Report racism and log racist accounts here!

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Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Report racism and log racist accounts here!

Recently, had a bad experience with a racist. The event made me rethink some of the Cons of living here. I believe, that its time Korea was more supportive of our human rights.I don't want to leave Korea,I want to live- so I want to make a dent on this issue.I expect hostility on this topic, so be it.Some people will here will think its OTT,that's OK. Inaction just continues this kind of mentality, a few highlighted events makes people think.I want to point out that although these incidents are not that common, they are still unacceptable.This post does not make it acceptable to be racist either.This is only about a very small minority of people.I also want to add, that this post, in no way reflects the views of the Koreabridge site, or its staff.

Please post any incident here


DrNugu
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Joined: 08/28/2009 - 19:39
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

What about "Bored during Chu-seok and write long dramatic essays Syndrome?" There seems to be a lot of that going on recently. I guess it's contagious, so here goes:

Anyways, there has always been racism in Korea; it's been a near homogeneous society for much of its existence. I'm not condoning it, but it happens everywhere minorities exist. Use is as a learning experience. It gets me down sometimes, but most of the time I look at it as a way to relate to some of the truly repressed minorities in the world and gain new respect. Imagine what it's like to be REALLY targeted and repressed in violent and degrading ways. This is nothing...and honestly, I hear a lot of racism from foreigners toward Koreans as well.

Drunken interrupters! LOL! I don't get out drinking with my buddies much anymore (but I should!), but drunken interrupters were both the bane and the fun in our night. Almost without fail, one or more will show up in a night. Usually they just want to say hi and do a shot with you. You'll probably even end up with them buying you some food and a bottle of soju. I've even met some Korean drinking buddies this way. But yeah, they can be really annoying sometimes and hard to get rid of. I have to agree with you on that one 100%. However, I've found that if you firmly tell them you want privacy they will go. What can you do? Chalk it up to life in Korea. This isn't racism, hate, or anything inherently bad. Just a Korean guy with some "liquid courage" wanting to show off his English skills a bit.

In the great deal of time that I've been here, I've only faced "refused service syndrome", as you put it, literally once or twice, and I don't attribute it to racism. I can't even remember the exact instances, honestly.

About the laughing...I've had this feeling before, but are you sure they are laughing at you? Are these people adults or children? If your Korean is much less than perfect you might want to consider that they are laughing at something other than you. When I've thought this, I've had to catch myself...how can I be such a narcissist to believe that groups of people are taking the time to discuss and make jokes about me. Trust me, they have better things to do. 

If anything, these days I find myself being most ignored compared to years ago when foreigners were novelties. The little narcissist in my is a little peeved. ;-)

Try to take life here with a grain of salt. Perhaps focus more on the good things and the good people, rather than the few (in any country and society) who are righteous pricks. Korean people aren't unaware of the racism here, and a great majority don't condone it.

lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

Angel I have a new found respect for you.

I have taken the blunt of many a joke, some deserved some not. I don't dwell on them anymore but I'm not a play toy for my sister in laws children on chusok either. She is a animal(doesn't deserve the 'n') that simply drops out children and I'm not going to 'take' them for the vacations so they can learn Engrishee.

I can't do the chusok/solnal thing anymore. The powers that be want my wife who doesn't know how to cook and is an accomplished business person/studyroom owner lowered to a service girl for males. I will not play ball. I will not sit in a room with relatives by marriage; men smoking and drinking and gambling while my traditional wife cooks and prepares food for these assholes. The fucking kicker is one of  these pricks actually had the balls to ask my wife for a loan?  Can you fathom this nonsense?

No thanks, cells are off, house phone unplugged and will be until monday morning.

rov25
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Joined: 10/21/2009 - 11:53
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

I don't mean to antagonise the OP, but I've been reading a book on Korean business etiquette recently, and it seems that the hierarchical classist Korean society may have a different perspective on your opinions. I do agree that your complaints are well supported by personal examples, which in our Western perspective are completely valid and fair. There's also a different perspective as to how respect should be given to individuals, since perhaps they consider you of 'lower rank' in their society, they think they have the right to laugh at you. I disapprove these kind of attitudes and all it makes us think is that this society should grow a little to pair up first-world nations in all senses. There's also an interesting note on the term 'fairness' as they see it also in a different way, usually in the West we respect individuals per se, but here fairness is considered in a vertical way, always from the top to bottom, so individuals with a higher rank should receive more respect from lower layers, and as long as you don't offend someone 'higher' than you, then it is 'fair'.

