Team Park shaping up/Lincoln worse dictator than Park Chung-hee?

So… Park Geun-hye’s transition team is shaping up, with former Constitutional Court chief justice Park Yong-joon as its chairman.

Two “foreigners”—I’d come up with a better term, but I’m feeling lazy—made it onto the committee, too.

Musical director Kolleen Park was named to the transition team’s special committee for youth. Good for her.

Also getting named to Team Park was In Yo-han, a.k.a. Dr. John Linton, who was named the vice chair of the team’s Committee for Grand Public Unity (or however they want to translate that).

Linton is a fifth-generation resident of Korea. The family came to Korea in the 1890s with the American Southern Presbyterian Mission—some years back, I posted a photo essay of the mission’s many historic homes, churches and schools that remain to this day in the city of Gwangju.

Dr. Linton noted during a Royal Asiatic Society lecture that the American Southern Presbyterian missionaries came to Korea not long after the Civil War, a conflict he jokingly referred to as the “War of Northern Aggression.” Five generations later, feelings are still raw, apparently—Press By PLE alleges he’s also said US President Abraham Lincoln was 100 times the dictator Park Chung-hee was—Honest Abe, after all, shut down 300 newspapers and arrested a state legislature without trial (I’m guessing he’s referring to this).

I’d be outraged, except a) I’m not seeing a time or place attached to that alleged comment, and more importantly b) even if he did say it, I’ve written far worse about President Lincoln myself.

I do have a serious question, though. Not serious like in important, but like in I’m honestly asking. Not to put to fine a point on this, but it seems the old missionary families here are just as lily white now as they were when they got off the boat a century ago. Are there rules in missionary societies—formal or otherwise—against marrying the locals? Just curious.

  • bumfromkorea

    Are there rules in missionary societies—formal or otherwise—against marrying the locals?

    In the missionaries in Korea’s case, probably the other way around.  Especially if they’ve been here since 1890s.

  • RElgin

    Robert, consider the article put up by the Koreatimes about Colleen Park’s appointment:

    . . . Now she has her name on one of the important
    positions for the President-elect’s transition team to prepare for the
    launch of the new administration.
    Such a move
    compares to that of her older sister, Kelly Soo Park who was indicted
    for murder in 2010 and finally arrested in October in the United States.

    Bad English and a tasteless dig at Park.  This is why I do not normally read this rag.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    On Lincoln: he is the statists’ hero. He waged a war to preserve the state and violated the wish of half the country to secede. Lincoln was one of the worst tyrants the US has even had in the WH, a blood thirsty murderer and hardly an emancipator. The myth around that guy, the legend that has been inflated about him is mindboggling.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Are there rules in missionary societies—formal or otherwise—against marrying the locals?

    – the Catholics clearly aren’t allowed to.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I may not be a sociologist or a historian, but it’s always been obvious to me that Americans are not immune to mythologizing their former leaders.  Teaching kids to recite the Gettysburg Address as always seemed like indoctrination to me.  I must have been a child when I first read the story of Washington and the cherry tree and I knew right away that it was not only BS, but absurd. 

    “Gee, son, I admire your honesty.  Next time you screw up, tell me right away so I don’t make the mistake of punishing you.”

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Go to Washington DC and see the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. Talk about worshipping dead presidents.
    Indoctrination?!! In PUBLIC schools? I can’t believe that could ever happen.

  • Robert Koehler

    Yeah, I decided not to go there in this post. In fairness to the KT, though, not mentioning something like that might strike some readers as odd. 

  • Robert Koehler

    You’re just jealous because your country was founded by a drunk.

  • BobbyMcG

    As to feelings there still being raw from the Civil War, I grew up in the deep south, and they are. Last time I was there some guys were complaining, “I wouldn’t take off a holiday for Martin Luther King, if I didn’t haf ta!”  (Except replace “King” with a word that rhymes with “moon.”)

  • Hume’s Bastard

    You forgot the Mankato War. But, please don’t let stop you from trying to put a golden ring in a pig’s tail, and then claiming that it smells sweeter than the rest of the herd.

  • Robert Koehler

    I probably shouldn’t respond, especially in a manner that might seem supportive, but who could forget this?

  • Hume’s Bastard

     Only having visited battlefield parks and other Confederate shrines, like the White House of the Confederacy, the only step South Koreans haven’t taken is to commercialize their, errr, “pigs”. Maybe the next generation will embrace capitalism fully, and sell controversy.

  • Robert Koehler

    Which one? The one in Alabama or Virginia?

  • Hume’s Bastard

    The one in Richmond.

    That just goes to show how Americans take advantage of opportunity. And, with the way the Ol’ South tries to undermine itself economically, its cities really need to find any modern, commercial way to compensate.

  • will.i.aint

    John Linton is married to 이지나.

  • SomeguyinKorea

     Actually, we respect him more for it.

  • imememememe

    He was a white supremacist, too, and dreamt of turning America into a colored-free nation.  But, you know, why pay attention to facts and small details?  They’re inconvenient!

  • Sonagi

    John Linton is (or was?) married to a Korean woman, who I believe is a dentist and has done charitable work in northeast China. They have a lovely bilingual daughter who is now a young adult and perhaps other children,

  • Jang

    “Such a move (sic) compares to that of her older sister, Kelly Soo Park”…”Bad English and a tasteless dig at Park”

    Wouldn’t you say that about anyone who uses her name in the same sentence as her sister who allegedly committed a horrible murder and is awaiting trial?  S. Korea’s image is at stake so you should understand the reason for KT’s jab.  Do you complain about remarks from other news media with comments like the apple(PGH) not falling far from the tree?

  • RElgin

    “Jang” would we be correct in avoiding you if it turned out that your sister was selling her body out to Japanese men in Osaka?

    You and KT suffer from a lacking sense of justice and are engaging in a kind of moral
    성분 that is disgusting.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    The execution of Louis Riel, on the other hand…That’s a huge stain on him.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Referring to the American Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression” can open Linton up to charges of racism. The war had a whole lot to do with the slavery issue.