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Is Racism at Epidemic Proportions in Korea?

GrooveKorea has a long and anecdote-filled article on racism in South Korea, as experienced by people of the darker persuasion:

On a subway in Seoul, Beauty Epps is approached by a middle-aged Korean woman. “Africa!” the Korean says. “No,” Epps, a young African-American woman, calmly replies. “American. Migukin.”
“No,” the Korean woman replies. “Africa.” Then, after a pause, the Korean woman says, “We domesticated you.”

The link is here.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Cue a whole bunch of ‘Koreans’ (many of whom have never lived in Korea) who will tell us that what we are seeing is not what we are seeing.

  • j.kimchi

    Along with a bunch of armchair social justice warrior ‘English teachers’ who assuage their white guilt by assigning “racism” to literally every experience they have overseas instead of examining the institutional and overt racism against blacks (slavery), asians (internment camps; LA riots), and others which their own culture has.

    For the first time in their lives, they must learn to live as a minority, which means people will define, exclude and stereotype you in ways in which you have no control over. Sucks doesn’t it? Yet you just did it in your own comment. So sit down, son.

  • chooNryusk

    All my money vs all of yours says you didn’t read half of the article.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Yes. Yes, I did. And there is not a lot in it that I did not already know.

  • Bob Bobbs

    And as long as Korea defines itself as a country of, for and by Koreans only, while other countries drown in oxymoronic ‘multi-culturalism,’ it will be ever so. Thanks for the a) the swipe at all English teachers as unqualified. I have more degrees and certificates from more countries than you can count. b) the assumption that I am an English teacher. Way to stereotype, Anti-Stereotyping Man!

  • Dave Hazzan

    J. Kimchi – If you read the article, you’ll see where I argued that much of the racism in Korea comes from institutionalized racism in the United States. I also pointed out that many white people in Korea are also racist. We live in Korea and therefore have a right to discuss what goes on here; in this case, a pathological anti-black racism. If I lived in Florida, trust me, I’d be writing about Trayvon Martin, or any of the other outrages that take place there.

  • pawikirogii

    well, i won’t do that, i’ll leave a quote from black folk in korea culled from the article:

    ‘Despite
    any discrimination they face, almost every black source Groove Korea
    interviewed said they either liked or loved Korea. Many were quick to
    point out that not everyone in Korea was racist – indeed, most Koreans
    they knew weren’t and were perfectly accommodating to them. Several
    sources indicated never having experienced any discrimination in Korea
    at all.

    “Korea
    – there’s racism here?” answered three Liberians in Itaewon when asked
    about racism. They all insisted that they had never experienced any
    racism in Korea, and that if there was any, it paled in comparison to
    other countries such as Thailand and Russia.

    Shams
    el-Din Rogers, 44 and from Detroit, visited Korea on vacation for two
    weeks and liked it so much she came back to live. “I have not at all
    felt discriminated against in Korea. If people are discrimination
    against me, they’re hiding it really well,” Rogers says…..’

  • chooNryusk

    This is just a tidbit you didn’t read…In
    one way or another, racism affects almost every Korean abroad. But
    being yellow here is different. Whether Korean-American, Korean or not
    even yellow but mistaken for it, experiences abroad are tainted by the
    perception that yellow Koreans are lower than other races: Yellow is violent,
    unintelligent and poor. Yellow Americans are not really American, and are
    inappropriate teachers for American children. Koreans live in a
    backward, single Korean country, consisting of little more than jungle.
    These views are not universal, but they are commonly heard abroad.

  • pawikirogii

    well said.

  • RElgin

    We, as humans, tend to judge with our eyes. It maybe be common but it sometimes leads to misconceptions, misunderstandings and too often negative consequences.
    Understanding this very human failing is a part of seeking a remedy and, for the sake of tourism and commerce in Korea, it is an important issue here since it does and will affect the incentive of many foreign businesses that might want to do business here but experience this problem.

    Of course, having brown skin and a funny foreign-sounding name is a problem for the government in America too and too often ends up with people getting shook down by the TSA when trying to fly back to the states. The government wants *all* the data they can steal but are too dumb to use it intelligently when screening travelers.

  • Aja Aja

    Few things that I found odd about this article.

    A Korean woman who barely speaks English says to a black woman,

    “ah… you Africa, you Africa”, and then she says we “domesticated you”?

    So the article says racism against blacks in Korea is pretty bad. Then it ends with this.

    “Despite any discrimination they face, almost every black source Groove Korea interviewed said they either liked or loved Korea. Many were quick to point out that not everyone in Korea was racist – indeed, most Koreans they knew weren’t and were perfectly accommodating to them. Several sources indicated never having experienced any discrimination in Korea at all.”

    So then the question is, “if most Koreans they knew weren’t racist and perfectly accommodating to them”, what the heck is the problem?

    What is the point of this article if you end it like that? That Korea has racism? Great point that nobody had known.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Very few Korean teachers are better qualified than me. Koreans attack foreigners on the street in Korea, and sometimes even kill them. Not every English teacher in Korea is American, moron.Don’t blame me for the sins of the Yanks.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Cherry-picker.

  • Dave Hazzan

    Many educated Koreans say “You’re Canada” instead of “You’re Canadian” to me. It’s a common error. She can still know the word “domesticated” or at least have looked it up. In fact, I’m willing to bet “domesticated” is not the word she was looking for, but rather “civilized” or something similar.
    And yes, most black sources I spoke to did say they liked or loved Korea – it doesn’t mean they weren’t discriminated against when they went there. I love Malaysia, even though I’ve heard Malaysians talk about scheming Jews.

  • SeoulGoodman

    I’m neither black nor white, and I still think you’re full of shit. Scratch that, I know you’re full of shit because I’ve lived in Korea for nearly 20 years.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Racism in Korea comes from institutionalized racism in the United States? In a roundabout way, maybe. American Eugenics influenced Nazi ideology, which influenced Japanese and South Korean ethnic nationalism (read up on 이범석, a fascist who studied in Germany and the first Prime Minister of South Korea).

  • Dave Hazzan

    Much of it comes from the U.S., not all of it. Read the article, it’s all in there. Keep in mind, we’re focusing here on strictly anti-black racism.

  • SeoulGoodman

    Sure, but my point is that it doesn’t absolve Koreans. Ideas only take root when you allow them to.

  • Dave Hazzan

    For sure. Agreed.

  • whitewalker

    How come nobody told me it was open season on Muslims after 9/11? I never got my bag limit,and neither did any of my friends.We never got the memo!

  • Matthew Miller

    I don’t know – it seems contradictory to say that there is an epidemic of anti-black racism and then say that there are some who never experience racism at all. And this…”Despite any discrimination they face, almost every black source Groove Korea interviewed said they either liked or loved Korea.” I suspect hyperbole.

    My idea of an epidemic of anti-black racism would be the kind that exists in the US and most of Western Europe – high incarceration rates for blacks, regular suspicious deaths in police custody or during the process of arrest, police harassment, higher poverty and lower educational attainment rates for blacks, job discrimination in all levels of society, lower salaries, shorter lifespans, and on and on.

    A truly helpful piece on any supposed epidemic of Korean anti-black racism would surely provide some kind of model that Koreans could or should follow – but what would that model be? The western model cited above?

    I suspect that some white ex-pats like to exaggerate Korean racism because it justifies their own racist attitudes towards Korea and its people. But unless you can point to a workable model – which you cannot because the western nations where you come from are 1000 times worse – then these kinds of exposes on Korean racism seem like little more than cynical defamation and finger-pointing.

  • Dave Hazzan

    Sure, but there are American blacks too who claim to feel very little discrimination in America. Incarceration rates and so on aren’t high here because there aren’t that many black people here. (We tried to get stats for foreigner arrests in Korea by race, but they don’t exist.) But blacks here almost certainly make less money in that they’re denied many of the best jobs. As for solutions, it’s not up to Groove or me to provide a template on how to fix it. That’s not journalism’s job. We did, however, let others offer up their own ideas for solutions in the last section.

  • Sumo294

    Yes there is racism–but there was also kindness and compassion in America. And of course–the opportunity to get a first class education–which many Koreans got. Do not forget that most Koreans do not go back to Korea despite the problems–it testifies that overall America is a land where one’s work ethic can give you a better material life. Your bitterness is from your adopted white liberal West Coast entitlement outlook–that somehow someone owes you a right to live in a totally equalitarian, race blind and leisurely society.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    “That allowed Muslims to be hunted in the streets after 9/11?”

    Attacks against Muslims in post-9/11 America have been statistically insignificant.

    I don’t deny the tragedy of specific attacks, but let’s keep these in perspective.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Matthew Miller

    Population size has no bearing on the rates of incarceration – I’m not talking about relative prison population sizes. 1 in every 15 African-American men are incarcerated compared to 1 in 106 white men – population size has nothing to do with that.

    An “epidemic” of anti-black racism would imply a situation equal to that which exists in the west – and Korea seems to a be a long way away from that, despite the insinuations, contradictions, and exaggerations.

    “but there are American blacks too who claim to feel very little discrimination in America.”

    I don’t really see your point here. That does not prove that there is an epidemic of anti-black racism in Korea.

    If there were such an epidemic as you claim, the smaller population size would actually experience and express far greater rates of racism. You see why I’m skeptical?

    Your claims are just…unbelievable to the neutral reader.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Black stereotypes in Korea are split between poor uncivilized savages and brash thugs wearing gold chains.

    The first stereotype comes from Korean education’s lack of global studies. Korean students often don’t know anything of othet countries apart from China, Japan, the U.S., and the U.K. Talk to some students about basic geography or world history and prepare to be shocked.

    The second stereotype largely comes from American rap artists. They boast about violence, power, money, and the objectification of women. This crap corrupts the minds of young people around the world and creates a negative image for themselves. When I have kids, I will clearly explain to them why they are not allowed to listen to music that glorifies violence in the way most rap music systematically does.

  • DC Musicfreak

    “perspective” is not that guy’s strong suit.

