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February 13, 2006



"The plain truth is that Koreans - and here I don't mean "gyopos" but actual Koreans living in Korea - are some of the most xenophobic and chauvinistic people on the face of the Earth,"

Which often correlates to being more ready than most to see racism in others. I remember an article a few years ago that cited an interview where a young man who had immigrated from Korea recently said bitterly that all this land of opportunity and equality business in America was all bunk; he could see that there was simply no way he was ever going to sit in any of the Fortune 500 boardrooms, and it was all due to racism.

I have also noticed that light-skinned North Indians are often the very touchiest about what they construe as racially motivated slights.


[... the fact is that white and Asian faces are pretty damn rare in most of West Africa, but I\\\'ve never once heard of people from the region acting in this way...]

The fact of the matter is that urban West Africans would refer to this kind of behavior as evincing a certain \"village mentality\" - a pointedly pejorative term that I hesitate to apply to Korean society: Simply because I believe that Korea and many other countries, matured materially, before doing so doctrinally, and hence stuff like this is inevitable...Much the same could be said for the West. I recollect Bernard Lewis discussing the Arab world one time and pointing out that the West wasnt superior to the ANE cultures per se, it was just more experience. The West has been through more - with a lot of pain. The fear then, is that these other regions of the world will not be able to endure the growing pains like the West, or that they do not have the patrimony neccesary to endure it.

In the case of Korea and other Far Eastern cultures, I am willing to wager, that a heady mix of success and pride might delay their cultural maturation in Levantine extents. In China, we know, that despite the official position of the CCP, life for Africans is hell; wanton arrests, church closures, etc. This, despite the fact that West Africa is readily becoming home to a burgeoning insular Chinese community - even as West Africans rush to offer Chinese language courses in their Universities.

It is for this reason that Japan, a relatively free and open society, not without its problems, and certainly not without its own share of horrible, horrible growing pains will continue to be *the* beacon of liberty and freedom in that part of the world - notwithstanding the fact that the Japanese do have a lot of sorting out themselves to do in the face of a resurgence of Yamatoism. Yet, biracial couples are freer and more accepted in Japan, than they are in other Far Eastern societies.

Hopefully, Koreans will ditch the insecurities with time - again, a desire to evince Western sophistications might help in this regard...Though one is not aware of those of who tout \"Asian values\" as a response to Western hegemony: Values which possess no statement of any sort on the place and value of the individual when compared to millenia of Western discourse.

Again, this is a strong argument for keeping a moderately open West, as opposed to the Fortress West that exists in the minds of many - an understandly response to Islamic savagery. The truth of the matter is that Koreans who get educated in the West, who grow up and date, party, club, etc in the West are more likely to be vectors of the positive attitudes we all desire in this regard than immigrants who come over for purely economic reasons. I have a friend, half white, half Korean - who told me that his Mother would disown him, of sorts, if he ever dated a black person - Hispanics, she said, were okay. But blacks? Never. But he disagreed with her.

A generational shift might well occur in Far Eastern climes; a shift that seems nigh impossible for Middle Eastern societies.

João da Costa

"I have a friend, half white, half Korean - who told me that his Mother would disown him, of sorts, if he ever dated a black person - Hispanics, she said, were okay. But blacks? Never. But he disagreed with her."

Racism is a global matter.
Anti-Black racism is a particular trait of that global racism.
Commenting on racial matters Frantz Fanon wrote ("Black Skin, White Masks", that the Black man always could tell you where the bottom (of society) was, meaning that the level of tolerance towards Blacks was the yardstick to measure the level of (non-)acceptance of "foreigners" in a given society.
In a more positive note, we must all recognize that the reaction to Hines success means something as a good opening towards the future of racial relations in the Korean society.


" The West has been through more - with a lot of pain. "

Wel, yes, but yet we still hear this crap about how the Europe was in the Dark Ages blah blah blah, and mostly from Europeans. Even Europeans seem to think that their history starts with the Romans. Pathetic. I once saw someone try to say that all of Western morality came from Moses. Pathetic.


About the military exemption, the reasoning behind it is not that mixed-race individuals would be prone to treachery. Rather, the exemption is granted because--and with good reason--the authorities believed that social attitudes being what they are, mixed-race individuals would have an extremely difficult time adjusting to barracks life. Life in the Korean military, by most accounts, is tough, with hazing by seniors being pretty rife. The authorities--and they probably meant this with good intentions--felt there was no need to put visably mixed-race individuals in a situation where they would be beaten and abused for two years straight. Anyway, the government passed a revision to the military service law last year allowing mixed-race men into the military if they choose, and there is now debate over whether to ammend the law to extend the mandatory draft to them as well. One Uri Party lawmaker--pointing to the large number of foreign-born and green-card holding soldiers in the U.S. military--even suggested opening up enlistment in the Korean military to migrant workers and other resident foreigners as well.


