both shocked at seeing some Koreans BAD behavior in Australia and other Koreans acting like idiots – just as they would as if they were in Korea.

    My KOREAN student was just as shocked as me – and actually upset about how Koreans were behaving in Australia – the attitudes, comments etc etc made by them.

    After returning to Korea and reading these “attacks on Koreans” during the last few months – I somehow keep thinking “they probably deserved to be attacked” – as they were probably doing something stupid such as I witnessed whilst I was there.

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

    N.B. note to Koreans – make fun of foreigners in Korea, scorn foreigners all you want and look down on foreigners and treat foreigner like idiots in Korea.

    you can because it’s your country and you can get away with it.

    But go to other countries like Australia – and try that shit – and see what happens to you?

  • sojufan_5944

    Jakgani, odjebi

  • http://ulsanonline.com martypants

    I agree with #12. Likely, the Koreans who were victimized had just as much to blame as their attackers. Even if Koreans are not treating foreigners like shit, they can be rude, obnoxious and lacking in basic manners. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a restaurant and can’t even be heard across the table because a bunch of Korean men across the room are shouting at each other – across their own table. I’ve never been to Australia, but that doesn’t play well in my country. Transplant that same behavior to where I live and there’s an ass kicking going to happen.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #11 Jakgani: After returning to Korea and reading these “attacks on Koreans” during the last few months – I somehow keep thinking “they probably deserved to be attacked” – as they were probably doing something stupid such as I witnessed whilst I was there.

    Deserved to be attacked“? I agree that some are more culpable than others, but deserved is a mite strong.

    Even assuming the use of hyperbole for accentuating your real point, I think that the randomness and indiscriminate choice of victims makes this reprehensible.

  • Todd M

    An Aussie opinion in the Joongang Daily

    http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2963334

    Implication of homosexuality and pedophilia – Ouchie!

  • Hanguk Saram

    When I lived in the States, white kids called me a Chink, Gook, Slant eye, flat face, and Jap. You name it.

    It really feels bad and hurtful to be called that.

    Koreans and Asians in general do not do that to foreigners in their countries.

    I’m sure many Asians in Australia have been called that by white people there and many of them have experienced outright racism. It is despicable.

    White people are fed with this notion that they are better than others.
    I really identify with black people living in White areas all over the world. Black people must have gone through hell and they still are.

  • inkevitch

    Meh, papers have to print something. Once is an incident, twice is a trend, three times is an endemic problem.

    1. Is racism largely accepted in private in Australia. Disturbingly yes, racist jokes are common place especially towards aborigines. I cringe at many of my parents friends gatherings at some of the crap they peddle. even some of my friends have attitude and make statements that disgusts me (and these people are higly educated)

    2.Is racism institutionalised. Definitely not in urban centres, regardless of race employment opportunities are equal. Most doctors are either Indian or Asian same goes for many other high paid professions. Foreigners do find it harder than locals for jobs but this is largely due to reasonable discrimination based on communication and visa issues. In australia there are many equal opportunity programs.

    3.Are there racist attacks. Not often and not the ones I have seen reported. These are attacks you would expect anywhere. Was vulgar racist language used, probably. But that is because the people doing these attacks are the lower forms of society so you expect them to be ignorant. But nothing in these attacks appear to be race based.

    While in rural Australia I saw quite a lot of racism. I was working with one very experienced pakistani doctor who was the med super, one fairly experienced doctor who was white female and one moderately experienced Indian doctor. Many patients preferred to see me and asked for me personally. The reason, I wasn’t brown and female. I had to point out to them that after I saw them I would be asking these other three doctors for advice as I was inexperienced.

    The local GP apparently said the one of the benefits of the amount he charged was keeping the blacks out. At which point he then went on to explain how aborignines weren’t actually negroes (apparently he used that word).