I would say that it's bit of their Confucian cultural background, especially for those who've never left the country and older generations, but also a bit of ignorance and principles. I've been myself in similar situations and I used to confront them sometimes. In a personal context, I would say that is a self-defense mechanism to show confidence, perhaps because they feel inferior. I learnt however that (ABSOLUTELY in their perspective) we both would 'lose face'. Confronting them as some amateur residents do won't change their opinion anyway of Westerners being rude, ugly and evil.

Paul Gaasenbeek
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Joined: 08/25/2009 - 15:04
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

Racism is widespread here. I have too many stories to write here but one thing is for sure, most are just insecure with themselves. Korea is very competitive. One global way to try and make yourself feel better is by knocking others down and that happens a lot here. This is not good but it happens everywhere between all people.

My wife is Korean and we get heckled at a lot by guys who say we shouldn't be together and that my wife is a "bad Korean" for being with me (which is funny to me because what, she should be with people like that?...lol). I dont care about this kind of thing even though it is wrong.

Another problem is Koreans trying to take advantage of us because we are not Korean but again, this happens in every country. Get into a taxi in any country and if they can make a buck off you they will. Again, this is not so bad.

But there are those here who in fact just hate foreigners (heck, I have 3rd graders tell me they hate Japan and so on which is scary as they are being taught this kind of crap). What can you do? I had one woman at a bank say to her coworker she hates foreigners-right in front of me. This at a bank? I called the manager over and he just thought is was funny. This kind of behaviour should be unacceptable here, now.

But understading rasicm and Koreans in general it is easy to deal with as for one, we know it is just because they are insecure and perhaps even a little jealous and two, it is not like we are being hung and beat up. It is usually just verbal so I always think how crappy their life must be to be that scared and actually kind of feel sad for them that they live this way. Some hate us because of where we born and nothing else which is sad but that is Korea, and sadly, every other country in the world. It is sad though as Japan, Thailand and so on dont seem to have this inner hate for foreigners. One day, maybe the next generation when the young who are now being educated by foreigners are older, people here will see foreigners in a better light. Part of social evolution I think. It is pretty homogenous here but Korea is changing. In fact, 13% of all marriages here are now inter-racial. Most by farmers marrying Phillipinos (that sadly dont end well) but things are changing so hang in there everyone as the best is yet to come.

DrNugu
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Joined: 08/28/2009 - 19:39
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!
Well said Paul.
Angel
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Joined: 08/16/2009 - 11:51
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!
ROV 22-  I learnt however that (ABSOLUTELY in their perspective) we both would 'lose face'. Confronting them as some amateur residents do won't change their opinion anyway of Westerners being rude, ugly and evil.- 

I was called a pig, mocked, laughed at for being large, at least ten times a day, when I arrived. Is that good?  Who cares about losing face?
I'm no martyr-
Trust me, I never lose face, f--k em, everyone can be humiliated.I can give it to them back,with an  extra side order of shite in return, and I do it to their face, they hate it. Most of them can't believe I've got the plums to give it to them, the condensing type. When I walk into the shop, go straight up to them and laugh in their faces, they shit themselves.Mind you, I am a huge bloke, must be a little frightening,but it works. Never angry, just mocking them back in the same way.I beleive it educates them a little, we usually become friends after that.Its an unusual way to meet. I threaten them with the Korean Herald, Times , etc when they don't serve me. I shout Dynamic Korea, Dynamic Korea, Dayhamingu, until I get served.Sadly, to get normal service, I have to act in an abrupt, absurd, horrified manner.I continue until the embarrassment  of the situation is reversed onto them, it's pretty quick. I always get served quickly after that. Asking "WHY NOT?",  and being loud, usually works. My Nyoung Yup was refusing to help foreigners with their  bill payments, so I went there made a fuss, phone calls were made , decision reversed.Mind u, I have no sense of shame, only self worth.I am not proud of this , but it has had an effect.Confrontation works, trust me. Apartheid in my country would  still be there, if we did not confront.


