I know the news of the bar in Itaewon “not accepting” Africans is old and has been making the rounds in the Korean blogsphere.
(Image from Kenyabwala.com)
They did quickly issue an apology a day later. However, I’m sure the apology was probably insufficient to many.
(Image from Koreaboo blog)
It may have only been 24 hours since the original signs were replaced, but let’s face it. The damage was done. The photo is a symbol of the issues of race that Korea is still mulling over. To be fair, most countries have issues with race but a recent article from the Korea Herald (English Edition) did an excellent job at discussing its context within modern Korea.
[Korean racism]… is a complex product of the country’s colonial history, postwar American influence and military presence, rapid economic development as well as patriotism that takes a special pride in its “ethnic homogeneity,” according to professor Kim Hyun-mee from Yonsei University.
Unlike racism in the West, Korean racism is mostly targeted against those from other Asian nations, she noted. As of this year, more than 80 percent of immigrants residing in South Korea are from countries in Asia, the largest number coming from China and Vietnam.
(Graph from Korea Herald)
It’s really a nice article written by Claire Lee, who looks like she was educated in Canada (perhaps she is a gyopo?). My excerpts don’t do it justice. It’s well worth reading the article in its entirety.
I don’t mind spirited discussion/debate, but let’s keep it civil folks.