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Matt Lamers, Editor of Korea Herald's Expat Page, Stabbed!
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Benicio



Joined: 25 May 2006
Location: Down South- where it's hot & wet

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the police don't do a d@mn thing to investigate or help.
They are a lost cause!
http://www.rjkoehler.com/2007/11/14/misuda-panelist-discusses-assault-hospital-mistreatment/

99.999% of the time, you can expect you won't be helped at all. This includes if they have your attacker in custody. Mostly, they will just try and tell you to "understand" the other person and accept a meaningless apology. Maybe, just maybe, there might be a little cash settlement to appease you.

Mostly, the police just see it as their job to get you out of the police station with as little effort on their part as possible.

Sometimes, getting attacked here can get you charged as the assaulter as their is no law protecting self defense.
http://rokdrop.com/2007/04/15/you-can-expect-a-fair-trail-in-korea-sort-of/
http://seoul.usembassy.gov/september_18_2002.html

Rules of thumb we've discussed today:
-be on guard when you are out and about in these areas that are known for heavy drinking and shenanigans. Notice trouble before it notices you.
-don't think just turning the other cheek and trying to walk away will work out. There is no such thing as a "fair fight" here.
-if you do get in a fight, do your best to put them down fast and hard, then get the h*ll out of their as fast as possible. DO NOT stick around.
-DO NOT expect the police to help you. Even if you are just an innocent victim, "witnesses" can easily come forth and accuse you of being the attacker. It has happened far more than once here.*

Just keep your eye out and stay safe!

*http://rokdrop.com/2008/02/27/gi-myths-is-the-us-military-crime-rate-in-korea-out-of-control/#_edn7
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OnTheOtherSide



Joined: 29 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing more fun than beating the crap out of someone who deserves it.
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KHerald



Joined: 21 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Just to clear up some of the misinformation Reply with quote

Just to clear up some of the misinformation, hereís what happened. The unprovoked attack took place around midnight in a park in Hongdae. And there were three attackers, not two.

My colleague and I were sitting on a park bench talking amongst ourselves, not loudly, when a trio of college-aged men sat across from us and said: ďI speak English. Are you ready to die? We are going to kill you tonight.Ē They said that a few times and we ignored them completely. Itís not the first time someone had told me they planned to kill me; we assumed it was just drunk kids and thought theyíd go away if we didnít pay them any attention.

But then the talker got up and came at me -- I stood up -- and he pushed me. I pushed him back. After he got up and brushed himself off, he grabbed a beer bottle, smashed it, and lunged at me. I moved my arm up reflexively and got a bottle jammed straight into my forearm arm. Then the three of them ran like hell. I was bleeding profusely and I am certain my colleague did the right thing in helping me out instead of chasing them down. It all happened in a matter of under five minutes.

It took three taxis to get to a hospital, and when we got there they said I needed surgery and they didnít have a surgeon on duty, so they sent us in an ambulance to another hospital.

The muscle in my forearm was almost cut in half and after surgery it took 42 stitches to seal it up.

Why didnít I call the police and why do I feel lucky? Simple. I could have easily been killed but I am relatively fine now. I feel lucky. I only missed two days of work and the stitches are already out. I didnít call the police because I wasnít sober at the time, and we all know that most of the police in Korea are useless. Also, there is close to a zero percent chance that the three men could be caught.

In reading over this message board, however, I was thinking it over and I decided to contact the police. Some of you made some really good points, and I think that in a situation like this, it is the right thing to do to tell the police. I do not want to set a bad example for other expats in Korea. We all have our opinions of the police here, nevertheless, they have a job they are expected to do -- and the moment we do not expect them to protect us from injustices, there is no hope at all. And that will lead to a hopelessly cynical life.

If expats do not report crimes committed against them, especially those committed on the grounds of racism, there is no hope for change. Not reporting crimes makes it impossible to facilitate change because if people do not report crimes to the police -- just because they think the police will do nothing -- the police will only ever do nothing because there will never be any pressure from media or society for them to act.

Justice and the police in Korea need to change, and if crimes go unreported, agents of change will blocked from making progress.

