Thursday, June 18, 2020

Racism in South Korea. How Bad it is?




When a Korean friend asked me about my prejudice of Koreans, racism was at the top of my mind. I'm just being honest because it's all over the internet. If you don't live in a cave, you would've probably read a lot of horror stories about racism in South Korea. However, I have to justify my response because as much as I am aware of this existing issue in Korea, for my almost 5 years of stay in the country, I never experienced it. So if ever I read posts about this issue, I always come forward not to defend Koreans but to tell my story about how I was being treated well when I lived in their country. I mean, a coin has always two sides, and if we highlight just the other side, it would be unfair, right? Let's just say that more people are talking about their bad experience in South Korea, we couldn't take that as absolute data because we don't know how much percentage is that when compared to the other side who don't experience it.

My point here is, it's true that racism does exist in South Korea. The truth is, it does exist everywhere, including the Philippines. The way other races judge Koreans as racist is a form of racism itself. Look at the irony of it. It's just like judging somebody that they are judgmental. Although we can't deny that Koreans are prone to be associated with being racists, I believe that they deserve a benefit of the doubt.

So for all of you saying to stop watching Kdrama or patronizing the K-pop music because of this reality, I just think that it's a shallow reason. I mean, why would it matter if you enjoy the entertainment aspect of it? Always think that not all TV series reflects reality.  If your oppa is so sweet and caring in the series, don't expect him to be exactly like that in real life because he is just portraying a character. To cut ties with the Hallyu wave just because you read some Koreans commented something bad about Filipinos or other races, then I think you need to read more, you might find some Filipinos commenting something bad too about Koreans.

Believing what we read about other people's comments will lead us to run the risk of coming up with sweeping generalizations. I believe this is something we don't want other races to do to us. The reality is, as much as there are racist Koreans, there are also racist Filipinos, racist Americans, and whatnot. I guess this is not just the debate about who is more racist or not. The issue needs a little bit of understanding that we all have a diverse culture, and if we learn to accept that, we also accept other people's shortcomings and that we are all not perfect.

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