Virginian congressional candidate panders to Korean voters

Meet John Foust, Democratic congressional candidate for Virginia’s 10th congressional district.  The 10th congressional district covers suburban areas of Fairfax, WinchesterMcLean and Manassas.

The areas of Fairfax and McLean have a particularly large Korean population.  Believe it or not, the third most common language in Virginia is Korean.  The Korean Americans in Virginia have succeeded in establishing a significant voting block.  So much so that the present governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, made a campaign promise (which he kept) to have the state’s textbooks teach the East Sea, concurrently with the Sea of Japan.  

Any ways, Mr. Foust appears to be mindful of the demographics of his district and has been actively courting the Korean vote.  There’s even a Korean language television commercial:

A commercial depicting an American political candidate pressing Korean flesh and eating food samples at the local Korean supermarket (complete with a saccharin, and exaggerated, “it’s delicious” expression).  I never thought I’d see the day.

Update:

Apologies to our readers of the more GOP persuasion.  Didn’t mean to leave you fellas out.  Looks like GOP candidate for the 10th district, Barbara Comstock, isn’t surrendering the Korean American vote without a fight.  According to the WaPo:

… Comstock, who is facing Democrat John Foust in the Nov. 4 general election, has also made sure to advertise her appearances before Korean and Indian audiences. She touts her legislative efforts on their behalf even as advocates say she has supported measures that are anti-immigrant.

[…]

The newsletter also highlighted the first celebration of the Korean Bell Garden in Vienna, a new attraction she said she was “thrilled” to have in her district when she spoke to the gathering of Korean Americans in Tysons earlier this month.

Sponsored by the RNC, the event — held at Woo Lae Oak, a restaurant that is a pillar of Northern Virginia’s Korean community — is the kind of grass-roots affair the party is seeking to host around the country.

“Good to see you,” Comstock said repeatedly as she visited tables while an aide shot photos of her with Korean guests that were later posted on Twitter and Facebook. At one point, the candidate conferred with Harold Pyon, a Korean civic leader who could be heard teaching Comstock to say “How are you?” in Korean.

Interesting.  I never knew there was a Korean bell and garden in Annandale, VA.

  • kaizenmx

    lol, wtf are koreans doing in Virginia out of all states??

  • Lorne

    Isn’t there a huge Hyundai plant, or plants, there?

  • wangkon936

    Nope. That’s in AL and GA.

  • Aja Aja

    I second the question. Why Virginia?

    WK, do you think this pandering is OK?

  • SJ

    After Los Angeles and New York City, Washington DC has the third largest Korean-American community in the United States at around 93,000 people. Much of that community is concentrated in Fairfax and Prince William counties in Virginia.

  • SJ

    Most of it is the older Korean immigrant community in the DC area that started coming over in the 1960s and 1970s. Old enough community that they’re now in there second and third generations. Add to that a lot of educated Korean Americans who come to DC to work in the civil service, contractors, and the rest of the DC machinery.

  • SJ

    Older referring to the second wave of Korean communities (with respect to the first wave in Hawaii and California).

  • wangkon936

    Sharks will eat bloody and weak prey, earthquakes in the oceans will cause tsunamis and politicians will pander to neat little voting blocks. There is no right or wrong in it. That’s just the way it is.

    Why so many Koreans in VA? There are good schools in the northern VA suburban region. Fairfax county is clean, quiet and pleasant. Close by D.C. has a lot of good jobs and good schools (Georgetown, George Washington University). Good airports to take trips to the motherland (National, BWC and Dulles). I guess the same reason why other middle to upper middle income people move to a particular region?

  • Aja Aja

    In other words, the old adage that people get the government that they deserve, is completely true.

  • Aja Aja

    And that’s the same age group that care most about the “East Sea” issues.

  • Sumo294

    The initial wave of the 70’s immigrants were shipped to the DC metro area–largely families with ties to the Vietnam War in some way or fashion. The new housing boom was more significant in the Virginia area–as the average Korean American median income rose–that particular area was exactly what Koreans wanted–great new houses that looked like the American dream with access to exceptional public high schools. One of the great draws of the area was the high schools that offered advanced science educations. Virginia also has great community centers that to the average Korean seems out of this world. The quiet subtle greatness that the Bethesda, Maryland had to offer was largely unknown to the early Korean Americans.

  • redwhitedude

    Politicians being politicians. Nothing new there.
    It’s a battle of who’s going to outKorean the other.
    Coming to the US congress all the overdone antics about Dokdo and comfort women. Not disputing the position just the antics that come with it.

    Looks like the Japanese are getting ignored.

  • redwhitedude

    Give it enough time and their descendants as long as they do not go back to Korea might not make as big of a fuss about it.

  • redwhitedude

    http://rokdrop.com/2014/07/24/japanese-town-removes-memorial-to-forced-korean-laborers/

    Looks like a sequel is on the works of Korea-Japan spats. This time Korean laborers in WWII.