  • aligner

    Where do you live? Have you ever lived or worked in Korea during your adult life? From what experience do you base your comments? Based on your above comments about racism in the US, one can only assume that it is based mostly from experiences there.

    Why don’t you address the main point Bob Bobbs is making? Maybe it is an uncomfortable fact you don’t have, or could never find, a manageable way to support yourself in Korea even if you wanted to. And it would be especially ironic if you could not even endure a life in Korea measureable to how Koreans live now.

    You start your argument by accusing Bob Bobbs of being an armchair “something something” warrior. It seems that you are the true armchair warrior on the topic of racism in Korea.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I also get sick of the “unqualified English teacher” generalization. Sure, there are many. But there are also many highly qualified teachers here. Frankly, I’ve only met one Korean English language instructor more qualified than myself (surely there are more somewhere). During my year in a public school, I watched teachers follow step-by-step instructions from textbooks while they complained that they have no way to manage the classroom since corporal punishment has been banned. Not to mention the fact that they were teaching a language most of them could barely speak. I hate to rehash common criticisms, but it’s true.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    The article exhibits a hilariously superficial understanding of Confucianism — as is to be expected with most Expats. There are others things directly on point (e.g., Hua-Yi distinction), but the article takes something almost totally unrelated and tries to shove a square peg in a round hole. It’s analogous to saying “Thanks, Obama” to every ill tenuously linked to Obama here in America.

    On another note, racism against blacks has partly to do with it being hard-coded: studies indicate that people in general look down upon people of darker skin tone and favor those of lighter skin tone, even if the observer is of a darker skin tone. This occurs even within members of a particular races. This is not to say that I condone racism but it is an attempt to better understand it.

    Sources:
    http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2009/11/skin-color-eye-beholder
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorism

    Another interesting read:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_syndrome (“In one experiment, a group of children with Williams syndrome showed no signs of racial bias, unlike children without the syndrome.”)

  • aligner

    “I suspect that some white ex-pats like to exaggerate Korean racism because it justifies their own racist attitudes towards Korea and its people. But unless you can point to a workable model – which you cannot because the western nations where you come from are 1000 times worse”

    Mr. “ahem” Miller. And just what western nation do you hail from? I believe your name impies you do come from one.

  • Matthew Miller

    That’s Mr Matthew Miller, not “ahem”.

    I don’t understand the point of your question. My country of origin is irrelevant.

  • DC Musicfreak

    If any of you had the inclination to declare the US “post-racial” (parts of it certainly are) go to the Yahoo version of this article about the Russian gymnast/Putin acolyte who carried the Olympic torch last night in Sochi: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554341/Former-Russian-figure-skater-lit-Olympic-flame-posted-racist-photo-Obamas.html

    Of course, the world naturally expects this from Russia, with its deepening fascist ways and its essentially Potemkin parliament, but in the comments on the yahoo version of this story, most of the Americans appear to support the gymnast! Those ignorant rednecks don’t even comprehend the slimy company they are keeping.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Prison stats are due to social inequality, not racism. We don’t put black men in jail because they are black. Black communities have higher rates of violent crime due to our long history of racism – not current racism. We had 200 years of slavery, 100 years of segregation, and only 50 years of legal equality (still a long way from actual equality).
    The high number of black Americans in prison is not because of current racism in the U.S.; it is because of a long history of inequality that has resulted in widespread black poverty.

  • Matthew Miller

    That doesn’t actually make any sense – except as a convoluted excuse. Black activists think that racism is a culprit in high black incarceration rates – why should I believe you?

    Blacks are also three times more likely to be searched during traffic stops than whites, are 4 times as likely to experience force during police encounters, blacks are disproportionately represented in drugs arrests, blacks receive 21% more minimum mandatory sentences than whites, are 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison, and when they are, they receive longer prison sentences.

    Should I believe you, or the stats which many black people say reflects racial bias? That is what is so incidious about these kinds of race discussions – it deflects away from the fact of severe repressive anti-black racism in the US and gives Americans a smug delusional sense of superiority, not realizing that black people are rolling their eyes at us.

    Poverty and inequalities have nothing to do with the above facts – how does poverty lead to longer sentencing for the same crime? How does inequality result in blacks being 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison? Your argument does not fly.

  • aligner

    You have made a ridiculous blanket statement, commeting as a “Mathew Miller,” that western nations are 1000 times worse in terms of racism than Korea. Are all western nations the same in your eyes?

    I agree that country of origin in most cases does not need to be exposed, especially for those who can keep their comments focused on the main subject at hand – Korea. Can’t you at least keep your comments focused on Korea? Or would commenting on Korea even add more evidence to that fact you have had no recent experience with the place?

    Is the fact you are most certainly a Korean American not relevant? If so, what’s with the name? Why don’t you just call yourself Mr. X then?

  • Matthew Miller

    Well I don’t think my blanket statement is any more or less ridiculous than Dave Hazzan’s.

    Plus, you seem to be saying that my race – not my nationality – is somehow relevant to the points I’ve made in this post. You will have to explain how that is the case, because on the surface it makes no sense. And no, I am not Korean-American. What if Miller were my real name? Wouldn’t you look silly?

    Anyways, what does my race have to do with what I have written? Nothing as far as I can tell. Are you suggesting that race determines the content of a someone’s opinion and that you are able to surmise that race based on the facts I posted about anti-black racism.

    And my comments are hugely significant to Korea and what happens there – western ex-pats are piss-poor resources for any society hoping to end racism. As I said, what model can you – if you are western ex-pat, which by your irritation at my pointing out western racism you probably are – or any ex-pat offer the Koreans to improve their race “issue”. Not much I would say and it may well be that Korea has more to offer the west.

    It is pointless to merely point the finger and exaggerate racism – come up wit solutions, show the Koreans how to treat blacks. Well, maybe not.

  • aligner

    Alright then, have you ever worked in Korea? Are you in Korea now? I don’t request any details, just a few simple answers, since you are playing the comparison game.

    I emphasize working in Korea, because this is the only way you can get at least a personalized grip on what Korea is, and this could at least add some meat to such an extreme statement that Koreans are so much less prejudiced against blacks than Americans. You know, then we can know you have lived a little and scraped around Korea a bit – you have seen the attitudes of the working man there. You are not only tied to statistics and wikepedia articles.

    And you might be surprised, but not all the people posting on this blog are Americans (unless you are counting those posting from America – then it is a clear, hands down American majority – unfortunately).

  • Matthew Miller

    Well if you have a point to make then make it – my personal details certainly have no bearing on your beliefs or on any of the points I made. So please, make your point.

    Personally, I would find any personal anecdotes less convincing than stats and the expressed belief amongst America’s blacks that their high incarceration rates are due to anti-black racism.

    Most of the time, social policies are carried out based on stats and never on personal anecdote, but fire away.

  • aligner

    Until have something concrete to say related to Korea, or least some statistics provided by the Korean government or mainstream media there on this issue to add more balance, I will decline your offer.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Poverty has a lot to do with legal counsel. Relying on a public defender vs a specialist attorney for the same crime could have a lot to do with the sentencing. Traffic stops and searches are more likely to happen in areas known for gang violence and drug dealing.

    I don’t deny that there is racism in America, but comparing prison stats between America and Korea to claim that Korea is less racist is a very erroneous measurement. One glaring problem is that there are very very few black citizens of South Korea.

  • Matthew Miller

    Yeah, I think that you are reaching – desperately. I have done far more than compare prison stats -I have suggested that the justice system as a whole is biased.

  • Matthew Miller

    Uh-huh.

  • aligner

    Ok – Mr. reticent “Mathew Miller” with the stereotypical yet absurdly complete western blog name and birdie avatar – enjoy your morning in the good old USA!

  • DC Musicfreak

    Suggested, yes, but not demonstrated. MiG is doing the kind of “reaching” that gets us away from simple, lazy blanket statements like “your country is 1000 times worse than Korea” . I’m suggesting that this is a subject that is far more complex than you can conceive, at least with your current level of “research” — which as far as we an see is based on one wikipedia page and 2-3 gangster rap records.

    My take on Korea in this area is that there is a strong bias in media, law enforcement and corporations against all outsiders, and then within that a racial pecking order that closely follows skin colour.

  • pawikirogii

    confucius say:

    일일부독서구중생형극
    一日不讀書口中生荊棘

  • Matthew Miller

    Hmmm.

    Which wiki page are you talking about? Could you provide a link? And I never liked rap of any kind.

    But I’m surprised that anyone finds MiG’s points compelling – they seem desperate to me. For example he seems to think that the fact that 1 in 15 black men are (as of early 2013) incarcerated and that in their lifetimes 1 in 3 black men will be imprisoned – that is a full third – can be explained by deficiencies of public defenders. That seems far fetched, but perhaps worse is his/her insinuation that black people cannot afford decent lawyers – if true, what does that say about the plight of black folks in the US?

    Once we set aside personal feelings it is hard to see how MiG is making any sense.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    That’s actually not a line from Confucius, but from 推句 whose author is unknown. It became famous because Ahn Junggeun wrote that line in calligraphy while in jail.

  • pawikirogii

    i know, kuiwon, but when i was young, people used to say: ‘confucius say..’ and then give some kind of smart alecky but sage advice. i thought using something related to the wa occupation was appropriate and apt for poster aligner. have a good day. :-)

  • bumfromkorea
  • bumfromkorea

    South Korea may provide an interesting case study of the progression of racism from ignorance to hate. Right now, the racism is coming nearly 100% from ignorance – It’s not “Ugh, these black people and their violence, welfare leeching, and baby-making ways”-racism of the States, but rather “Black people? Oh, you mean those tribal people in Africa?”. Even the transition of American racism into Korea can be attributed to the ignorance, as Koreans simply adopted a concept in place of a blank slate.

    As South Korea becomes more and more diverse, the ignorance-racism will turn into the run-of-the-mill “These darkies are stealing out money/education/etc.”-racism. It would be very interesting (and important) to document the transition.