My opinion based on stories and observation here- 
In all honesty, I think many of us have experienced Social Apartheid, or some form of this. I'm not sure it's part of any acceptable , modern culture.I can't agree with the guy, who says we are below them. In their culture, teachers are near the highest level of society, or are supposed to be. What's the phrase about not walking in the shadow of the teacher?No Korean, in a modern world, should feel he/she are superior, especially as foreigners provide most of their incomes.It's just ignorance and stupidity. Go and check your history, why do you need our battle ships,joint shows of force, and military support, if you are so mighty?China will gobble these little fellas up in no time without our intervention here.After they take over NK, where will they head next.Let's see, how arrogant they are then.(the racists).If we did it to them back home, there would be a big fiasco made, so why shouldn't we make something of a racist event. Laughing in someones' face, taking the piss, disdainfully mocking, shouting at, cursing at us, what's your f--king problem racist?Saying I am a monkey , cos I have hair on my arms. Telling people that all foreigners have AIDS,to stop their women sleeping with us. Threatening to throw acid on people, this is criminal.What about the death threats to the head of ATEK, ridiculous. Following, harassing teachers, waiting  for us to make mistakes.Making hard to believe-fake videos on "How to seduce children when teaching", and news reports highlighting the lewd conduct, and bad behaviors of the few.I would venture to say, that this can be seen on every street, all night and nights here.How about we send some videos in return , they wouldn't even show them.I've seen Cops being slapped, punched and hit, imagine if it were us. How about shoplifting ratios.So, once again, to all racists in everyday life, in the media, newspapers,please give us a break please.Perhaps we'll perform better when we get treated as equals, not sub humans.What is really sad, is it taints the reputation of all the great Koreans out there.
lee-bum-suk
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Joined: 10/26/2009 - 08:38
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

Koreans are far worse to each other than they are to us. I have experienced racism but not on a grand scale. In fact I'm kind of racist myself, i rip koreans too much but i'm a patriot and i just don't want to see them make the same mistakes we did in the west. 

For the most part I'm glad korea is a homogenous society with a few colored and non-pigmented sprinkles here and there. This is for the time being of course as someone quoted a 13% marriage to foreigners number that will only increase with time. Because of things like this;  My friend has a decent job but it's hands on and manual(welding) he asked his wife if he knew of any single women among her friends for his collegues to date as they were asking him, the newest of the married guys. She replyed that she does know of many girls but they don't want that lifestyle. They don't want to be married to a 'manual worker'. They want someone who wears a suit and works in an office and of course lives life like a fairy tale drama series. Korean women won't even have them, what other choice do they have?

I don't like the Japan bashing and how it's taught here in school but it's better than whitey bashing. When those girls got run over by the tank years back I think that was a low point for us here. Alot of hostility back and I kind of look like a soldier.

The thing is I don't know of any Korean family that doesn't have an uncle or an aunt or whomever living somewhere else other than Korea. Koreans are all over the place and I think things have become easier for me anyway because of this. It's kind of hard and justify for them to rip us apart when their neices and nephews live in australia and refuse to speak Korean.

joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

Unfortunately, I've experieneced some rather uncomfortable experiences here, but like anywhere, there are good people and bad people.

I remember shopping in a department store and a young guy coming over and asking me if I needed help. I was new to Korea and working as an overseas government employee. While we were talking, he started telling me about his experiences with Americans and said "we don't like black people":

I left

I think what I have noticed here is a combined ignorance and overtness on the part of that "segment" with racist views that I haven't seen in the U.S. It still exists bask home in some dark corners of society, but it's more subtle.

We're not perfect but we are transparent and we struggle to deal openly with the issues that separate us. I'm proud to be from a country where we could elect Barack Obama.

I worked as a relocation manager at a military base my first time in Korea. Sometimes when I would take military sightseeing I would have to shield them from potentially shameful situations. One time I was walking with an African American friend and a man came up to her, pointed, and said "you monkey!" right in her face.

I've experieneced a harshness here that I've never experienced back home.

In classes, I've heard students say "black people this, black people that." While they are making their remarks they don't appear to understand how extreme and hurtful they are being...like that's just the way it is...and then you begin to realize that they're as my grandmother used to say, are just 'plain ignorant,' because that's the way they were raised.

I remember trying to discuss the concept of racism in a class with some students after someone made some remarks that didn't sit well with me. Some students couldn't understand what being a racist meant...like what's the problem-

There's also stories like the front page headline on an issue of the Korea Herald about three years ago describing a teacher who was told by a school they didn't hire black people..It wasn't them, it was that the parents didn't want black teachers.

IBut it's not just racism that's an issue here. Religious discrimination, ageism sexism, etc. the list goes on.

Again, I think the reason we see it so easily is because it is more overt due to ignorance and there's mo attempt to disguise it (also, because the government hasm't had laws and enforcement in place long enough to make a difference like some other countries).

