The Korean media has somehow managed to build average, middle-class, college-educated graduates from North America into some kind of evil demon. It's really interesting, because ALL of the official crime statistics show that the crime and drug rate for ALL foreigners, in ALL jobs, is far, far lower than the Korean population.
But then again, Koreans will believe anything negative about another race, even if it's just a dumb rumor or trash journalism. But talk even halfway critically about Korea? People storm into Kwanghwamun and form a national protest, burn and destroy police buses, and scream about insults to "Korean pride."
If the American media had been even 1/100 as unprofessional and RACIST towards Koreans after Cho Seung-hui murdered more than 30 fellow students at Virginia Tech before blowing his own brains out like the coward he was, there would be 800,000 Koreans in front of City Hall demanding the head of American newspaper editors.
And the funny thing after Virginia Tech? What made me know how Koreans REALLY think?
Afterwards, Koreans were afraid to go to school, because they feared there would be massive reprisals against Koreans, or race riots and other kinds of violence. But that never happened -- not even close. Because we're a nation of tolerance and there are enough people who would NEVER stand for that. Even after 9/11, when some individual idiots committed hate crimes against mosques and Muslims, members of our community stood up to prevent things like that. We're not a nation of nationalist, racist simpletons anymore. Sure, we have some, but they don't define our public debate.
But YOU Koreans are different.
Sure, maybe you don't believe in the media's attempts to make foreign English teachers look evil, or the racist documentaries telling Korean women to stay away from foreign men (MBC), or the lying newspaper stories about spreading AIDS (Yonhap), molesting children (Chosun Ilbo), raping women in the streets in Hongdae (YTN). But most of you DO. You would believe ANYTHING the newspapers say about us, like the racist newspapers in California in the 1870's that said Chinese men kidnapped, raped, and ate little white girls.
Most of you would believe ANYTHING the media says about us, even if there are no statistics, or the accusations simply ridiculous. If WE said the same thing about YOU in the US, you would complain to high heaven. But when you say that Americans are all child-molesting, drug-dealing, AIDS-spreading, women-raping "low-class" black people (SBS), you believe it.
You LOVE to believe it.
You know what I realized about Koreans when they hid in fear after Virginia Tech? When they truly believe Americans would come in mobs to hurt or even murder them? That's EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD DO TO US if something like that happened here. Imagine that some crazy foreign English teacher shot up 30 kids at a hagwon in Dachi-dong. THERE WOULD BE RIOTS IN THE STREETS. AND YOU WOULD HURT ANY FOREIGNER YOU SEE.
It's true, and you know, deep in your souls that it's TRUE.
Even in 2002, I was harassed so much that I stopped taking the subway. Even now, when I take your #1 and #2 lines, I get harassed so much by drunk fucking ajussis that I learned to take the bus. I have at least 6 friends who left this country in the last 4 years cursing her name because they were ATTACKED FOR NO REASON ON THE STREET.
It wasn't like this in the 1990's, when I first came here. Now, it's like drunk young men who hate to see Korean women with foreigners are always looking for a fight. Old drunk men are always looking to put some young girl in her place, and are looking for a fight. Now, even old women are looking for fights.
You know what's changed? YouTube.
The Korean media NEVER EVER EVER EVER reports incidents of attacks against foreigners.
NEVER, EVER, EVER. Believe that.
American GI's have been stabbed and murdered by Koreans -- never hits the news.
Foreign women raped by Korean men? Hospitals won't even examine them unless they prove they're not a "Russian prostitute." Never gets in the paper.
Beating and stabbings on foreigners? THE POLICE WON'T EVEN INVESTIGATE THEM.
Myself? I called the police on a drunk ajussi harassing me and my group and the police arrested ME. They assumed I was the attacker and believe the drunk, homeless ajussi who made up a complete lie. Oh, who can we believe? The drunk, homeless ajussi with soju on his breath? Or the educated and EMPLOYED college professor working in your country's best colleges? (And NO, my degrees aren't fake.)
But my word is not even worth the lies of a drunk HOMELESS man, at least to the police. Do you, Korean people, think the rise in violence against young women and foreigner is a coincidence? As for foreigners, who have no one defending them in the media, do you think all the racist, ridiculous news about us has no EFFECT in REAL LIFE? Don't you think the negative image of us enters the brain of some drunk ajussi looking to blame for his shitty life?
The same goes for women getting more rights in this society. Don't you think the drunk salaryman on his train ride back to a poor neighborhood outside Incheon wants to blame some young, pretty agassi with her iPod and designer shoes? Because women like HER are also responsible for the "declining" status of men, right? "So FUCK her, I'm gonna punch her out. Arrogant bitch."
Don't you Korean people GET it? It's as clear as fucking day. How many national controversies have started over a MAN being rude in public? How many MEN are attacked by netizens for their sexual behavior? From the very fucking beginning, this shit SEXIST as all hell. Why is there no "dog poop boy?" Aren't there rude ajussis? Who walk around the streets like they're king, who harass everyone they meet, who vomit all over the sidewalk, who are the ones who ACTUALLY rape young girls named Nayoung, or fucking burn Namdaemun to the ground?
Oooooh, but society spends so much energy on some dumb student who speaks badly to a janitor. But blindly accepts ANYTHING A DRUNK AJUSSI DOES by asking us to accept his apology?! "Sorry, I was drunk." FUCK DRUNK. Accept responsibilities and look the real problems in the face.