    On a slightly related note, I’m very concerned about the Korean children with 1 non-Korean parents that will soon reach the workforce age. I shudder at the discrimination that they will face, and unless South Korea does something about its racism quickly, it will have a very, very isolated and unhappy sections of the population who will essentially be second-class citizens.

  • bumfromkorea

    I think the Millenials are mostly post-racial. Everyone else is just faking it with political correctness. :D

    What can you say? All those anti-discrimination public education worked.

  • bumfromkorea

    I think that difference exists because there isn’t a sense of malice in most of the symptoms of Korean racism. Racism in Korea is overt and obvious, but there are no “These Fucking Black People” factors in it.

    Yet.

  • Bob Bobbs

    The mind boggles at the notion that you fail to see malice in any of these demeaning portrayals of black people.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Sure they did:

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=nigger+obama&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=Mmv&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&tbm=isch&oq=nigger+obama&gs_l=img.3…7154.8469.0.9469.9.9.0.0.0.2.159.1022.4j5.9.0….0…1ac.1.34.img..5.4.436.ILSx0HpWwLw

  • aligner

    파위 말하기는 그냥 외국 놈이라서 원래 그말을 던진 사람이 중국인인지 한국인인지 상관 있겠느냐

  • redwhitedude

    Lol at the comments for this post. Not too surprised with how it is turning out.

  • PortaJohn

    Riiiight.. so whitey goes to Korea, experiences racism, and has to suck it up, because two wrongs make a right. He can’t say shit about racism in Korea because racism against non-whites exists in the states.. riiiiight.. sure buddy.

  • bumfromkorea

    Racism from Hate (i.e with malice): http://www.rjkoehler.com/2014/02/08/is-racism-at-epidemic-proportions-in-korea/#comment-1236207559

    Racism from ignorance (i.e. without malice): http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/02/201_150883.html

    Racism is demeaning regardless of where it comes from. And before you start shedding your crocodile tears over the plight of black people in Korea… with or without malice racism hurts people. The “difference” I was talking about was why a lot of the black people in the article seemed to think Korea wasn’t so bad – because the racism they face is overt but without malice. It’s much easier to stomach and deal with.

    It’s like the difference between the racist assholes who shout “Chinky chink chink!” at my family while they were driving by us in the streets, and that sweet old lady in St. Johns, AZ who complimented me for speaking English so well “despite being an Oriental”.

  • bumfromkorea

    Yes, because as we Millenials in America know, the generations above us don’t use internet.

  • bumfromkorea

    I’d say the # of non-Korean population hasn’t hit the “critical mass” needed for the type of aggressive racism seen in other countries.

  • RElgin

    The same statistics can be found in the UK too. Blacks there are stopped and subjected to a section 60-style search far more than whites.

  • PortaJohn

    Well, ok then. End of story. Racism in Korea is a non issue. Move along, people, nothing to see here. Anyone who claims racism in this foreigners’ paradise must have PERSONAL PROBLEMS. Move along…

  • silver surfer

    It comes more directly from Japanese fascism.

  • silver surfer

    When we hear comments like ‘Africa saram!’ and ‘Black ugly’, we judge Koreans as deeply ignorant and unfit for society and they know it.

  • Bob Bobbs

    How convenient for you.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Well said.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I never did any of those things.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I don’t foresee real hatred for black people in Korea anytime soon, largely because most black people living in Korea are only here temporarily. But I think you are right that the racism here is based on ignorance as opposed to societal animosity.

    The children I worry about are the ones with a SE Asian parent(s) who will never be truly accepted as Korean, at least not until something drastically changes.

  • bumfromkorea

    That’s who I meant, mostly. It’s quite possible that the half-SE Asian children will at least have marginally normal childhood, since there wouldn’t be any obvious physical markers that would distinguish them (unlike skin color, facial bone structure, eye color, etc.). But I definitely foresee those job (even college) applications suddenly having sections where you have to write down the ethnicity of your parents in the near future…

  • bumfromkorea

    Indeed, it is convenient when facts support my argument.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Netizen Kim?

  • DC Musicfreak

    I’m not going to fully align myself with the aligner here, but I see where he’s coming from:
    -A tu quoque argument (i.e. a fallacy) suggesting a “non-native speaker” of logic.
    -A sudden appearance here after no commenting history in an (unsuccessful) attempt to defend or deflect attention from Korea.
    -The choice of a generic white bread middle-American name in the belief that laundering your ethnicity will make your argument more credible.
    -Doubling and tripling down on your original faulty approach while some people here are actually making efforts at a nuanced understanding.

    These are common tropes of Internet nationalists, particularly from China, but more than occasionally from Korea and Japan.

  • Matthew Miller

    Actually my name, race, ethnicity and nationality have nothing to do with my arguments and points.

    As for logical fallacies you are engaging in well-poisoning by suggesting that my points are somehow suspect because of my race – which you don’t know. Plus, when you say a ‘”non-native speaker of logic”‘, you are not making any sense – that sentence makes no sense.

    You cannot possibly know what my race is based on what I have written – it’s best to actually focus on what I have written than embarrass yourself with silly and paranoid claims about my motives or background.

    I think that it is not surprising that no-one has even tried to answer the very simple question that I have posed; what model for improvement can ex-pats suggest for Koreans to follow when it comes to combating the supposed “epidemic” of anti-black racism in Korea?

    So maybe with your amazing reasoning skills and being a “native speaker of logic” (you tell me what that means!) you can be the hero that answers that question……should Koreans treat blacks the same as the west treats blacks?

    That is to say, if Korea equaled, let’s say America’s stats of black incarceration rates, 35% plus rate of poverty, police harassment and brutality, shorter lifespans, neglect of primarily black urban schools leading to lower rates of educational attainment, plus all of the other problems faced by blacks in the US, would you and the other racial-equality warriors say that this would make Korea a better place for blacks than it is now?

  • Matthew Miller

    Yes, black Brits are three times more likely to be imprisoned and in Australia blacks are 18 times more likely to be imprisoned than the national average.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    It says that there is serious income inequality as a result of 350 years of legal and social inequality.

    Have you considered that the high incarceration rates of black men in America is because black communities have much higher crime rates? Instead, you blame it on racism in the justice system (which there probably is, but the U.S. isn’t convicting thousands of innocent black men). Again, this high crime rate is due to income and social inequality, not contemporary racism.

    Since you’re good with numbers, could you tell us how you came up with the idea that the West is 1000 times more racist than Korea? I’d like to see your math.

  • Jason Lindley

    Wow, a comment section about Race-Matters on the Marmots Hole? I’m sure this will be informative, unbiased, and educational

  • aligner

    For the love of God, can’t we get at least one of these my “ethnicity doesn’t matter guys” to at least say that they have worked for a Korean or foreign company in Korea? Geez – you think one of the thousands and thousands of KAs living in Korea could take the time to enlighten us a little on their experience working here.

    Of course, Korea being what is, you can’t give any details about your actual workplace or anything else that might shine a spotlight on you. But it isn’t amazing that we don’t have even one obvious Korean posting from Korea about Korea on this blog? Is that really possible? I don’t discount that some “Mathew Miller” might be actually posting from Korea, but what is the point of discussing anything with someone who considers even the nature of his relationship with Korea (or whether he even has a relationship) to be irrelevant and off limits.

    Robert – couldn’t you ask at least one Korean with recent Korea-experience to post on a regular basis? You probably meet yourself hundreds of Koreans on a weekly basis capable of commenting on this blog – can’t you entice any of them to write something? Perhaps they are too busy or can’t be bothered, or perhaps they would sound too much like us angry white expats, or perhaps they are too worried about being ostracized at the workplace if discovered saying anything smelling slightly negative about Korea? Yuna was quite a welcome poster compared to the wikipedia crowd here, but we hardly even here from her anymore. The argument that the environment here it too hostile to such people does not hold water.

    If you want my blunt opinion, this blog started spinning of course when Robert began his rather shrill, “you’d better all agree with me” anti-Japanese blasts – all that ass-hattery nonsense. I think that set the real tone here.

  • Matthew Miller

    I will try to explain it as simply as I can.

    Black men are more likely to be incarcerated for than white who commit the same crimes. Blacks are more likely to be arrested, be harassed by the police, and are more likely to be given prison sentences to name just a few injustices.

    Your fantasy is that racism has nothing to do with it, but I am more inclined to believe the word and testimonies of black Americans themselves who cite racial bias as the main cause for these imbalances.

    Instead of focusing on the “1000 times worse” statement, why not answer whether you think that if Korea had the same stats regarding its black population if blacks would have a better experience there.

    Just so it is clear for you, I am not the originator of the belief that these inequalities that I have mentioned are the result of extant racism – who do you think I am, Al Sharpton? No, the claims of racial bias come from black people themselves – I merely believe them.

  • Matthew Miller

    Since you mentioned me by name I suppose I have earned the right of response.

    You have not made any sense with your demands that people identify their race or – now – their living arrangements. The US and the west has a piss-poor – ongoing – record for maltreatment of blacks, and all of my posts have pointed that out. How my race affects those facts is something you have failed to specify.

    It is pretty clear that you believe that knowing my race gives you a clue about my character and my motivations. That is actually what a lot of racism looks like.

    I’m interested in how to improve Korea’s treatment of its black population – should they emulate the western nations and strive to achieve equivalent statistics for blacks as those which exist in, let’s say, the US? Yes I know that you think (along with historical giants like Stalin and Mao) that personal anecdote is a convincing and sufficient form of inquiry upon which to base social policy, but until that starts to be the accepted mode of operation for liberal democracies I will stick to what the basing my belief on stats and the testimonies of blacks experiencing racism in the west.

  • Aja Aja

    I’ve done a fair amount of readings from black people in Korea and their racism experience online. The impression I get from their experiences is it’s not that racism against blacks don’t exist in Korea, but that they seem to be much better than the white people in handling racism due to the fact the amount of racism they received from their home countries, has toughened them up to withstand whatever Korea threw at them. Thus explains to me, this contradictory stance of this article mentioning racist horror stories in Korea, but at the same time mentioning that most black people it interviewed, still loving their experiences in Korea. Reading some of the online stories I’ve read, I also sense a buried resentment towards whites when they compare the racism they’ve experienced in Korea versus in the west.