  • Anonymous_Joe

    From the editorial linked to in @16:

    Although the arrest of a 14-year-old boy has been reported the mysterious “Mr. K” is unhappy because the police allegedly told him he was in the “wrong place at the wrong time.” In Australia, shockingly, there are wrong places and wrong times to be in them. Near the technical college that “Mr. K” attends is a notorious homosexual pickup area in a local park. Could “Mr. K” and his friend have been in that park when it was being frequented by homosexuals of all ages looking for sexual encounters with strangers?

    Could he have been involved in an encounter with some young teenage boys which involved payment for sex? Could he have misunderstood these circumstances, resulting in his alleged assault by one or more 14-year-old boys? His little finger being attacked does sound like some revenge with sexual overtones. This may be why the police allegedly commented on his bad luck. Whether this mysterious Korean is a homosexual or a pedophile or both is beside the point. The point is that each assault on a Korean national in Australia has its own unique circumstances and claiming “racism” is disrespectful to genuine victims and to hardworking police.

    Wow. …just wow.

  • Todd M

    @19

    Agreed. Ouchie! Editor asleep at the wheel?

  • inkevitch

    Also the Indian attacks were not race based either. It was the same case of Indian papers making a massive thing out of three isolated events.

    1. An Indian student getting mugged in a dangerous part of the city laste at night. not race based
    2. A couple of Indians being beaten by a larger group of lebanese ion a pool hall altercation
    3. An Indian man who burnt himself burning his car to commit insurance fraud. Our country was so racist he was allowed to go home with nought but a warning. (he was found on CTV buying the petrol the day before and had the receipts). after he burnt himself he told the police and hospital it was a gang of white youths who tried to burn his care and were yelling racist taunts

  • inkevitch

    Hanguk Saram,

    Seriously?

    “Koreans and Asians in general do not do that to foreigners in their countries”

    Get on a subway and watch the area of exclusion around south asians. Have a chat to some of your family about black people. Then get back to me.

    The problem with US and Australia is that they are multicultural inclusive societies. This causes a degree of friction.

    White people didn’t invent racism, it just appears that way because of past success.

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

    “Deserved to be attacked“? I agree that some are more culpable than others, but deserved is a mite strong.

    sorry, but I did just finish Bobby’s article on how Psy has been singing (preaching) to kill American families for the last 10 years (and I am not even American).

    But when Koreans go along with that shit and even Ban KiMoon thinks Psy is an angel and hero, and from my experiences of Koreans being rude, obnoxious and lacking in basic manners in Australia (my Korean student witnessed it) – then I said they probably “deserved” to be attack.

    It’s part of Australian culture – that I grew up with.

    In Australia act badly and people will beat you up – because you “deserve” it.

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

    #13

    Jakgani, odjebi

    Jebem li ti krvavu majku! Idi u bičku mater! Cetnik!!

  • Anonymous_Joe

    @23 Jak, I do see that you used a mitigating qualifier, and I apologize for inadvertently not providing full context. Still, I think probably deserved is too strong.

    I understand your frustration. My wife has had to restrain me from running down asshat Koreans driving their killing machines too aggressively and recklessly near (my) children and pedestrians. In my culture if you drivc like that, people will beat your ass. The system works pretty well in neighborhoods, crosswalks, and parking lots.

    Still, we should have a sense of proportionality. The Korean who had his finger cut off could very well have displayed better judgment, but in no way (worst case and unfounded speculation from the editorial writer aside) did he deserve to have his finger cut off. Even loud Koreans breaking social norms deserve a loud warning before a dire beating.

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

    I actually think (just my judgement) that the Korean who had his finger cute off was because….

    He was holding onto his phone tightly with his left hand (he was left handed)…

    thenk Aussie teen-punks demanded the phone after noticing that is was a quality smart phone being chatted on loudly by an “Asian” in the middle of a dark park.

    They probably surrounded him and probably even grabbed his arm demanding the phone.

    The Korea had 2 choices, drop the phone and run
    or
    keep holding onto it as tightly as he could.

    He chose to resist and keep holding on to it as tight as he could.