Some personal thoughts: Although it was completely unprovoked, blatant racism, it was an isolated incident. I know some will disagree with me on this point, but to each his own. Korea is not a racist country, at least compared to Canada (where Iím from). What happened to me could have happened to anyone, in any country, so there is no reason to get ourselves worked up about it. I am not angry. I do not I hold ďKoreaĒ responsible. I do not hold any grudges (except for the attackers).

It may or may not have been related to the beef protests. But who knows?

Be careful, play safe, and if you find yourself in a situation like I was, the most important thing to protect is your health. And report it to the police (when you feel it is safe for you to do so). Consider reporting it to the media.

We all have our different priorities. Mine is my and my familyís health and safety.

Letís keep the discourse respectable. Letís not generalize when itís unnecessary. Cynicism blocks progress.

Matthew Lamers
Expat Living editor (Korea Herald)
mattlamers@heraldm.com
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear that you're doing better, Matt.
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it's full of stars



Joined: 26 Dec 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really sorry to hear your story and believe that it happened.

I'm confused though, you didn't report it because it was a waste of time yet encourage other people to report any crimes they are the victim of.

Confused
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in_seoul_2003



Joined: 24 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Matt Lamers, Editor of Korea Herald's Expat Page, Stabbe Reply with quote

Big4Jerm3 wrote:

the US' larger cities... where school shootings, rapes, armed roberries, etc. are the norm..


This is nonsense. You know it's not true. In fact, if it were, there would never be anything on the news about it since 'norm' usually indicates something not news-worthy - the media preferring the unusual, abnormal, and spectacular. And there's no shortage of these things on the news (but, bare in mind, that news sensationalism does not equal facticity).

So you're not only factually wrong, but also conceptually and semantically wrong.
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KHerald



Joined: 21 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm confused though, you didn't report it because it was a waste of time yet encourage other people to report any crimes they are the victim of.


I made a mistake in deciding to not report it, and I have since reported it. But whether or not people want to report it immediately, or later on, is a personal decision. My point was that expats will be better off if statistics on violence here are as accurate as possible. If all crimes are reported, the police will someday do something about it.
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earthbound14



Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kherald (Matt)

glad to hear you're OK...although a severed muscle might have some long term affects...hope it heals well, sounds like no tendons or ligaments were damaged.

thanks for the clarification, seems unlikely to be a part of the mad cow silliness, but then again these situations get people's blood pumping and the racists and kooks come out to play.

Glad to hear you're going to the police. I think this is something worth doing even if it doesn't actually pan out right away. If anything else you may be able to raise awareness in the foreign community with a story based on reality and documentation rather than "I heard about this guy....".

Keep us posted!!!

PS Do you really think Korea is less racist than Canada? While I feel Korea is less violent, I would rather my kids grew up in Canada as mixed Canadians, rather than in Korea as Non-Koreans. I can't handle this rigid nonsense about what is or isn't Korean. To me it's an exclusive racist place that doesn't accept anything from the outside...as much as I love the place.
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hogwonguy1979



Joined: 22 Dec 2003
Location: the racoon den

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

glad you're doing ok matt, good move to get the keystone cops involved no matter how usless they may be. maybe you can set a good example for the rest of us
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am glad Matt Lamers is okay. I do think this is an isolated attack. Hate crimes do happen in other places like Canada like when that girl of Indian descent was killed in British Columbia. I disagree, however, that racism in Korea is on par with racism in Canada. In Alberta a fellow wasn't admitted to a night club, and he was able to sue. Good luck doing that here.

They are going to build a school in Korea for mixed goods. That's not quite a problem though there are sometimes fights between people from different ethnicities in the schools. Anyway, I am glad, Matt, that you are okay. I agree this attack is not representative of Koreans. Most Koreans don't support violence against foreigners. I think, perhaps, these people were affected by all the anti-American beef hysteria. Some Koreans feel powerless against the US and resent the presence of foreigners, but they are not the majority of people. I don't feel threatend in Korea or at risk.
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nicholas_chiasson



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Location: Samcheok

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hate crimes
cause we all know we have to seperate all those love motivated bottle attacks.
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KHerald



Joined: 21 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do you really think Korea is less racist than Canada


A lot of people are taking that quote out of context, and I apologyse for the lack of clarity. My point here was simply a swipe at people sho make sick generalizations that "Korea is a racest country." That's all.