    For instance, this person’s experience.

    http://theblackeslteacher.blogspot.ca/2007/03/be-mentally-free.html

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    It’s really too hypothetical to imagine what black experiences would be like if the population stats were similar to America’s. Korea is 98% Korean, and yet many Koreans still complain about too many immigrants living among them.

    I do know that when I am with a black friend in Korea, I am the one who needs to hail a taxi for them to stop. Likewise, my Korean friends have an easier time than me. I also have a black friend who was given the day off work when parents visited his school while the white teachers had to meet and greet the parents. The 교포 teacher was asked to just work in the office. I also know that a black guy in my building has trouble getting served at 김밥천국. The cook pretends she can’t understand him even though his Korean is perfectly understandable.

    So how would a large population of black people in Korea be treated? I can only imagine.

    I completely agree with you that the West has serious racial issues. But for you to suggest that Korea is significantly better is ridiculous. Do you now or have you ever actually lived in Korea as an adult? If not, why are you commenting on race relations in a country with which you have no experience?

  • Matthew Miller

    The question raised by Hazzan’s article is that there is an “epidemic” of anti-black racism in Korea. To me – and to black Americans possibly – an epidemic of anti-black racism is what happens in, let’s say, the US or Australia where blacks are 18 times more likely to be imprisoned.

    I’m not saying that I have never been to Korea, but I don’t have to have been there to understand that to describe anti-black racism there as an “epidemic” it would have to at least be somewhat similar in scope and degree to anti-black racism in the US.

    Citing low population sizes is silly and irrelevant – in fact, if the scope of anti-black racism in Korea were as severe as it is in some western countries, then you would have absolutely no doubts about it given a small population size. After all a smaller population size would be more greatly affected by an “epidemic” than a large one.

    So either Hazzan is making a ridiculous claim about “epidemics”, or anti-black racism in korea resembles the black experience in the US. But you all but admit that it does not.

    The recent Trayvon Martin case all but made it legal to shoot and kill young black men in Florida if they only merely seem threatening.

    Given that and all of the facts of the black experience I have already mentioned in previous posts (which incidentally is not even the complete picture of anti-black racism in the US – I haven’t even gone into discrimination in loans offered to budding black business people or home-owners, and the revealing media/cultural silence when a black kid dies – which happens relatively frequently in urban areas – compared to the world-wide coverage when a blond, blue-eyed girl goes missing or stubs her toe), I would say that I have a stronger case for whose experience more closely resembles an epidemic.

  • pawikirogii

    a quote from the post:

    ‘ it’s my opinion that it’s white people who have trouble dealing with
    this; having lived your life of privilege and being a part of the
    majority, it’ll sting you more when you’re not number one for the first
    time in your life. this is not your home. that’s not a bad thing. it
    means that you’re out of your comfort zone, try to grow from it. it means
    that you need to keep your foreigner status in mind, and respect the
    space. get used to it.’

    indeed.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Source?

  • bumfromkorea

    … of what? The sources that prove that Americans older than 30 use the internet? I’m gonna get on that, and you go get the source proving that more than 99% of Americans consume oxygen on a daily basis.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Source stating that none of those images were produced by people under the age of 30.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You’re an English teacher, too, so don’t act high and mighty. You’re also a tail chaser and like married women. You scrape the bottom of the barrel and criticize foreign men for doing the same; though by chasing married women, you are far worse. In fact, you know that this can be checked so you hide your posting history like a coward; but I still remember all about your posts, including how you feel inferior because of a lack of size in areas where women want size, which is one of the stated reasons you stay away from women who have dated foreigners. It must suck to feel inferior as a man and hence the need to lash out on MH.

  • bumfromkorea

    I think a proper course of order would be to provide that those images were created by Millennials… by the person who offered it up in the first place.

    You: Millennials are racist too. See these images?
    Me: Yeah… you have no proof that they were made by the Millenials.
    You: Oh yeah? Source?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Oh, you’re so clever. You could be an English teacher.

  • SeoulGoodman

    …which comes from German fascism. See the connection?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its a chicken and egg type of thing. On the surface, yes, black neighborhoods are riddled with crime. But look beneath the surface. How do racist attitudes contribute to higher incarceration rates of blacks? How do higher incarceration rates contribute to the break up of Black communities and black families and how does that feed back on itself to create more crime in the form of youth delinquency that becomes full on adult crime? You would probably admit that there is a relationship here and one that goes back so far that it has by now become ingrained in the psyche of communities on either side of the divide: whites like you who see blacks as violent, blacks who see no way out of their situations than to turn to crime.

    The incarceration rate took off with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the much beloved small government President who unleashed the ultimate Big Government program: the War on Drugs which over the course of 3 decades and a change, has created millions of convicts who became unemployable and who, imprisoned together with violent criminals, picked up the tricks of the trade that they would subsequently have to end up using as no one wanted to hire ex-cons. The War tore families and communities apart, leaving legions of boys with no fathers. The War and the Prison Industrial complex has also identified an easy source of prisoners: blacks who have no voice.

    If you do not see the role of law enforcement in the RISE of crime in black communities, you need to open your eyes.

  • DC Musicfreak

    (Names changed to protect the innocent)

    WASHINGTON (Feb 10) – U.S. prisons are facing a shocking dearth of white inmates , a plummeting pallid population white activists and amateur statisticians blame on racism, safe-but-dull caucasian lifestyle choices and other factors yet to be looked up on Wikipedia.

    “It’s white underprivilege, plain and simple,” said Guy White, president of the National Association for the Incarceration of Colorless People (NAICP).

    “A black man can be arrested just for waking up black, but a white guy can rob a bodega or a bank – hell, even run an investment bank into the ground, destroying the life savings of millions of Americans – and walk away with a slap on the wrist,” said White.

    Amateur statistician Miller Matthews said his research shows a U.S. justice and political system entirely rigged to keep the white man out of jail.

    “Look up the numbers, like I did on the Internet last week – they don’t lie,” said Matthews, a researcher at the Center for the Misapplication and Misinterpretation of Criminology Statistics.

    “Before you go pointing fingers at countries like Zambia and Tanzania for having prison populations that are 100 percent black, take a look in your own back yard,” he said, adding that the fact that the U.S. Attorney General, as well as the mayors and police chiefs of many major US cities, are African American “is highly edifying.”

    White prison gang leaders agree that the favoritism is rapidly depleting their ranks.

    “Forget about raising a basketball team in here; I can’t even get a hackeysack trio together,” said Wyatt T. Rash, head of the Pale Riders gang in Price George County jail, outside the U.S. capital.

    “And in the prison video library, if it ain’t one of them shitty films Tyler Perry churns out each month, they don’t have it,” he added.

    “Musically, rap music has become so mainstream and milquetoast in the last decade that we can roll with it, but would it hurt to play a little Phish or Bon Iver on Sundays?” asked Rash.

    White of the NAICP concedes that lifestyle choices and even human biology plays a role in the problem.

    “White folks simply can’t jump high enough to justify killing a passerby to steal his $200 sneakers – and, honestly, when was the last time you heard of anybody shooting someone for a pair Birkenstocks?” he said.

    Sociologists note also that in nearly all of the most spectacular instances of white violent crime – weekly mass shootings in US malls, schools, offices – the perpetrators end up killing themselves.

    “The crystal meth epidemic is the last great white hope of ever screening Mad Men or Will & Grace reruns on any TV set in the nation’s prison system,” says the NAICP’s White.

    The declining penal fortunes for the ethnic majority in the U.S. has sparked more than a little schadenfraud among other American persons of color.

    Now whitey can learn first hand what it’s like to be a stressed out model minority – like us facing Ivy League parental expectations with upholstery school SAT scores,” scoffed angry Korean K.Jimchi between mouthbreaths.

    “I agree with everything the non-white people said in this report – unless you’re talking to Mexicans or, God forbid, Japanese,” said GawiPirogi, a frequent Internet commentator.

    Ironically, the only people on earth who have a harder time landing in prison and staying there than US whites are Korean – CEOs of large industrial firms and school teachers who molest children.

    Texas native Barry Gevers, a teacher who served nearly a year in a Korean jail for writings that used names for Pacific Ocean geographical features that were offensive to Koreans, observed this catch-and-release program for tycoons during his stint.

    “One guy was in there for amassing and hiding billions of dollars in murky slush funds. He had purchased every politician worth buying in his country and his firm’s advertising budget had destroyed the integrity and independence of every newspaper in the land,” said Gevers.

    “We liked him because he made available to us affordable and serviceable versions of our favorite American tech gadgets – often only weeks after they were unveiled back in the U.S.,” he recalled.

    “He wasn’t there long, though, because he was deemed ‘too important’ as a member of a foursome that had booked a hard-to-get tee time months in advance at an exclusive golf course outside Seoul,” lamented Gevers.

    Child molesters Gevers saw “got off almost as light as that New York film director with the Korean child bride,” he added.

    Back in American prisons, meanwhile, shrinking Aryan Brotherhood chapters are considering desperate measures to bolster their ranks.

    “We weighed the idea of admitting Russians, but decided they were simply too racist – even for us,” said Rash. “They also had rather, um, problematic views about the only kind of sex available to us in prison,” he noted.

    “The Hitler we worship hated all the right people, but he cared deeply about his own folk,” said Rash. “I don’t think you can say that last part about the guy who runs Russia now.”

  • Arghaeri

    He wasn’t talking to you.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    couldn’t you ask at least one Korean with recent Korea-experience to post on a regular basis?

    I remember when I posted about my childhood experience watching the KBO, the bitter expat crew descended to tell me that my experience could not have been true. So I doubt that having a Korean who currently lives in Korea would make much of a difference.

    The argument that the environment here is too hostile to such people does not hold water.

    Too hostile? No. Too fucking stupid? Yes. Having blogged with some public visibility for nearly a decade now, I have a pretty goddamn thick hide. I don’t mind mixing things up at all. But there comes a point when no conversation is possible, because the other side becomes like a creationist–dogmatic and dumb.