    The teen-punks had no choice but to neatly slice of the pinkie finger on his left hand so that he would drop the phone.

    Then they got what they wanted and left.

    He meanwhile, had to pick up his pinkie and seek medical attention to have it re-attached.

    Now he didn’t “deserve” that.

    and nobody saw or witnessed him doing anything wrong before the attack.

    I am just saying, after what I saw of Koreans rude, bad behavior in Australia just 5 months ago, with all the cases or Koreans getting bashed, I am sure – some of them really did deserve it.

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

    What I am saying is “I KNOW Australians”

    I lived with them for 24 years.

    They only beat up people who deserve it.

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

    I also lived with Koreans for 12 1/2 years…

    I think many of them deserve a beating.

    It’s good for them – because it helps them.

  • slim

    One attack like those described here is one too many, and it’s a shame that cities in affluent Western nations have so many no-go areas. I lived in NE Asia for 18 years and can’t think of any truly dangerous zones in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul or Taipei. (The latter three have horrid driving cultures so the streets can be dangerous in a different sense)

    But it’s worth remembering (I say remembering because we all know this from experience) that Korean newspapers are every bit as as weak and underwhelming as Korean beer.

  • Bendrix

    Jakgani, you can act tough like that in Australia, and talk about how people violating social norms deserve to be beat up. Let’s see how your tough act holds up when you come to New York and people are all wary of each other. It doesn’t matter if someone is being loud or rude, you ignore them, lest you get your ass kicked for being prissy.

  • dokdoforever

    Jakgani, the loud, obnoxious, culturally insensitive people, who you describe as ‘deserving’ of attack – those people are rarely, if ever attacked.

    Groups of racist white teens most likely choose their victims based on opportunity. Any unlucky, isolated minority who they think would be easy to overpower – that’s who they target. The attackers will only attack as a group, when odds are in their favor, and they don’t have the luxury of searching around for victims who ‘deserve it’ by talking loudly or acting in some other objectionable way.

    No, they target innocent people based solely on their race. The racist thugs are cowards at heart – just looking for an easy victim.

  • Bendrix

    Jakgani is only a tough guy on the Internet. His Crocodile Dundee fantasy would die a quick death anywhere outside of the world wide web.

  • cm

    Amazing that Joongang editorial, blaming the victim who got beat up and got his finger sliced off, for no good reason by group of Australian punks, with good old gay bashings.

    Here, this article says violence against foreign students are costing Australia $3 billion a year, as foreign students stay away from Australia in droves.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/bn-hit-to-economy-as-foreign-students-slump/story-e6frgcjx-1226291242474

    Bad publicity like this abroad, is not going to benefit Australia one bit. Unless of course, if they don’t mind seeing all the colored people stay away, then I guess that’s fine.

  • sojufan_5944

    ^so true. btw, martypants, foad ffs.

  • Bendrix

    Oh yeah, that guy too. What is with these Internet tough guys? I’d like to actually see these guys enforcing etiquette out on the streets. It’s easy to talk about, and maybe somewhat easy to get away with in a country like Australia – beating up on foreign exchange students to keep them in their place. I’d like to see these tough guys come to a place like the USA, where there’s a more level playing field, and try their vigilante Mrs. Post bullshit here.

  • Baek-du boy

    Jakgani – for every Korean acting rude or bad in Australia (which is very rare from what I’ve seen and I hangout with a lot of Koreans), there a probably just as many foreigners in Korea doing the same.

    For the most part Koreans in Australia are very well behaved. Especially exchange students and working holiday visas. Yes, they could be a little more street wise.

    And no Korean’s are certainly NOT picked on in Australia any more than any other race, colour or random victim of a mugging.

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

    Let’s see how your tough act holds up when you come to New York and people are all wary of each other. It doesn’t matter if someone is being loud or rude, you ignore them, lest you get your ass kicked for being prissy.

    and

    Jakgani is only a tough guy on the Internet. His Crocodile Dundee fantasy would die a quick death anywhere outside of the world wide web.

    as usual, you didn’t read what I wrote.

