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  1. baekgom84
    baekgom84 July 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm . Reply

    This article more or less summarises my thoughts on this issue. The AES is an inexcusable, thinly-veiled hate group, but honestly, all I can really say about them is that they’re basically amateurs compared to some of their international counterparts. They don’t even have the conviction to come out and admit their racist intent, unlike, say, the KKK or Stormfront or any number of similar groups. Of course, with numbers of foreign residents increasing and a likely government-backed push towards multiculturalism, there is plenty of time for more radical and violent racist groups to develop. But for now, I’d say we’re doing okay. And again, whatever mild racist or xenophobic sentiment Westerners here might be exposed to (and I don’t mean to suggest that this is anything but unacceptable), it’s absolutely nothing compared to the fear and hatred reserved for the Joseon-jok.

    As for Australia, you can look up the ‘White Australia Policy’, which is exactly what it sounds like, and was in effect for an embarrassingly long time. In fact, Australia has a whole host of embarrassing, racially-charged issues that seem to spring up every other year. Having experienced it first-hand (not directed at me but to others), it’s probably why I let it slide so easily over here.

  2. Trisha
    Trisha July 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm . Reply

    I love the post – thank you for posting it! It is really interesting to see/read the other side of the experience of something like nationalised racism. It is interesting for me to experience being in the minority and experience this type of prejudice and racism. (I’m sure Korea is not alone in this, either, but it seems to be being very vocal recently…)

    From an Australian perspective, we have had Chinese migrants since the 1820s (roughly) and the gold rush; we’ve had Afghani cameleers since the early exploration days (late 1790s maybe?), and so much more. The strangest thing is that we had a “White Australia Policy” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy) until 1973 which effectively denied entry to non-white migrants and resulted in the deportation of some migrant workers back to their homelands (e.g. Pacific Islanders who were working in the cane fields in northern Queensland). Even aborigines (Australian native people) were not recognised as “people” until the mid 1960s. So, a lot of what Gord has said about Canada and the States applies in Australia as well, albeit being more recent and definitely still living in people’s minds now.

    Oh – and to bring this type of thing to a more relevant context in Australia right now – just search for “boat people Australia” and you will find some amazing stories and hatred of these “illegal” immigrants. (Note: They are not illegal – asylum seekers and refugees are not illegal.) It’s often overlooked that the illegal immigrants are predominantly English-speaking people from New Zealand, Britain, Canada, and USA. :)

  3. Bryan
    Bryan July 27, 2012 at 3:08 am . Reply

    Over the decades of White Australia Policy being gradually dismantled, there were all kinds of disgusting measures aimed at keeping non-Europeans (i.e. Asians) out. Australia has been in a panic about ‘Asian invasion’ since before federation.

    In Australia anti-Asian sentiment was also given political legitimacy in the late 90s with One Nation, a right wing populist virtually-neo-Nazi party that looked like it was becoming the third force in politics for a while.

    We also had the Cronulla race riots in 2005, and more recently violent attacks on Indian and Chinese international students have left Australia struggling to convince its biggest trading partners and sources of international students that Australia is multicultural or even just a safe place to use public transport. It’s hard to get ‘Australia really is wonderfully multicultural, there’s just certain suburbs you shouldn’t go to’ into the pitch to rich Asian families choosing from the global university marketplace.

    Koreans who focus their ‘my society is changing and maybe I’m being left out’ rage on English teachers puzzle me a bit because we’re such small potatoes compared to other non-Korean groups. We’re absolutely dwarfed by south/south-east Asian migrants. But I guess being a small, easily defined target whose role in Korean society isn’t actually changing much might make us a somehow reassuring object of rage.

  4. miz
    miz August 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm . Reply

    I would agree that non-White people in South Korea have it worse than White people. The latter may think they have it bad, but it’s nothing compared to what Chinese, SE Asian, Middle Easterners, or Africans have to deal with in terms of Korean xenophobia. South Korea is like Japan in being a very ethnically homogenous entity that has a hard time diversity.

    So be grateful for your White skin priviledge.

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