  • Arghaeri

    So wrong… !!!

  • wangkon936

    I spent the weekend with a Korean gal who spent three years in Japan. It gave her an opportunity to compare the two cultures. The biggest problem with Koreans, she said, was the fact that they are just way too honest with what they say and will blurt things out even to strangers. Whether it be black skin or a mole on your face, Koreans will point it out with a lot of gusto. Koreans lack a filter.

    The main problem she noticed with the Japanese is that they exercise insincere sincerity. They would invite her to their house very nicely, the next day she would pay them a visit but they would totally not remember that they invited her to their house.

    Koreans, at the end of the day and especially in urban settings, may not really be much more or much less racist than a lot of other people in a developed country. However, they are gonna be a lot more upfront verbally with what they think of your appearance. This might be linked to why there is a lot of plastic surgery in Korea too.

  • wangkon936

    Rich, coming from someone who can’t read/write/speak/comprehend a complete sentence of Korean.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Or because you declare yourself the winner and stop arguing the point.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Korea. Little country in Asia. Ever been there?

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    No, that’s your MO. In fact, I cannot think of a single person in this cesspool who does that better than you do.

  • wangkon936

    Yes, five times since 2006. Once to visit potential in-laws.

  • bumfromkorea

    You gotta elaborate on that. Don’t be that guy.

  • wangkon936

    Bob, in terms of population size and economy, Korea is firmly in the “middle” sized category. In terms of land mass it is a relatively small country. However, focusing on land mass alone reflects one dimensional thinking.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You hang with dogs, you get fleas.

  • Bob Bobbs

    In terms of blackface skits and overt racism, Korea is firmly in the ‘Stone Age’ category. In terms of appropriating elements of cultures it despises, it is ‘World Class’.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Do you think I don’t know that? Your insecurity is showing. I’m CANADIAN. Almost every country is little to me.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Must one learn the finer points of a language to learn that racism is wrong?

  • wangkon936

    I am stating facts. How is my insecurity showing?

    Btw… I would not consider Canada a small country. It’s basically Saudi Arabia with snow…. ;)

  • wangkon936

    It wouldn’t hurt to know the language. Besides, maybe sometimes they are not being racist towards you at all. Maybe you think they are being racist. It could be a misunderstanding. For example, people may be piling on you because you are (possibly) a jerk, not because you are white. They could be hard on you because, from a Confucian standpoint, you may have poor manners. But you won’t know for sure unless you knew what they were saying.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Well, we let the women drive. For now.

  • wangkon936

    I have yet to see anyone in Korea shot and killed because they are non-Korean or non-Korean churches burned or graffiti with ethnic slurs on non-Korean property.

    http://lafd.blogspot.com/2011/12/arrest-made-in-connection-with-recent.html

    Perhaps putting Korea in the ‘Stone Age’ category is a bit too histrionic?

  • silver surfer

    Yeah…posted before I read your above comment. My comment was a reply to Dave Hazzan’s.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I understand Kojaengi, Wang Ko, Doong Duaeji, Miguknom, Hangulmal Hae and Wonsoongi just fine, thank you. They should all be in the Lonely Planet phrasebook because white folks in Korea are going to hear these words a lot. Throw in a little Apuhrica Saram Shikamdoongi, Jjangkae, ‘If i see a Japanese person, I will kill him’ and even a Gaijin (on my very first day in Korea!) and you would have a complete set.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You say upfront, I say cruel. Isn’t multi-culturalism fun?

  • wangkon936

    But you fellas have all that oil.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Canada

  • Bob Bobbs

    You have yet to see someone shot and killed because Koreans aren’t nuts like the Americans who think guns are appropriate birthday presents for children. But Koreans DO physically attack foreigners on the street just for being foreign, or because they don’t like the sound of another language being spoken. As for burning down places of worship, it’s the Korean Christians burning down Buddhist temples who get most of the media coverage. Or did they forget to tell you that on Arirang TV?

  • wangkon936

    Well, what’s first for you? The chicken or the egg? Are you an ass first then you become a Kojaengi, Wang Ko, Doong Duaeji to many Koreans? Give the oftentimes rough social skills you exhibit in this blog, I’m not saying that those terms are right. Of course they are not, not by a long shot. However, if you act like an ass and fit into their expectations for the ill mannered foreigner who doesn’t respect local rules and customs, you make yourself a target. If that’s true, then really, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Anyways, there are many foreign expats who have a more balanced and fair assessment than you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQk4QDjnNPA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbLVIWNtdzo

  • Bob Bobbs

    Once again, I am not American. Don’t blame me for their idiocy.

  • wangkon936

    “As for burning down places of worship, it’s the Korean Christians burning down Buddhist temples “

    I am aware of news of Korean Christians vandalizing Buddhist temples/shrines. But, it wasn’t because the Christians or Buddhists were of a different race now, was it? I would believe no, thus not germane to the discussion at hand. This is a conversation about racism, not religious intolerance, no?

  • Bob Bobbs

    No, you clown. These are things that are shouted at foreigners on the street in Korea by Koreans just because these people are there. Not because they are beating their girlfriends or getting incredibly drunk in the middle of the day. These are the preserve of Korean men. These are words that Koreans say when they see foreigners, not once these foreigners have assaulted them or dared to walk in their houses with their shoes on. This is why Groove Korea writes articles about epidemics of racism. This is why dozens of websites and blogs talk about Korean racism. This is why Koreans are known for racism. You don’t hear these words because you look like them. Get it through your thick skull that your experience in Korea is transitory, shallow and in no way reflects the experience of a non-Korean who lives and works in the country. You drop by, amazed that there is finally a country where people look and sound like you, drink some nokcha and go back home. You know jack. Stop blaming the victims amd pretending that Koreans are the only people on Earth who are level-headed and rational.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Ich bin kein Amerikaner. Je ne suis pas americaine. Yo no soy Yanqui. Miguk Saram animnida. Verstehst du, du schabiger Lump?

  • aligner

    I agree that the personal attacks here can get out of hand. If certain ground rules could be put in place to attract more Koreans in Korea to post here I would gladly welcome and abide by them.

    You must agree that the stupid commenting here is coming from all sides, and stupid commenting breeds more of the same.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    You don’t need to learn the “finer points of a language,” but at least intermediate comprehension, which ostensibly seems to be lacking here. In Korean, there’s a tendency not to use third-person pronouns (i.e., he or she). Instead, speakers refer to people by their title or descriptor. This could be potentially misconstrued as racist to people not familiar with this linguistic feature, when it was intended by the speaker for narrative purposes.

    This misconstruing is further compounded by the problem that Western expats, many of them who have never experienced what it is like to live as a minority but nonetheless perceive themselves to have some knowledge of racism, impose this view on Korean heuristically.

  • wangkon936

    “Get it through your thick skull that your experience in Korea is transitory, shallow and in no way reflects the experience of a non-Korean who lives and works in the country.”

    You have a point. When I go there I do look like them and can act like them. So what’s shown around me is likely to be different from what’s shown in front of you. I will concede that.

    Regarding the whole thing of ” beating their girlfriends” I spoke to my three of my cousins, who are currently in the U.S. but have lived most of their lives in Korea, on this matter. Two of them are women and all of them have lived in Korea all their lives and left Korea between 1 and 3 years ago, so their information is relatively current.

    None of them have ever seen girlfriend beating it in public. All of them think it would be extremely odd to see this happen in public. They wonder if you lived in a poorer neighborhood or in the countryside.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Nice try, but no.

  • wangkon936

    An example of a misunderstanding due to lack of language comprehension:

    http://roboseyo.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-did-that-korean-call-me-and-nigga.html

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Thanks. I know I stood no chance in convincing someone who thinks himself to have mastered dialectical materialism.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    I can agree with the latter point. I think the rules will be easy enough to enforce: ban certain people here. We need to sort out no more than 4-5 repeat offenders. That will go a long way of cleaning this place up.

    But my initial point remains: a Korean person in Korea speaking in this space will receive no more credibility than anyone else. That’s not so much the issue of courtesy, but more the issue of stubborn unwillingness to change one’s worldview.

  • Bob Bobbs

    That’s what they always say. It helps them feel better about themselves. It helps them deflect the blame away from themselves and onto ‘the poor. Rather than look in the mirror, they blame the poor or the countryfolk. How convenient,I have told these stories before but I will do it again.

    A) I watched a guy in Hwagok-dong KO his girlfriend by throwing her against the roof of his car, She convulsed on the ground unconscious. An ambulance came, but no police. People at the scene told me she was unconscious because she was drunk. I pressed the issue and they refused to call police. The next day Immigration came to my house looking for illegal foriegners, but missed me and never returned.

    B) Also in Hwagok-dong, my upstairs neighbour spent one night throwing his wife around the apartment. She screamed for hours, he beat the hell out of her. The whole building shook. I reported this to my boss, and the landlord of the building responded by claiming I had had a loud party and evicting me. They cannot see the truth. Their culture renders them unable to do so, just like your cousins.

    C) The piece de resistance came one night in Bundang-gu, Yatap-dong (the Beverly Hills of Korea) when two men went into a galbi jip, and attacked the middle aged female owner. They kicked her backwards over a table, punched her in the face, took her into the kitchen and burned her hands on the gas stove. It was horrific. When I tried to intervene, another guy pushed me out the door and tried to burn my face with his cigarette. I called the police, spoke to everyone in the police station, and finally got a cop who spoke English who said ‘How long have you been in Korea? Why don’t you speak the Korean better?’ and hung up. I told my boss the next day, and he said I shouldn’t have got involved because it had likely been a ‘family’ issue.

    Perhaps Hwagok-dong is a ‘poor’ area, but Yatap-dong sure ain’t. Anecdotally, I had a good friend in Korea who said he saw a guy throw his girlfriend through the window of a police station. I have seen a lot of violence on the streets in North America and Europe, too, and I wouldn’t say that these are the defining features of any country- but they are hard to forget.

