All posts tagged: Anecdote

Where’s All This Racism Coming From?

“These are all ‘flesh’-coloured” (Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation, 2006) At university, a then-friend of mine once said “No, Koreans are one blood, one people. Immigrants and mixed-blood children are not and they’ll never be Korean“. I said: “But, what if these immigrants live here for decades? And mixed-blood children are born here and raised here?“.  After a while, he repeated: “Yes, but we are one people, they’re not our people” The worst part is, I cannot label him as an outlier of public opinion. Koreans generally do treat foreigners very differently from fellow Koreans. But why? And is it really racism, or ignorance? Or something else? In a society where the indigenous people look more or less the same, physical difference marks outsiders out in a strikingly visual way. The first caricatures of Westerners drawn by the Koreans and the Japanese show similarities: “Their eyes were blue like demons, and they had a lot of white hair, making them look even more beastly” is what I remember from a history lecture back in university. Most Koreans don’t see …