    I stated that in Australia- people will view you as being “deserved” to be beaten up – if you go around acting like idiots like I saw Korean people acting and behaving in Australia 5 months ago.

    As for ME – I am a very NON-violent person, I never lay a finger on anybody – no matter how bad their behavior.

    on the street, I am the kindest, most polite, gentle person in the neighborhood.

    I merely said, that in countries such as Australia – you act badly like I witnessed Koreans behaving in Korea 5 months ago – then you will be beaten up.

    as for “my tough act in New York” – as i just stated – I don’t have a tough act and I also have NO intention of ever going to the USA or stepping foot in New York – there are many more beautiful countries to visit than the USA.

    ———————————————————

    Amazing that Joongang editorial, blaming the victim who got beat up and got his finger sliced off, for no good reason by group of Australian punks, with good old gay bashings.

    F***head – you no understanda English??

    read what i said in #26

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    What Baek-du boy said.

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

    oops… I thought you wrote Jakgani – not Joongang..

    sorry

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

    “There aren’t many real men in NYC. Everyone is a sheep. This was Baaaaaaaad.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/this-man-is-about-to-die-anger-over-photographers-role-in-subway-death-20121205-2atw9.html

    Han KiSuck Korean? New Yorkers stood around and watched him die.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Also, here’s some facts:

    In Australia the rate of assault is 766 per 100,000 population per year.

    There are at least 100,000 Koreans in Australia. (60,000 permanent residents + 30,000 working holiday visas + 10,000 other (business visas, tourist visas etc).

    This means that if we go by the law of averages we should expect there to be roughly 766 assaults on Koreans in Australia every year. Or about 63 a month.

    Currently we’re witnessing an orgy of outrage by Korean newspapers and newspapers over about 5 assaults this month. I expect that things will only get worse, because there are still about 58 assaults left to report this month.

    Good times.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    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.

    I see the updates are starting to roll in already.

    Memo to Robert: if you’re paying by the word for this blog, I’d start getting concerned.

    Funny thing about this one: I was assaulted by two Maoris and a white guy on the Gold Coast once. The Maoris weren’t girls by any stretch of the imagination and I escaped with a shredded shirt and a bloody nose, but now I’m wondering if I should have contacted a national newspaper.

  • Bendrix

    jak, people in most places would probably like to see people behaving badly get their asses kicked. but how bad does that behavior have to be for it to warrant an actual beating, and were these Koreans in Australia acting that badly? you’re just assuming that’s the case without evidence. basically, these Aussies got away with it because they are in power there, and you’re just a chickenhawk who condones unwarranted beatings.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    basically, these Aussies got away with it because they are in power there

    Really, some punk teen gang-bangers are in power down here, which is why they got away with assault?

    I don’t agree with Jak, and I think Koreans are exceptionally well-behaved folk, especially those visiting Australia, but you really need to take a look at the assault rates I linked to get an idea of why not all of these punks get caught.

  • Bendrix

    they’re in power in the sense that they’re locals, can run and hide, and outnumber and overpower outsiders.

  • dogbertt

    I also have NO intention of ever going to the USA or stepping foot in New York – there are many more beautiful countries to visit than the USA.

    Just because the U.S. doesn’t welcome Ustashi doesn’t mean you have to be all butthurt about it.

  • broona

    Can someone beat the heck out of jacgani? He deserves it for his stupid, obnoxious behavior on the Internet. “It’s good for him. It’ll help him.”

  • broona

    Obviously, beating someone isn’t a good idea. Just wanted to point out the obvious.

  • MrMao

    #17

    Koreans and Asians in general do not do that to foreigners in their countries.

    - No, on the streets of Seoul I was called, “monkey, hairy monkey, fat pig, American bastard and big nose” and told to speak Korean in banmal by people much younger than me. You are wrong.

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