  • Bob Bobbs

    When one of the above epithets is hurled at one across an empty street, there is little need to reach for the Eisenstein.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I am of the paler persuastion, so am rarely called that word. I do, however, love to hear my Korean students use it to describe the pictures of black people in textbooks. It just heartens me to think that I am spending my energy edifying such tender souls.

  • djson1

    That old lady on the bus (besides lacking a filter) was just ignorant. We all have racist thoughts and tendencies no matter where we were brought up, but if she truly deep down inside thought that “we domesticated you”, it’s because of a complete lack of true life experience. I remember I was with a black person in a really shigol (rural) area of Korea and the locals would just be amazed and stare..but they also remembered to smile. They didn’t say mean things like that. They told me it was the first time they saw a black person in person, but they were still friendly. My point: that old lady on the subway was an old ignorant person.

  • djson1

    I didn’t sign into the Groove, so I couldn’t see the article…but did that old lady really say “we domesticated you” in English?? or how did she say it in Korean? Just curious.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    Way to stay on point, fella.

  • wangkon936

    Bob,

    Listen dude. You are essentially asking us to put primacy on your own personal experiences and anecdotes. Okay fine, but you really can’t pile on us if those personal experiences and anecdotes run contrary to what we have heard and/or experienced from people who may have been in Korea as an expatriate too. Additionally, your opinions on Korea tend to run one sided. Thus, you can’t blame other people for being skeptical.

    I do not doubt that you experienced and/or saw some things in Korea that disturbed you. I don’t see the immediate link between girlfriends getting beaten up or restaurant owners getting beaten-up in your immediate vicinity and racism per se. Your objections to Korea seem to be mixed up with a number of things that have created a largely negative reaction, so you tend not to give Korea the benefit of the doubt in pretty much all issues brought up. Whatever. That’s your prerogative.

    However, myself and many others are not going to take your experiences as gospel fact that Korea is a horrible place, overall. I think it’s fair enough to say that your “experience” may vary, but it most certainly isn’t indicative of another person’s experience or what the overall truth may be.

  • wangkon936

    Bob,

    The fact that you are not American is not germane to what I was trying to say. You placed Korea in the “Stone Ages” in terms of racism. I would argue that if Korea is in the Stone Ages” there, then their may be some countries that may still be in the “Stone Ages” too. Some may even be neighbors of your country and/or in the same cultural sphere.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Most of the abrasive expat commenters of his type I’d guess suffer from White Messiah Syndrome/Complex, analogous to what is described here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/08/opinion/08brooks.html (minus the “The natives help the white guy discover that he, too, has a deep and tranquil soul” part)

  • Bob Bobbs

    Bartender, Stone Ages for all my friends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zLMBAl-aqQ

  • Bob Bobbs

    If walking while white in Korea is a crime, shoot me.

  • wangkon936
  • Bob Bobbs

    Helping people in distress has nothing to do with race.

  • Bob Bobbs

    He asked. Who are you again?

  • wangkon936

    I suppose I could have moderated (i.e. deleted) this comment because it contained the ad hominem “clown,” but it contained enough meaningful content where I felt that it needed to be preserved.

    Did that just sound like a warning? Yeah, I think it did.

  • Bob Bobbs

    So you can insinuate all you like that I put myself in situations where I deserve to be abused, and I can’t respond? That is not fair.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Yep. There are plenty of examples in modern life.

    On another note, it is also related to this symptom: http://www.delusional.com/delusions/grandiose-delusion.php

  • wangkon936

    Not open season, but an issue none-the-less:

    http://www.themediaoasis.com/hatevictims.html

    Five miles away from me there was a turban wearing Coptic Christian Egyptian who was killed by a confused white guy a day after 9/11. Very tragic.

  • wangkon936

    You can respond all you want. Just avoid ad hominems.

  • Matthew Miller

    “This is why Groove Korea writes articles about epidemics of racism.”

    I think that it has already been established on this thread that the the “epidemic” of anti-black racism is probably grossly exaggerated, and pales in comparison to the severe social injustices experienced by blacks in many western countries.

    I have read nothing on this thread that convinces me that these claims of extreme Korean racism are anything other than based on ex-pat delusions about the reality of severity anti-black racism in the west, ignorance or indifference about that reality, simple melodrama, and some degree of hoping to justify their own anti-Korean prejudices by citing (exaggerating) Korean racism.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I think that everything I say should be universally agreed upon, too, man. But life has a way of changing that.

  • Bob Bobbs

    So don’t call me an ass, directly or indirectly.

  • wangkon936

    Are there any youtube vids and blog entries that would agree with your assessments? If so, do they outweigh the assessments that are not negative (or even positive)? I am skeptical, but I am willing to listen to alternative voices.

  • Matthew Miller

    I’m happy for you, but where did I suggest anything remotely like that?

  • wangkon936

    I said ” … if you act like an ass….” The earlier reference to “ass” was also framed as a question. You calling me a “clown” was direct and explicit.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Why assume I was acting like an ass? I didn’t say that I was.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You say that something ‘has been established,’ but I see little evidence of this. You attempt to draw tenuous parallels between the penal system in the US and the experiences of a few hundred people of colour teaching in Korea. To me, this does not an established point make.

  • Bob Bobbs
  • wangkon936

    Yes, I am familiar with Matt Van Volkenburg’s blog. I do not agree that his usual assessments of Korea line up in the negativity scale department as your general assessments. I think if you were 10% as balanced as Matt, then you and I wouldn’t have any problems.

  • wangkon936

    Regarding Meagan’s blog post, it would appear she is equating domestic violence with how some female leads are treated in some Korean dramas. However, no domestic violence is shown to those female leads in those aforementioned dramas. She is equating what a mean boyfriend may do non-physically as being the same as encouraging domestic violence. That’s a tough mental jump.

    I think you are cherry picking.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    And now he declares victory. Thanks for making my point for me so quickly.

  • Matthew Miller

    Actually no,it is you and all the other pseudo-anti-racists who have drawn tenuous parallels between the experiences of a few hundred people of colour and the severe anti-black racism as it is practiced in the US.

    Remember you are the guys who are claiming an “epidemic” of anti-black racism in Korea and my claim is that such an epidemic exists in the US ans so Korea’s anti-black racist “epidemic” must be similar in scope and degree.

    Strangely, other posters who have tried to convince me of that have slunk away, beating a fighting retreat with nitter one-liners.

    My sense is that racism in Korea is nowhere near as bad as the US when it comes to anti-black racism and so there is no epidemic of racism in Korea.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You’re a clever one, too! I bet if you study real hard, you’ll be someone someday!

  • wangkon936

    My three Korean cousins says that your experience is highly atypical. But, yet again, they must be wrong and you must be right. I’m sorry to say, but such a psychosis invites skepticism.

  • Bob Bobbs

    My sense is that I am sick and tired of hearing the world described in bi-polar terms as ‘either Korea or the US.’ Nitter away.

  • Bob Bobbs

    These were three incidents over an eight-year period. They were not typical, but they did make an impression. Stop asking me to stop ad hominem attacks and using words like ‘psychosis’ to, I think, refer to me. You are not practising what you preach.

  • wangkon936

    Three incidents over eight years? Thank you for clarifying. I didn’t know that. I take “psychosis” back and extend my apologies.

    Still, I don’t know how the aforementioned experiences (including what you said about Korean Christians vandalizing a Buddhist temple) relate directly to racism.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Accepted.

  • Bob Bobbs
  • Matthew Miller

    Oh don’t go! I thought you were going to prove me wrong!

  • Bob Bobbs

    My sense is that there is epidemic of racism in both the US and Korea: https://www.google.ca/search?q=nigger+obama&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=RCf&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=p0H5UpSKNMT8yAHCnIBo&ved=0CAUQ_AU

    But this does not mean that one of a third nationality cannot call it as he or she sees it.

  • bumfromkorea

    Wait a minute. Three atypical incidences over an eight-year period is what it took you to start acting like this? Holy shit, dude. Grow a thicker skin.

  • Matthew Miller

    My sense is that a google search link is not an argument.

  • wangkon936

    That shows me there IS domestic violence in Korea. Okay, so what? I would imagine that there is domestic violence in Korea, as there is anywhere else.

    How does Korea rank in the context of the world?

    http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/Worldswomen/WW2010%20Report_by%20chapter(pdf)/violence%20against%20women.pdf

    Better than Finland, the UK and German!

  • Bob Bobbs

    You’re the one upset that people don’t want to be racially abused in Korea. And the plural of incident is incidents. Incidence means rate. You’re welcome. W50,000, please.

  • Bob Bobbs

    My sense is that any black people reading this thread would be pretty angry to see you down-playing Korean racism.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Congrats. Now get that racism under control, and you can join the club.

  • wangkon936

    Why do I have the feeling there’s a moving target here?…. :P

  • bumfromkorea

    You’re the one upset that people don’t want to be racially abused in Korea.

    Lol… are you already in the phase where you just lash out with random accusations?

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s not even at the level of moving the goalpost. We’re talking changing stadiums. :D

  • Bob Bobbs

    LOL FYI IMHO AFAIK people over 14 years of age don’t talk like that. ;)

  • Matthew Miller

    Some might, and some might be pretty angry that others have tried to place Korean racism on an equal footing with anti-black racism in the US and other western countries – something that everyone, including yourself, have failed to successfully argue for.

  • JW

    Below linked report says South Korea is an “outlier” when it comes to its highly racist tendencies; was this report ever discussed here? I think it’s pretty interesting. I didn’t know for example that being ethnically homogenous was correlated with tolerance. Woulda guessed the opposite. —

    “South Korea, not very tolerant, is an outlier.
    Although the country is rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically
    homogenous – all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance
    – more than one in three South Koreans said they do not want a neighbor
    of a different race. This may have to do with Korea’s particular view of
    its own racial-national identity as unique – studied by scholars such
    as B.R. Myers – and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the
    nation’s long-held tensions with Japan.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/

  • Bob Bobbs

    How could it possibly ever be the same? That is not what I am arguing. I am saying that Korean racism is significant. You point out that there is more racism in America. How nice. That does not make me feel better about people on state-owned television in blackface and Afro wigs.