"social attitudes being what they are, mixed-race individuals would have an extremely difficult time adjusting to barracks life. "

This is the same argument that was used to defend segregation of the US army in the 1940s, and that is used today to defend "don't ask, don't tell" ("unit cohesion"). Obviously, it's not as though this explanation reflects any better on Korean racism than the more obvious explanation of simple animus against mixed-race people plain and simple.


There's been a slow shift in societal attitudes about "mixed race" people in Korea. About two years ago, a TV star "came out" and admitted her father was a Latino--a U.S. serviceman, no less, an even bigger taboo in Korea--and her career has been plugging along fine since. Another woman, a popular singer whose father was African American, began to speak about her background in the press, which would have been unheard of earlier.

There's still a long way to go, as the L.A. Times story shows, and this is not to excuse racist attitudes, but Korea was a poor and unworldly nation during the military dictatorships of the 70s and insignificant until the 1988 Olympics, so its people had little exposure to the world at large, coupled with a ridiculous emphasis on racial unity (to keep people's noses to the grindstone and not rebel). With a higher profile on the world stage, I would expect much more soul searching to come.


Painful to say, but that analysis is right in so many ways.


Wow. Those are some nasty images right there. The comments on the blog are particularly telling. Its the same old recycled garbage:

1. We havent had experiences with black people so we cant be racist.

2. We dont have an equivalent of the KKK.

3. We do this because we really like black people.

4. You are racist for calling us racist because of the things we do.

Ah yes - I might fall for all of the above; except when I see the same folks yelping about American/Western racism towards Asians who hold stereotypical images of Asians and a.) Havent had any significant experiences with Asian people b.) Dont particularly support the KKK c.)Hold their images, imitations and stereotypes because they \"really\" like Asians and admire them and d.) Think Asians are making mountains out of molehills.

Case in point: Cows grazing in the background in \"Die Another Day\".

Randy McDonald

Um, burakumin and Ainu? Northeast Asia as a rule has a problem with racism.


And what exactly does pointing to the Burakumin and Ainu prove? Have I or anyone else said racism doesn't exist in Japan or anywhere else? You might as well have noted the existence of racism in America, for all the relevance your reference to Burakumin and Ainu has.

The fact is that there are degrees of intensity of racism, and what's on show in Korea is far, far worse than anything being experienced even by Japan's most stigmatized groups, neither of which are banned from serving in any public capacities, neither of which have disgusting caricatures of them perpetrated in the press let alone in official schoolbooks, and for neither of which is graduating from high school or even college so rare that it is regarded as newsworthy; indeed, there are Burakumin serving in the Diet, one of whom is in Koizumi's cabinet and has been mentioned in the past as a PM candidate, while the Ainu have intermarried so much with mainland Japanese that virtually no "pure bloods" exist any longer.

You seem to have a fixation on a racist, militaristic 1930s Japan which no longer exists outside of NYT op-ed pages. The country has its problems, but by comparison with any of its neighbors it is a paradise of cosmopolitanism.


It is what it is. U.S. crime statisticss show that blacks are 22 times more likely to commit a crime than whites. Immensely large ratio of blacks in the prisons (14% of U.S. population , 2000 Census - 51% prison population), welfare, bastard children, substance abuse, and HIV. If you can’t see the numbers, it’s called denial or true ignorance.

What about the responsibility of the Blacks themselves? Shouldn't they be held accountable also? The Blacks themselves are probably one of the most racist people themselves. Racist slurrs towards other races in Black oriented movies, Shaq publicly describing Yao Ming as "Ching Chong", committing majority of the social ills, etc...Come on!

Through Affirmative Action, the blacks are given prerential treat my U.S. colleges and universities yet even the Asians who make up less than 2% of population get into colleges at disproportionately higher rates without the benefit of affirmative action (Asians are not included in Affirmative Action as far as college admissions). How often do find one in a Calculus class?

Of course there are exceptions. Nothing is 100%, but in general, blacks do not contribute much to society…mostly a drain. What about the professional athletes? Well it might be the result of 400 years of breeding by the white man. That is 20 generations breeding for physicality to pick cotton. Other than the marathon, how many blacks do you see that win in track & field or any other sports that are not descended from slavery? Almost none. Only bred hybrids. You don’t see true african blacks in pro sports. Intellectually primitive, physically weak, psychologically & morally challenged. You can put him in a 10 million dollar mansion, dress him in Armani suits, but you can’t remove the primal instincts that lie within him. Like a dog, he has no restraint to sexual urges and other primal behaviors.