  • bigmamat

    I thought the third largest community was Ft. Lee New Jersey…I did know about Korean being the number one 2nd language spoken in the state…barring Spanish of course. All the Korean ladies I know are married to American servicemen or retirees….

  • wangkon936

    RWD,

    After Japanese Americans were singled out during WWII and sent to concentrationinternment camps all throughout the U.S., the community decided to assimilate into America as fast as possible as a form of protection against that particular form of discrimination. Thus, the Japanese American community kinda faded away over the course of a few decades.

  • wangkon936

    Coreano es numero tres lingua en el estado de Virginia senora BigMama.

  • bigmamat

    Virginia looks a bit like Korea anyway, especially in the spring. The state flower is the dogwood but if it weren’t it would be the azalea, they are everywhere like Korea. If you live in the DC or just south in one of the counties you’re only a couple of hours away from the mountains or the Atlantic/Chesapeake Bay shore.

  • piratariaazul

    Move along, nothing to see here – just democracy in action.

  • piratariaazul

    Japanese-Americans are not being ignored and did not fade away. Prominent Japanese-Americans are well embedded in various political offices. But they are **Americans**, and not Japanese, and simply don’t care for the non-sense, revisionist positions that the Japanese government has been taking lately.

  • bigmamat

    No…Ani…Only rudimentary language skills in either. I took Spanish in high school all those many years ago. Now I play with a Spanish app on my phone called Duolingo…when I’m bored. I have less difficulty with Spanish because I’ve heard it so much over the years and English has so many latin based words anyway. The hardest thing for me with Spanish seems to be conjugating verbs. Korean is a whole different set of problems.

  • bigmamat

    A few weeks ago someone had a map of the US and with all the states and the second languages spoken by state. They excluded Spanish because it’s so widely spoken in the US now. I wasn’t surprised about the Korean but what did surprise me was California, it was Tagalog….

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/05/language_map_what_s_the_most_popular_language_in_your_state.html

  • wangkon936

    .. or have taken completely the opposite position than the current Japanese government:

    http://honda.house.gov/news/press-releases/congressman-mike-honda-asks-state-department-to-act-on-comfort-women-issue

    Also, as a body that votes as an ethnic block, they have pretty much faded away.

  • wangkon936

    Yes. Spanish verb conjugation is a bitch. The nouns are super easy since 45% of English is Latin based (thanks to the Norman Conquest) and Spain’s (as well as France’s) mother language was Vulgar Latin.

    I took four semesters of Spanish in college and can usually convey what I need to communicate in most situations. I can also figure out what Spanish speakers are saying around me if they don’t talk too fast.

  • redwhitedude

    I think it has to do more with the awkward stand they would have to take if they were to buy into Japan’s position. All the stuff that the Japanese government up to the end of WWII was accused of doing. It’s really outrageous to come across of just flatly denying as well as what has been reported in the US versus what the curriculum in Japan says.

  • redwhitedude

    You could say the same thing of Korean Americans. A lot of them are Americans. However they do remember their heritage which is Korean just like Japanese Americans could remember theirs as being Japanese. I think it has to do with the awkward position that the Japanese Americans find themselves.
    They were victimized by the US with their internment and got an apology over it but you want them to deny Koreans for apologies over what Japan is accused of doing.

  • A Korean

    The last few decades DC and her suburbs have been a (the?) non-stop Boom Town USA, impervious to the Dot Bomb and the Great Recession.

    Koreans are like bank robbers – they go where the money is.

  • wangkon936

    Internment accelerated Japanese assimilation into the U.S. The Japanese don’t make much of a genetic profile in the U.S. either as they have intermarried at a faster rate than most other Asian Americans (or minorities for that matter).

    I think you’ll find a lot of sympathetic voices among the Japanese American community (second generation and older) regarding Korean grievances towards Japan.

  • wangkon936

    That’s smart, no? In actuality, the Koreans in the U.S. are a little more interested in stability than money. Not saying money isn’t in the top 3 or 5 on the list though.

  • bigmamat

    Yeah I can figure a bit out as well but talking fast is something they do pretty well. Especially the Puerto Ricans and Cubans.

  • wangkon936

    Mostly Mexicans in my neck of the woods and they talk pretty slow because they think they’re all that and a bag of chips.

  • bigmamat

    Really. My area has only had Mexicans for a few years so they keep to themselves mostly.

  • wangkon936

    They’re a lot bolder when they make-up nearly a third of your city’s population.

  • redwhitedude

    If they did take the stance of the Japanese government it will put them in an awkward position.

  • redwhitedude

    But in latin based languages nouns are assigned genders unlike English and Germanic languages.

  • redwhitedude

    You mean.
    Coreano es el tercer idioma mas hablado en el estado de Virginia.