  • Bob Bobbs
  • bumfromkorea

    Actually, I think they do.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Orwell called it ‘the neat handwriting of the illiterate.’

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    Yay, you won! You won!

  • Matthew Miller

    Well, “epidemic” was the word being thrown around – I’ve still yet to see a persuasive argument for it.

    But no-one is asking you to feel better about anything – it’s just that you seem to be using anti-black racism to justify anti-Korean prejudices.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Your patten of admonishing people against ad hominem attacks while constantly engaging in ad hominem attacks is boring.

  • Bob Bobbs

    My prejudices, such as they are, were bought and paid for in blood-soaked man wons.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    The point is that Korea doesn’t share America’s ugly history of race-based slavery, KKK, lynching, Jim Crow, segregation, et cetera. It is ridiculous to impose that type of understanding upon the Korean populace.

  • Matthew Miller

    That’s nice.

    So you agree that Korean racism is nowhere near the level of American racism and that much of the ex-pat claims of epidemics of racism are merely whiny exaggerations?

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Way to prove my point.

  • Bob Bobbs
  • Bob Bobbs

    It is ridiculous to continue to dress up as minstrels when people have been telling you to stop for 30 years.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You’re wasting your words, bro.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Go through life letting children drown in ponds. Dismiss it as cultural difference. Nice life.

  • Matthew Miller

    Again, no, it is you guys who are claiming an epidemic not me – to me an epidemic is what occurs in places like the US. That aside, a google search link is not an argument – didn’t we establish that?

    Having said that, you won’t find blackface in the US (but you will in Australia, and some Euro countries), so there is much ostensible respect, but the question is, does that actually mean anything given that poverty, incarceration, and criminalization rates, in addition to regular police harassment, rates are so skewed against these culturally respected black folks?

    When black people react to police racial harassment in the US, they might well face excessive force, be charged with resisting a police officer, and sent to jail whilst the white friend that helped them, gets off scott free. Egregious indeed.

    Perhaps ignorance of race reality for black people in the west might explain your shock. Although I would guess that black folks in Korea won’t be criminalized if they react to blackface.

  • Matthew Miller

    It is ridiculous that dozens of young black men die in police custody in the US every year and no-one ever seems to bat an eyelid. Aussies are pretty good at brutalizing blacks too.

  • Bob Bobbs

    To me, the US is more of a black Holocaust. I’d say epidemic is an apt way to describe Korean racism. There is no need to establish that American cops tend to kill innocent (and even not-so-innocent) black people. I think you are wrong in describing expat reactions to Korean racism as ‘whiny exaggerations’- and so does this black person in their ‘K-Pop’s 10 most racist moments of 2013′ blogpost. Let’s let the black people talk for themselves. You will have a harder time calling them ‘whiny’ and ‘exaggerators.’

    http://black-in-asia.com/post/71624458912/kpops-top-10-racist-moments-of-2013

  • Bob Bobbs

    Plenty of eyelids are batted outside of the US and Australia, I can assure you.

  • Matthew Miller

    Doesn’t seem to help.

  • Matthew Miller

    Another link?

    I don’t think I ever said Korean racism was not serious or seriously problematic, but what is your point? Everyone agrees that there is racism in Korea, I just think that calling it an epidemic is a gross exaggeration.

    More importantly, if I were that way inclined I would happily post links of blacks in Korea explaining how the racism they experience there is relatively benign – despite what other whiny ex-pats who want justifications for their prejudices say.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I am quite serious when I say that visually exploitative images of black people as seen in all of the images above make me sick. Nor is it too much of a stretch to suggest that a country that is violent towards its weakest members might also be violent towards other races. Others might be happy to describe this as ‘feigning outrage,’ a ‘psychosis’ or as ‘whining,’ but it’s how I feel.

    ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
    towards justice.’- Dr. Martin Luther King
    Link: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/111013-the-arc-of-the-moral-universe-is-long-but-it

  • JW

    Wangkon, sorry but I disagree if you’re trying to say that a non racial factor behind korean attitude (lack of filter) towards blacks somehow makes the racism ‘better’ so long as we can agree that the lack of filter is also a bad thing in this context. Lack of filter in this case is simply a way of explaining why koreans are racist which doesn’t necessarily make the result any better. I agree with the idea though that its tough to really know how bad it is compared to other countries.

  • wangkon936

    I believe there is racism in Korean. Tis true, tis true. There is probably a good argument that I may never feel the full brunt of it because of the way I look at my language skills (which isn’t native level, but “works” in most cases). I will even admit that I try to erase as much of my gyopo accent as possible when I’m in a Korean restaurant and/or Korean taxi. Then again, I would probably be mindful of not sounding too Californian to a NYC cabbie either.

    I do know that a lot of half Korean athletes, who have decided to have a career in Korea, have elected to officially switch to their mothers’ family names (if they didn’t have a Korean father) so they can inherit the social and professional networks that being a part of a Korean clan can afford. I’ve heard none of these athletes say that Korea is a racist society though. It is probably likely that they have experienced some racism while in Korea, however, they continue to stay in Korea and represent her in sporting events, so I would have to imagine that it is tolerable?

    I don’t think racism in Korea is nearly as violent in many states in the West. Korea doesn’t have the institutionalized history of colonialism and racism that many Western countries have. So, I am not sure if racism in Korea is more annoying or more dangerous? I have to rely on anecdotal evidence and the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen is mixed, but not terrible.

  • JW

    One thing that I have a bit of trouble believing is the idea that korean racism is more about an innocent type of ignorance rather than its bad cousins such as writing off entire categories of people as inferior. Not often in my daily interactions with koreans who tend to be racist did they respond well to admonishments about being sensitive to individual qualities. Once a 깜둥이 always a 깜둥이 for them. The casual way in which these racist comments and assumptions are carried about is even more disturbing. In my opinion this is not the manifestation of any type of ignorance that is innocent, and thereby does not make the resulting racism any better. And I’m not even sure if it’s ignorance. These people know about the immigrant experience and how belittling the treatment can be felt as minorities because the korean diaspora is pretty large and there is this thing called the internet that makes communication back to the homeland very easy. But they just do not care.

  • bumfromkorea

    I think there are three distinct topics being muddled up here – Korea’s anti black racism, Korea’s general racism, and Korean American / Korean immigrants’ racism in America. Very different conversations.

  • JW

    I was thinking mostly of korean anti-black racism both in america and in korea, among koreans who’ve lived most of their formative years in korea, which is the correct context in response to Wangkon’s original post. So I wasn’t talking about 1.5 to 2nd generation korean americans.

  • wangkon936

    Were you responding to me? I don’t think I said anything directly about ignorance playing a role, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. I remember linking to a black lady’s youtube video, who is currently in Korea, who thinks ignorance plays a big role.

  • wangkon936

    JW,

    Many Koreans who spent their formative years in Korea and are current Korean immigrants in the U.S. have outdated social norms and beliefs. The recent comers from Korea that I’ve spoken to constantly complain of their outdated 80′s mindsets.

    Does someone who immigrated from Korea to the U.S. in the 80′s or 90′s represent what Koreans today believe about a constantly evolving social issue? I know Koreans who have recently come to Korea make fun of my parent’s marriage and sexual beliefs, claiming that people in the shigol may not even believe in that. Anyways, I think that’s a good question to ask.

  • JW

    Not really directly, no, but my guessing about your reasoning seems to be correct since you just did mention ignorance in what seems to be a mitigating role. I was adding some anecdotal evidence of my own in response to a common defense put out by people who tend to think that korean racism is not a big deal, since that’s the kind of material you were posting.

  • JW

    I dunno. Seems to me that the beliefs of immigrants in the US are not that different when I read about what’s going on in korea through articles such as the one that was posted here.

  • wangkon936

    Well, I think the issue here is that we may both be relying on anecdotal evidence. There is of course racism in Korea. It it horrible and unbearable? I don’t know. I don’t see race riots in Korea. I don’t see crosses burned by masked men in Korea. I don’t see separate, but “equal” bathrooms in Korea.

    So, is racism at “epidemic proportions” in Korea? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t see the evidence pointing to that, so I am inclined to believe no or at least not yet.

  • wangkon936

    Articles posted here are viewing a specimen through a microscope. You only see a small slice of the organism.

  • JW

    Question: so, to you, is korean racism (towards blacks or any other affected minority) not a “significant issue” as long as race riots and the KKK do not exist? I’m not sure if the word epidemic is correct. I’d say it’s more correct to say “deeply ingrained” throughout wide swaths of the population. Of course I freely admit that I am making a very unscientific statement here.

  • wangkon936

    “… so, to you, is korean racism … not a “significant issue”

    I don’t believe I said that.

    I asked the question if the evidence supports the assertion that racism in Korea is “epidemic.”

  • JW

    Racism is a significant, big issue that the country has to deal with. That is I believe the correct way of describing the article without using words like “epidemic” for dramatic effect. Let’s not get caught up too much in word choices here.

  • JW

    That’s actually precisely why I posted the washington post report above. It provides some “hard” evidence in favor of the notion korea is especially bad. I freely admit though that it is a debatable report.

  • wangkon936

    Why not? It’s the title of the post. There is the risk of discounting the credibility of racial issues if one is inclined to habitually use hyperbole. Korea is not America. That kind of strategy might backfire.

    Racism is a significant and large issue for any country to deal with. It took hundreds of years for America to grapple with it. Europe is having major issues due to the increasing size of her muslim population. I imagine it will take decades for Korea to deal with it too. There is going to be bumps and bruises along the way.

    Again, it’s not America where there have already been hundreds of years of struggle to establish today’s norms. I’m not sure you can have the same expectations for the present day. It certainly seems as if you do. Expectations should be directed towards the future because it’s going to take time.

  • wangkon936

    Can you provide the link again? Can’t seem to find it I’m afraid.

  • JW

    If your beef is with mainly with the word “epidemic” in the title, then I won’t argue with you on that, even though in my opinion it is insignificant because the content of the article I think is what matters and on the whole I believe that the article content does not constitute hyperbole and even makes an effort to be balanced.