My apologies to the dog. At least dogs are loyal and appreciative. It may not be too PC, but “it is what it is”.


Ah! What a fine fellow you are, koreanskin.

I\'ll just trot out some Ishihara style sankokujin pablum and then we\'ll have a competition to find out whose the stupidest between the both of us.

Or, maybe not...Maybe I\'ll just dig into the archives of several fine Japanese institutions to put out very credible information about Koreans in Japan being involved in crime, communist support and other vices - as well as the slavery images of the Chosun era, naked breasts, thatched huts - and the oh so, \"great history\" of noble unprimitivism that Korea is so greatly blessed with. But then again, maybe not. Maybe I\'ll just keep thinking you are one of those idiot Koreans devoted to licking imaginary wounds inflicted by the Japanese - and stopping to pick on blacks on the way to your hutch: While listening to Korean Hip Hop and looking forward to covers of \"Fuckin\' USA\" - What a bloody tool you are. You guys make me sick.


I'm grateful to "koreanskin" for coming along and showing why he/she/it and so many others of the same ilk are so richly deserving of utter contempt. Just like Muslims rioting because of cartoons associating them with violence, idiot Koreans like this one only go to show just how right their critics are.

As for the propensity of certain peoples to commit crime, one would think no one had ever heard of such fine, upstanding Zainichi Koreans as the white-woman obsessed rapist Joji Obara, or the fine priest Tamotsu Kin described in the following article:

I could go dig up many, many more law-abiding Japan-resident Koreans of the same type in 2ch, or I could simply look up news reports on the Yamaguchi-gumi, some 40% of whose membership is said to be of Korean origin (irony of irony, many of the Uyoku black truck types aren't even Japanese!), but it simply isn't worth my time for the sake of fools like you. If "blacks" are genetically criminal, then by the evidence from Japan, Koreans were clearly born to run investment scams, armed robberies, blackmailing rackets, pachinko parlors, soaplands and other such shady enterprises, with Kabukicho being the environment in which you thrive best. Of course, not being an idiot racist like you, I don't mistake the legacy of historical discrimination for genetic traits: cretins of your ilk are made, not born; the shame is that Korea is doing a far better job of churning out clone-like racist dolts than it is producing cloned stem cells ...

As a sterling example of the ridiculous air of self-importance so many Koreans like to put on now that they finally have a little change in their pockets for once - and that thanks to a century of benefiting from "evil" Japanese investment and theft of "evil" Japanese intellectual property - you can't wait to lord it over everyone else, and yet you insular, pompous little racists wonder why you're not given any respect by the world you're so eager to impress? Maybe if you had half the class of your Japanese neighbors - not one of whom has ever sunk to the level of regurgitating racist nonsense even in the face of the harshest criticisms I've levelled at the Japanese - the world would find it easier to accord you respect, but instead all we get is ugly Korean morons making complete asses of themselves and wondering why they're being sneered at for their efforts. Urinara Manse!

Oh, and by the way, since you Koreans are so superior to all those blacks and all, why don't you take up defending yourselves against your dearly loved North Korean brothers, rather than insisting that American soldiers - many of whom are the oh-so-racially inferior blacks you've been ranting about - stay in what has to be one of the *least* popular postings in the US armed forces, thanks to Korea's reputation for "MacArthur is a war criminal" slash "Yankee go home!" hospitality? Why Korean übermenschen should need defending by lowly golliwogs and long-noses is one of those great mysteries ...

PS: Ah, what the heck, I'm feeling bored, so why not? On the following page can be found, for the delectation of all those who can read Japanese or use Babelfish, just one list of thousands on the web containing records of crimes committed by Japanese-resident Koreans.

[Title: 韓国・朝鮮人たちの犯罪等, aka, "Crimes by South and North Koreans"]

From the beginning of the page, some choice comments about the crimes;

彼らの特徴は、「凶悪・卑劣」、「残酷」、「自分勝手」、... 「性犯罪が多い」,

or "Their crimes have the characteristics of being fiendish, base, cruel, selfish", ... "amounting to a vast number of sex crimes"; Koreans do appear to have done an excellent job of cornering Japan's market for viciously criminal-minded sex-beasts, even without the help of any of those horrible blacks you loathe. Must be all that Pure Blood which makes for such superb criminal material!

See, "koreanskin", others out there can play your dirty little game even better than you can ...