You want to know the REAL problem people in this society? The asshole old man who came up the the table next to me in the coffee shop yesterday, where a girl had been sitting alone, and they all sat in the empty seats around her. Because they didn't want to sit at an inside seat. It was the smoking area. Then the asshole old man started yelling and cursing at her about smoking in front of men. She told them she was there first and why are you cursing at me? He stood up, called her the English equivalent of "crazy bitch" and all kinds of threatening speech. Then he told HER to move. When she spoke back at him more -- in polite honorifics -- he wanted to HIT her. Sound familiar?
Like the crazy old fucking bag in the subway who beat the shit out of the middle school girl. But I'm not surprised. Even though the girl apologized politely for brushing her foot against the crazy old bitch, everyone wants to believe the story of "Rude Middle School Brat Attacks Innocent Old Grandma of Joseon Virtue."
Fucking bullshit. Wake up, Koreans. There's a violent backlash going on in your society. It has been for several years, and Korea is a violent place.
Yeah. An American said KOREA IS VIOLENT. Because America isn't the Wild West, full of black gangsters shooting machines guns, Sex and the City orgies, and whatnot Koreans believe on American cop shows and courtroom dramas. Shit, you probably even believe Friends is real, as if you could find a group of 8 exclusively all-white friends in NYC anywhere outside of a KKK rally.
BECAUSE KOREANS BELIEVE EVERYTHING THEY ARE TOLD ABOUT AMERICA.
If I was that uncritical, I'd also believe ALL KOREANS hang out with gangsters who go back to high school, college, and even Buddhist temples, people fight in the streets with taekwondo moves, everyone is involved in a love triangle, and everyone's last boyfriend died in the hospital of a mysterious, unnamed disease while the heartbeat monitor flatlines. And when is the last time you broke up with your boyfriend standing in the rain?
Yeah, I'm mad. But I don't "hate" Korea or Koreans. I'm saying this like an exasperated person who is telling his good friend something he doesn't want to hear, but is doing so for the friend's own good: WAKE THE FUCK UP, KOREA.
Be more responsible thinkers, criticize this bullshit, racist, sensationalist, corrupt media. Demand television shows that aren't insulting to your intelligence. Do you really have grown adults running around like children playing games and hitting each other with rubber hammers? This is juvenile bullshit. You know, you should be INSULTED that PD's still underestimate the Korean public's intelligence like that.
STOP ACCEPTING the bad behavior of ajussis and other old people who ABUSE their age and power. This is the basis for corruption, sexual harassment, and general irritating behavior. Confucian philosophy says that older people should be a MODEL for younger people to follow. If they're just an ASSHOLE, fuck 'em. That's not anti-Confucian -- this is what everyone deserves in a fair, democratic society.
EVERYONE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER OWN ACTIONS -- equally. Stop accepting this bullshit. Stand UP when someone is getting the shit beat out of them. Say SOMETHING when your fellow citizen is lying on the floor of the subway.
Let me end this rant with a story. My good friend, who taught at Sungyungwan University, had a degree in new media arts, was a creative and lively teacher, well-loved by her students, was crossing the street in Daehakno. Some young crazy asshole was following her and her friend, just a step behind her as she walked across the street. He was sexually harassing her, as his penis was nearly touching her butt. She turned around, pushed him away from her. She maybe weight 45 kilos. MAYBE. She was a tiny woman. He pushed her down in the MIDDLE OF THE CROSSWALK and started kicking her as hard as he could, while she curled up into a ball to protect her face and internal organs. After he was done, he just walked away.
Do you know why she left Korea? Why she said she REALLY had to go? It wasn't the attack. It was the crowd of COWARDS who stood around and did NOTHING. Who were standing right next to her and just WATCHED. Like it was funny. Like it was a game. Like gladiatorial sport.
She sat in the intersection, hysterical. And she told me she just yelled, "Why didn't any of you DO anything? Why didn't you HELP ME?" And people still stared.
That's what you do every time some drunk slaps a girl in the subway for now reason. And you watch.
Or when my other friend here on a legal internship was hit over the head with a soju bottle in Kwanghwamun on her way to the office at 7:30 in the morning. You just watched.
Anytime a drunk Korean called me "nigger" on the subway, you just averted your gaze when *I* looked at you, but you still sat and watched.
I bet if, like the black American army doctor in 2000, I was stabbed to death in broad daylight by a random ajussi, you would just WATCH. Oh, you never heard of that incident? I'm not surprised. What's the life of a nigger worth in Korea, anyway?
Hmm. Maybe THAT'S it.
That friend in Hyehwa was black, my friend in Gwanghwamun Korean-American female, I'm a fat black man. Maybe if someone attacked a nice white man, Koreans would help. I mean, we can't have any insult to the national image, can we?
So, continue to believe your bullshit media, get the streets ready for the G-20, and continue kissing the white man's ass, Korea. This is the way you've acted ever since the 1950's -- like an immature, colonized child, so why change?
Don't take my word. Don't even listen to me. Just attack me and make yourselves feel better. But I'll tell you -- the rest of the world's going to figure it out. Because it's gonna get worse.
Do you really think a country full of this kind of racist, country-style, over-emotional, undemocratic thinking is going to be respected as a world leader?
Or will the world continue to smile at you politely, pat you on the head, and continue to feign regard for you as a true equal? This is a hard thing to say to a friend, but I had to let you know. The world is showing you a strained smile, even as you are starting to believe your own press waaay too much.
And that's the TRIPLE truth, Ruth!