    Sure racism is a big issue in other countries. So what? I’m not discussing other countries, and I don’t care to, at the moment. Why do I always have to think about other countries in comparison to korea when discussing korean racism? Is that a requirement?

    In fact, I think it’s pointless to always compare to other countries precisely for the reason that you mention, which is that no two countries share the same history. Yes I DO think that korea should be doing much better and could be doing much better than they are doing now when it comes to racial relations.

  • JW
  • wangkon936

    Oh, I’ve seen that before. I don’t know about the ability to call a country “racially tolerant” where the main question is if you would want someone of a different race to live next to you.

    There must be better ways to measure “racism,” per se. Hate crime rates per capita would be one. Average length of stay of international migrants might be another. Something that measures incoming immigration with how many seek permanent residency could be another as well.

  • Dave Hazzan

    The link is down and has been for about 24 hours. Groove is having some technical troubles with it, and it should be back up soon. That’s my hope at least. In the meantime, you can read the hardcopy scan here: http://issuu.com/groove_korea/docs/groove_korea_february_2014__1_/26

  • Matthew Miller

    I’m sickened by the visually exploitative images, but more sickened by the exploitation of black people’s experiences to justify prejudice. On the flip side of your sickened-ness is elation that you finally seem to have an excuse to make your prejudices towards Koreans seem reasonable.

    But nothing sickens me more than knowing that black children in the US are criminalized bu the time they reach high school, and are routinely harassed by the police.

    You ponder this, it might help you….

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
    towards justice.”- Dr. Martin Luther King
    Link: http://www.goodreads.com/quote

  • pawikirogii

    ‘ a lot of half Korean athletes…I’ve heard none of these athletes say that Korea is a racist society
    though. It is probably likely that they have experienced some racism
    while in Korea, however, they continue to stay in Korea and represent
    her in sporting events, so I would have to imagine that it is tolerable?’

    julian kang says he’s included in the group on whatever set he works. he says he hasn’t encountered much racism. it probably helps that he has korean blood and speaks the language.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Scandinavian countries are highly homogenous, rich and considered progressive and are home to some of the most savage of hate movements outside of Russia and 1950s Alabama. Go figure.

  • JustSayin

    The Butt Hurt Gypo Empire Strikes Back. I’m sorry, but Koreans have a serious problem with racism. Bringing up Trayvon and saying it’s just stares? Zimmerman must have been the protege of Soon Ju Da, who shot 15 year old black girl Latasha Harlins and got slapped with only a $500 fine (a week before Rodney King beating). Many believe long systematic Korean hate towards black coupled with the shooting was the true fuel for the disaster that was the LA Riots (burning of Korea Town), Rodney King verdict was just the spark.

    When was the last time Korean gangs rounded up to beat minorities? If it does happen, you’ll never here about by your crooked media and Korean cops are a joke.
    Google the Indian professor who verbally abused on a bus and arm dragged the perp to a police station for them to only laugh at him, and say there is no such thing as a law for racism in Korea. (Bonojit Hussain Case)

    The root cause for all the quirky and crazy things that Koreans do stems down to one character flaw deeply engrained in the national psyche. It’s both Korea’s greatest strength as a powerful motivating driver to push any hint of inferiority in the past, but it’s also it’s greatest weakness by causing denial and annoying superiority complex in the face of blatant social issues. It all boils down to that koreans are taught that their s*** don’t stink, but everyone else’s does. The sooner they learn to control that taught, social progress can occur more rapidly.

    J.kimchi, maybe we should take a page out of Korea Towns in America. Foreigners completely live in Itaewon and only keep their money within the foreign community and bars and restaurants stare down every Korean that tries to go into an Itaewon bar?

    Seemed to have worked out for all the Koreans killed in the LA Riots. Your love it or leave it mentality reminds me of the film Born on the Fourth of July. Maybe when you get the call of duty to fight the North, you might share the same fate as Tom Cruise’s character and have a change of heart.

  • DC Musicfreak

    “Epidemic” is the word choice of Korea Groove, then used as a question by this blog post’s author, and it was a poor choice of words, strictly based on the definition of epidemic. (I might have used “pre-existing condition” because I think overall racial tolerance is improving over the decades I’ve been involved in Korean affairs. Institutions have not caught up with attitudes, but that’s another matter.) But again, Mr Miller, the leaps in logic on this thread are the ones you are committing now and ever since you’ve shown up — like a member of a book club who shows up one week having read (or, more accurately, merely skimmed) a different book than the one being discussed, yet insisting on lecturing from that book in the face of the legitimate protests of other members, most of whom have read the book you’re spouting from.

    The burden of proof is on you to show where and how people are justifying their alleged racism against Koreans by pointing to blacks’ problems in their home countries or feeling better about Europe/America’s sorry racial history: Are you getting inside their heads somehow? Then there is the legitimate quibble that the author of the article is Canadian and Bob Bobbs asserts is not American either: asking them to answer for America’s sins in the context of a discussion of Korean problems on blog about Korea is ludicrous. The best way to purge your thinking of fallacies (tu quoque is your original sin in this case) is to think through the argument as if the element you introduced didn’t exist. So, if America didn’t exist, or if American society was one big Kumbaya Coca Cola commercial (and the Super Bowl just reminded us it is not!), what bearing would that have on the problems being discussed in the Korea Groove article? I think you have the best of intentions overall, but I can’t fathom what you are hoping to achieve here — it almost seems to be the flip side of what you are accusing Bob Bobbs and others of.

  • JW

    It’d be nice if you can compare anti hate crime data except korea doesn’t yet have such laws due to both parties opposing their legislation. Measuing incoming/outgoing immigration would be a rather indirect way of trying to measure tolerance since it would mainly I think be dependent on various living conditions of which racial tolerance is only one of many components. So I disagree those are not better ways to measure racism.

  • Matthew Miller

    Of course “epidemic” was the (very) wrong word to use -it is a gross exaggeration.

    But how would Korean racism look if America did not exist is a very good question – since blackface is mostly a western invention, and globalized by the US and the UK, my guess is that Korean racism would probably not have come up with blackface by itself. So, possibly, problem solved in that scenario.

    Western ex-pats’ apparent understanding and conception of anti-black racism in our own countries might offer us an insight into why black people are still so heavily oppressed over here.

    Yes, we don’t have blackface – although we do have annoying white entertainers appropriating black culture and mannerisms without the face paint – but we do have heavily disadvantaged black folks. So at least we look like a civilized society.

    But as I have tried to point out, criminalization of black youths, and the horrific stat that 1 on 3 black men will be imprisoned in their life actually belies that smug self-satisfaction of some of the posters here. The point is that black lives still have less value in the US even though we are “sensitive” to overt and insensitive racism. In other words, even without overt expressions of racial insensitivity, blacks are still worse off in the west.

    Sadly, it is not just the US where this is true. Both the UK and Canada have disproportionately high rates of black incarceration, Australia is in a league of its own with black imprisoned at 18 times the national average (yay diggers!), Italian politicians routinely racially openly abuse the sole black parliamentarian without censure, and Greek police assist in racial attacks on black immigrants. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    In most western countries blacks are among the poorest and most heavily criminalized. In fact, in just about every country where white and black folks live in proximity, blacks seem to end up in prison a lot and on the wrong side of the poverty line. From Brazil and Latin America, through the former colonies of Africa, into Australia and New Zealand, and of course, Europe.

    Maybe now you can comprehend the scale of the problem and why, perhaps, Groove Korea found that most of of the black people it spoke to actually loved being in Korea – for people who experience the type of global repression that I merely outlined above racial insensitivity is relatively easy to deal with.

    That’s why I find it hard to take you guys’ moral outrage seriously. You just cannot tell me that by doing away with cartoonishly insensitive blackface that racism “gets better” – the evidence of the west proves that. The real question is how to ensure that Korea does not become like the west – I am open to your ideas on that? Also, how does the west become less like the west in its treatment of blacks and actually model this for Korea?

  • Pingback: Groove Korea On Racism Against Blacks In Korea | ROK Drop

  • j95lee

    “Where was your crusading against the system that allowed Travyon Martin to be slaughtered? That allowed Muslims to be hunted in the streets after 9/11?”

    Trayvon Martin pounded a man’s head onto the pavement. George Zimmerman escaped Kim Pham’s fate by defending himself.

    How many Muslims were “hunted” in the streets after 9/11? Hate crime stats show that many more Jews are victims of hate crime than Muslims.

    You accuse those who allege racism in Korea as a hypocrite who ignores racism in his own lands, but your predictable and uninformed “America is racist” talking points reveal you to be just such as person.

    If black people are harasses in America, that allows Korea to the same? Please.

  • “Furious” George Rockwell

    You’d better believe it. all of Asia is the white man’s playground and Black man’s hell. If you’re white and want to be a god among women and get a job easily, go to Asia. if you’re Black, especially if you are a young, heterosexual man, you should avoid Asia.

  • “Furious” George Rockwell

    Yup, even though whites are still generally treated like gods and Black people are treated like shit in East Asia.

  • Gabriel Alexander Day

    I’m only agreeing with you in sense that Koreans would and do get racism when they venture abroad as do other Asian ethnicities. There are some places in the United States where Koreans wouldn’t be welcomed; or places that would be very uncomfortable for them. I’ve had many Korean friends that have told me of the racism that they experienced from black and white people. As a Black American person I’ve heard Asians stink their poor and ugly, I’ve also heard they’re violent and stupid; and don’t have good hygiene. I heard all this from some people that have travelled through Asia. I just don’t take everybody’s word as fact because as it turns out Korean people are a awesome people and I love them as a whole.

  • Gabriel Alexander Day

    I believe you Mr. Matthew Miller; I don’t believe the hype that there’s an epidemic of anti- black racists.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    Poor you! You must’ve been treated like shit in Korea.

    By the way, J Kimchi is not a Korean. Koreans never use Kimchi as nickname. J Kimchi was just having fun by pretending to be a Korean.