Jonathan Kim

I am Korean and I have to admit that, in general, we have a problem. From the time I was born I kept hearing about the 'superiority' of all things Korea from my parents and the rest of the Korean community in my city in Socal. In high school I joined the Korean Pride club and was really into it.

I have realized that it is SO easy to be suckered into thinking that your people are better than any other group. I mean there are statistics to proove anything. A frequent topic in Korean circles is the financial and academic success of Korean Americans. If you just hear a few things about how Koreans are worth "twice as much" as the average white or "four times as much" as the average black, you can easily come to false conclusions. We don't think to take into account that immigration to the US has been highly selective, leading to the percieved successes of Asian groups like Chinese, Indians, Koreans.

In Korea itself, it is even worse. Since there are so few other types of people, it is easy to come to the conclusion that Koreans are superior. In Korean Media it is always mentioned that we are the most "wired" country and all other positive stats. Some of this may be true, but it is not like Korea has done more great things than any other country. I mean, we don't have a tradition of success in the physical sciences like the Germans, Russians or Americans. We didn't invent mathematics or religions like the Indians. We copied Confucionism and writing from the Chinese. We have our successes and out failures like anyone else. Clearly one of the big failures is that our culture is relatively mypoic. This is why we get so hyped about even the small success of our scientists like that lying scoundrel Hwang.

At the same time other cultures have also been mypoic at times, such as the Germans during the 1st half of the last century. Clearly this is a problem that can and should be overcome. Koreans must realize that this sort of thinking reflects negatiely on all Koreans. I was visiting some Buddhist sites in India on pilgrimage and I noticed how poorly Korean pilgrims in general treat the natives, especially the beggars. I can easily imagine that Indians in that area have a horrible notion of what Koreans are like. Clearly racism begets racism. When India becomes more successful I can imagine that some Koreans will want to move there for commercial interests. How will they be treated?

If Koreans want to be treated as equals along with the other peoples of the world, we have not only to be succesful but to reat others as equals. In America it is true that some racism exists. However the general perception is that you should treat all people as individuals and not as members of a race or religion. This is why Koreans are able to succeed in America, just like other minorities.

Sarah Kim

With regard to the comments about 'Blacks:'

I find it sad and appalling that this is a fairly general perception among east asian communities. We listen to their music, copy their clothing styles and idolize their athletes, yet we cannot accept them as equals? Unlike Asian-Americans, Blacks have been subjected to centuries of oppression followed by discrimination.

In all societies around the world you will see that more impoverished groups tend to produce the majority of criminals. This is the case with African Americans. Crime amongst African Americans is DIRECTLY related to income level. In fact upper-middle class African Americans have lower levels of violent crime than upper-middle class Asian Americans. Africa itself has been "raped" by the terrible crime of slavery, perpetuated by both Arabs and Europeans, followed by the equally grave crime of colonialism. As a result borders in Africa were drawn arbitrarily leading to the tremendous amount of conflict we see today.

Let us look at Korea. As Koreans we tend to look with pride at the success of South Korea. However North Korea is just about the same as the worst African countries. We hear reports about starvation and even cannibalism. The GDP of North Korea is amongst the lowest in the world. North Koreans are ethnically the same as South Koreans. What this shows is that if you give people a fair government they will succeed. There is no such government if Africa besides South Africa in the last 10 or so years.

Athletic success is also directy linked to State prosperity. Playing games is a liesure activity which one cannot do if one has to worry about food and survival. South Korea has had decent success in sports due to its economic prosperity. America has provided sporting facilities for all its people, regardless of individual income levels.

"Blacks" have made great contributions to America. Regardless of what you may think of Hip-Hop music, you cannot deny that its spreading into mainstream WORLD music is a monumental achievement given the circumstances of poverty that surrounded it. This required tremendous creative skills as well as entreprenurial skills.


I am a half-Japanese high school student at a New England boarding school. Interestingly, there is a curiously large number of Koreans that attend. Before my arrival, I never had intereacted much with Koreans. I generally do not communicate with them much, but there is one who lives in my dorm hall who is very rude. He shows little respect to me, he calls me Jap all the time, and possesses a very violent and explosive temper.

Before starting boarding school, my Japanese father had told me not so great things about Korea, but I shrugged it off as the thoughts of someone who was one of an increasingly shrinking population of anti-Korean Japanese. But when I went to Japan this March, when I was having dinner with a group from a travellers' club, I held a discussion with the only English speaking member of the group. When I asked him about any trips he took to Seoul, he told me that the people there were rude, angry, and screamed a lot. This description also seemed to fit the description my Korean neighbor at boarding school.