I'm tired of that garbage, which is why I said "Letís keep the discourse respectable."
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wanamin



Joined: 14 Apr 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KHerald wrote:
Quote:
Do you really think Korea is less racist than Canada


A lot of people are taking that quote out of context, and I apologyse for the lack of clarity. My point here was simply a swipe at people sho make sick generalizations that "Korea is a racest country." That's all.

I'm tired of that garbage, which is why I said "Letís keep the discourse respectable."


I'm glad to hear you have gotten well. You were lucky!

But I have to take issue with your statement: "Korea is not a racist country" THAT is a generalization much the same as "Korea is a racist country" If you have problems with overly broad generalizations, then its not intellectually honest to say "Korea is not a racist country"

In most western countries, this act of violence would be considered a hate crime, and would receive priority from the police. Not here. Its more like the opposite here, as you seem to observe.

And, more importantly, as Earthbound mentioned above, in the west, if I have a Korean (or other non-western) wife, our children will be accepted as members of the society we live in (by MOST), provided we raise them there. Ask Gyopos living in Canada and the USA. Acceptance is the social norm. People look down on racists.

That is absolutely NOT true in Korea, where the only thing that can make you Korean (in the eyes of MOST people, and to some extent, the government) is 100% pure Han blood. Talk to anyone who is thinking about raising a family with a Korean person, and it is an issue. People might not be rude, but they wont accept you! The social norm is Korean blood=Korean citizen. Furthermore, to some extent, institutionalized, government sanctioned racism goes on here! (i.e. F series visa for Gyopos)
While it might a bit too broad to generalize that "Korean is a racist country," I think something close, like, "A large majority of Koreans have racist ideas about who is and isn't Korean" is a little too wordy.

To conclude, I think if you had to pick between the statements, "Korea is [or isn't] more racist than ... (insert English speaking country here)," Then most people familiar with both countries would say English speaking country. Except South Africa. While Canada has an embarrassing past regarding the treatment of First Nation people, at least they're trying to rectify the situation. Korea hasn't come close to that yet.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good to hear the outcome is not as serious as it could have been.

Would this not be a good time for an investigative piece about attacks on foreigners? Most Koreans are neither racist nor violent and would be shocked that incidents like this could happen.
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Stevie_B



Joined: 14 May 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wanamin wrote:
KHerald wrote:
Quote:
Do you really think Korea is less racist than Canada


A lot of people are taking that quote out of context, and I apologyse for the lack of clarity. My point here was simply a swipe at people sho make sick generalizations that "Korea is a racest country." That's all.

I'm tired of that garbage, which is why I said "Letís keep the discourse respectable."


I'm glad to hear you have gotten well. You were lucky!

But I have to take issue with your statement: "Korea is not a racist country" THAT is a generalization much the same as "Korea is a racist country" If you have problems with overly broad generalizations, then its not intellectually honest to say "Korea is not a racist country"

In most western countries, this act of violence would be considered a hate crime, and would receive priority from the police. Not here. Its more like the opposite here, as you seem to observe.

And, more importantly, as Earthbound mentioned above, in the west, if I have a Korean (or other non-western) wife, our children will be accepted as members of the society we live in (by MOST), provided we raise them there. Ask Gyopos living in Canada and the USA. Acceptance is the social norm. People look down on racists.

That is absolutely NOT true in Korea, where the only thing that can make you Korean (in the eyes of MOST people, and to some extent, the government) is 100% pure Han blood. Talk to anyone who is thinking about raising a family with a Korean person, and it is an issue. People might not be rude, but they wont accept you! The social norm is Korean blood=Korean citizen. Furthermore, to some extent, institutionalized, government sanctioned racism goes on here! (i.e. F series visa for Gyopos)
While it might a bit too broad to generalize that "Korean is a racist country," I think something close, like, "A large majority of Koreans have racist ideas about who is and isn't Korean" is a little too wordy.

To conclude, I think if you had to pick between the statements, "Korea is [or isn't] more racist than ... (insert English speaking country here)," Then most people familiar with both countries would say English speaking country. Except South Africa. While Canada has an embarrassing past regarding the treatment of First Nation people, at least they're trying to rectify the situation. Korea hasn't come close to that yet.


This is actually a totally valid point: Korea is an institutionally racist nation. This is not a generalization; it is a statement of fact.
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