Religious discrimination...anti-semitism...is a problem.

There were stories in Busan and Seoul about Natzi-themed bars/discoteques (if you do an internet search you will find photos). The owner of the business in Seoul dressed his waitresses in brown-shirted Natzi uniforms and decorated the interior with Natzi momentos. In an interview, he said he thought it would be a welcoming environment for German people visiting Korea...remind them of home.

Then there was the author of a popular comic book series read by millions of young children in Korea that put forth the ideas of Hitler. When questioned, the Los Angeles Korean community quickly distanced themselves from the South Korean community. The author ended up apologizing, referring tio himself "as a frog in a well."

I'm Jewish. I've noticed that at schools I've taught at, sometimes there's "that student" that asks if I'm Jewish,. When I say yes, they launch into anti-Israel rants even though I'm American. One day we're having a conversation class about humor and a student says, I don't know if this is funny but what do you think about the genocide by Israelis against Palestinians-

Another time when I went out to dinner with a class, a student started talking about Hitler and how he thought he had the right idea. He went on and on, the other students smiling and hangng on to his every word.

I had relatives who were gassed and cremated in the ovens in Natzi concentration camps.

"Frogs in a well."

 

 

143busan
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Joined: 08/07/2009 - 13:33
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

racism is everywhere.  try being born and raised as a korean-american in the southern u.s.  it might not be what u wanna hear, but when ur not home, sometimes u just gotta deal with it.  i'm not excusing any behavior, whatever the specifics may be.  however, the truth of the matter is, and was in my case for 20 some odd years and 30 plus for my parents, that being a minority has its attachments.  i've befriended many foreigners of various backgrounds, and honestly, no one really has told me of any hostile racist behavior they've faced from koreans.  at most, there was ignorant behavior usually from those who just have not been exposed to foreign faces before. 

truth is, as a caucasian foreigner in korea, i'm sure u also get flattering, positive attention as well.  by definition, this can also be classified as racism but no one really complains about these instances as it doesn't offend anyone.  well...it may be cliche...but you can't have your cake and eat it, too.  just as my parents made a sacrifice when they moved the the u.s., facing all the shit they did.  just as i faced countless incidences of ignorant bullshit in the south...sometimes u just gotta deal with it.  like i said...this is not justifying or excusing anyone or anything.  but it is what it is.  this is coming from someone who's faced it his entire life. 

joe kimchi
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Joined: 03/31/2010 - 15:43
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

My personal experience came when i interviewed with a major corporation in Korea.

The program manager from the office I would be working in, came into the room where the applicants were waiting to be interviewed and asked us the usual job applicant questions.

Then she singled me out in front of the other applicants and made a comment about my dark hair, my skin, my brown eyes. She pointed at them, then pointed at me.

She said she thought all Americans had "brown hair and blue eyes." 

She started questioning me in front of the group, asking me if I had been born in the USA and was a "native speaker."

She went on to explain that she had someone Spanish (latin american descent) working as a teacher. That's where her concern was coming from, even though the other instructor had blond hair and blue eyes. She wondered out loud if the students would have difficulty understanding me.

While the other applicants spent time talking about their teaching experience, credentials, etc., most of my time was taken up trying to convince the manager that I wasn't an immigrant and had been born and raised in the USA.

Our Great Teacher
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Joined: 09/01/2009 - 12:36
Re: Report racism and log racist accounts here!

I think essentially the good outweighs the bad here for foreigners.Where I'm from, the racism to Asians can be much worse compared to what happens here to foreigners. Bit of staring ,people practicing their Englishee , rude kids , getting rejected from businesses now and again.Big deal.

I think a thread focused on why f/t salaries have remained almost fixed here for years would be more productive.It is an utter J.O.K.E. Salaries here were 1.8-2.2 MILLION WON in 2000 !!! There should be a country-wide movement on this issue (anyone on here good with viral web 2.0 stuff ??) . I guess pay should be 2.4~2.8 million won if it were adjusted for inflation in 2010. You can be sure the recruiter cartel all silently collude to get the lowest paid MacWorker they can ,to justify their 800,000~1.4 million won recruiting fee for forwarding a resume.Immigration requirements are way more hostile and costly than 10 years ago , yet the wages do not in any way reflect inflation over the last 10 years.And don't let me get started on the "release letter shackle" trump card bosses have that has existed forever...