Following my visit, I decided to read a few archived internet articles relating to Korea-Japan relations. I came upon an article regarding a visit to Korea by P.M. Koizumi. This visit was the result of a quick change of plans. Koizumi was supposed to visit the controversial Yaskuni Shrine, but instead decided to undertake a goodwill voyage to Korea, something I thought was very gracious on his part. However, he was met by bitter anti-Japanese protests, which included burnings of the Japanese flag, the burnings of effigies of Koizumi's body, and nationwide finger cuttings. Needless to say, I found this quite appalling.

Later, a few weeks ago, one of my Korean classmates told me that Japan was sending its entire military to occupy the controversial Dokdo (also called Takeshima) islands. Of course, he claimed the islands as Korea's. The Korean who calls me a Jap simply told me that Japan was invading Korea. When I looked at news articles on Google, I had discovered that only two survey ships from the Japanese Coast Guard had been sent to conduct a study. I did not appreciate such gross overstatements. However, I will not make any judgements on who owns the islands because I do not know enough information about them.

Overall, my opinon on the Korean populus as a whole isn't the best, especially of learning of the racism in the country. I thought that Japan had tolerance issues with Korea and Japan, judging from the Korean anger targeted at Japan and some of my dad's comments. Apparently, though, that does not appear to be the case so much. I will continue to judge people based on individuality, but like I said, I definitely agree that Korea has racial issues, even against other orientals.

Won Joon Choe

Yuji, not to be overly politically-correct, but the term "oriental" is frowned upon in most American educational circles. You sure you were educated in the U.S.?


first of all won joon choe how can you say that a person have or have not been educated in the U.S. for saying orientals? when most of us who have been educated in the U.S. have been taught since grade school to call people of asian decent, orientals. and yes I would know,because i have been in the school system since i was a child. think i am caucasian? nope, i am a 6th or 7th generation mexican american and... GASP! a first generation korean american, born in seoul on a military base. i lived with my fathers family for 17 years so as you can see i am well aquanted with my mexican heritage. but i knew nothing of my mothers heritage, yet the more i have researched about korea and koreans i am so disappointed about the things that i have read. i was planning to see my mother and half sister and my other family in korea, after i give birth to my child. but from what i have read, i really don't want to put myself and my child in a position to be looked on apon with disdain. now how sad is that?


"when most of us who have been educated in the U.S. have been taught since grade school to call people of asian decent, orientals. and yes I would know,because i have been in the school system since i was a child"

Yea, I have to say, I don't know what school system you went to because I have never heard of teachers actually encouraging students to call East Asians "Orientals" (to my ear it sounds rather like calling black people "colored"). People who went to school 20 years ago might have learned this, but someone in high school (in New England, no less) these days wouldn't be taught this.

Or maybe I'm just overestimating the amount of racial sensitivity in our great nation's schools...


the same to you. i dont know what school that you went to. all i know is that you went to school on the east coast. and how does that affect me? i went to school on the west coast. big deal. so obviously the curriculum would either be almost or completely different. big suprise. anyway, so why does the word oriental bother you so much? all it stands for is the generalization of the east asian races. like asian is a generalization of all of asia. unless you want us to be called mongoloids, which is the anthropological catagory that we stand in. ok there you go, your a mongoloid. i personally would rather be called asian and GASP! oriental. those words sound alot nicer than mongoloid. but hey it is your right to say what you want yourself to be called. as it is mine. but please dont belittle people's education and where they come from. like i said i dont care where you went or are going to school. all that tells me is that you are a product of the public school system. if not...well thats another day. what i am trying to say is that people get offended if you call them a different race than they are. so thats why we have the politically correct terms. and granted people are getting better at how to tell us apart. and since i am a product of interacial marriage. i get mistaken for philipino all the time. so i just would rather be called asian or oriental. but you know what? lets drop the names and just call ourselves Americans. i am proud of my ethnicity but i am more proud to be an American. then if we decide to divulge our ethnicity it is our perogative. so how hard is that?


Yea, actually I went to school on both the East Coast and West Coast. As for why the word oriental bothers me, it's just dated and smacks of 19th century imperialism (just think of Said's Orientalism - though that actually refers to the "Near East," the principle is the same). It bothers me the same way "colored" and "negro" bother me. There's a paragraph in this wikipedia article that pretty much sums it up..

But if you don't get offended by it, then more power to you!


cool. i see your point you saw mine and i think we are on the same page. nice talking to you. it was stimulating.


america's racism is far worse that the korean.
(u gotta admit)


i am a korean

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