  • redwhitedude

    I read spanish papers online all the time.

  • redwhitedude

    Well those tend to speak pretty fast. In Spain southerners tend to be considered fast talkers so anybody who comes from other regions has trouble understanding them at first.

  • redwhitedude

    My spanish is what others call castizo. As in Castilian Spanish.

  • redwhitedude

    Supposedly tagalog as a lot of Spanish loanwords.

  • redwhitedude

    And the antics that follow it.

  • redwhitedude

    Just like everybody goes where the jobs are.

  • bigmamat

    Well it makes a lot of difference how long they’ve been around as well. If they’ve been there for a few generations then it’s pretty much home to them.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.kr/ Horace Jeffery Hodges

    German has three genders and four cases. Counting the plural, there are sixteen equivalents to the English article “the.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • bigmamat

    Yeah they call it an Austronesian Language…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austronesian_language

  • bigmamat

    Nice. My supervisor at work is married to a Spanish girl. They just got married a few months ago. She went to culinary school in France. I think she speaks about 3 or 4 languages. He met her when he was stationed in London. Her English is practically without accent.

  • bigmamat

    My friend’s son was an exchange student in Germany for a year. He’s pretty fluent I’m told.

  • redwhitedude

    It seems to be somewhat of a mixed Austronesian Language since it has significant nonAustronesian influence.

  • redwhitedude

    She speaks British English?

  • piratariaazul

    Well, the worst form of government, except for all the others — as someone famous put it.

  • DC Musicfreak

    Pandering is really a more pejorative term than what’s happening here — outreach to an important group. The East Sea textbook decision in Virginia WAS pandering.

  • redwhitedude

    But we are all stuck with it.

  • redwhitedude

    Funny how none of these candidates has vowed to put up a comfort women statue if they get elected much to the dismay of the Japanese embassy. That would truly be an act of pandering to Koreans. Ah American democracy….pandering to interests that are not really domestic.

    Talking of which, are the chinese up next in terms of american politician pandering?

  • bigmamat

    No sounds more American to me…

  • Sumo294

    Woo Lae Oak is not the place Koreans go to eat . . . it used to be long time ago at a different location. It is a place you take your American friends to introduce them to Korean food. Koreans in the area eat more at places like Honeypig for cheaper and value oriented more authentic tastes.

  • Sumo294

    The Koreans that got stuck in Chicago got reamed. The Chicago Kyopos are known to be poor. Even worse–some Koreans made the mistake of immigrating to Argentina. They are fleeing the crap economy and are arriving in the US speaking crap Spanish, archaic style Korean and with little command of English–sigh. The Koreans that went to Canada–haha–they are now imitation Frenchies! Except for Yuna–she is still THE Yuna.

  • codfilet

    My Kwife has an expression: “Koreans are like birds-one flies there,they all fly there”

  • wangkon936

    Show off…. 😛

  • wangkon936

    “… one flies there, and finds a lot of food and isn’t eaten by predators, they all fly there.”

    There, fixed for you!

  • redwhitedude

    I was just trying to help.

  • redwhitedude

    Excuse me? I may have my biases with Spanish but I wouldn’t go around calling argentinian spanish crap Spanish. Although their use of Voz as a 2nd pronoun as in this issue of tuteo and voceo is somewhat irksome. Canada is mostly English.

  • redwhitedude

    Wouldn’t it be funny if this was about pandering for votes in massage parlors, seeing how Korean women or supposedly Korean women get busted here and there. Hey italians elected a porn actress into parliament once. Yea that same woman that said would sleep with Saddam Hussein to during the first Gulf Crisis.

  • redwhitedude

    British criticism of American English. “Its harsh”

  • bigmamat

    Yeah their version of fuck does sound a lot more rounded out like “fock”.

  • fewafeawwefawae

    die painfully you useless dolt.

  • redwhitedude

    What now? I just put myself in your black list of supposed Japanese trolls? lol

  • redwhitedude

    Next up Dokdo and eventually Gando. The ultimate act of pandering is endorsing a comfort woman statue right in front of the Japanese embassy. Not that the comfort woman issue is wrong but the manner that this is done by Koreans is more like in your face.

  • Sumo294

    They never really learned Spanish–their form of speaking Spanish is crappy–just like my parents spoke crap English– especially when most of the Koreans spoke to snooty Portenas and Portenos. Most Argentinians don’t even look Spanish they look Italian.

  • redwhitedude

    That’s because the biggest immigrant group to argentina since the 19th century are the italians. They took over whole neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.

  • Pingback: The WaPo believes Virginia Congressional candidates are pandering to Korean voters | The Marmot's Hole()

  • wangkon936

    Looks like Barbara Comstock also has a Korean ad:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyupb2zp450

    IMHO, it doesn’t have the same “snap” of John Foust’s commercial.