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Non-white teachers in Korea?
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Kleenex



Joined: 10 Apr 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:51 am    Post subject: Non-white teachers in Korea? Reply with quote

In two years in Korea, I've met two Black people. In five years in Asia, I've met...two Black people.

Are you Black? Do you know why there are so few Black teachers in Korea? I've heard some Koreans say things that a person from Georgia (US) would call racist.

Just wondering. This topic came up two days ago in an upper-level conversation class I'm teaching. (FYI, we were talking about the women war veterans who beat the Zimbabwean official who refused to give them titles to land they had seized under Mugabe's land-seizure campaign.) They said, though not about themselves, of course, that some parents refuse to have a Black person teach their children. Shocked
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've met about 20 in teaching english in Korea.. and probably a few hundred in Asia total..
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narsty dog



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It s interesting to note kleenex that your insightful post has had zero repiles. ( sorry - one as i write from t. beer + me ) . Why would this be ?????? I put it down the recent phenomena on this board of 'everything in the garden is rosy'.
20 blacks !!!!!!! Whooa , so many.
it s like poeple dont want to hear bad news , or when the war was on , they prefer the sanitised views of FOX, or CNN rather thna watch al jazeera. they know children are being literally slaughtered, orphaned or having their limbs bombed off, but they dont want to see it.
same with entrenched attitutes to certain racial groups. It s there but best not to touch on it , eh???

You see this is where I start to lose it . You assume that Zimbabwean politics is interesting to Koreans . I think the same as you - I m interested in current affairs so i think others will be . BUT, in Korea you cant even get past the "Zimbabweans are black" stage , so what hope is there of looking at the sitaution there in terms of critical understanding , historically or its relevance for debates on post colonial states, etc. ?????? It s a non starter.

Seems to me like koreans want the "English" ( language) but not the texts it is actually used in. keep banging your head against the brick wall. Eventually the pain 'll make you stop.

Koreans view blacks as inferior people. It s due to their obsession with status and hierarchy. White racism is founded on similar views. We colonised black countries and then invited them to live with us and be at the bottom of the pile. Many Koreans see blacks as being lazy because they dont own corner shops and try and imitate the white man.
Basically koreans are wanna be followers of the white people with capitalist dreams of world domination and no respect for the environment ( US kyoto protocol rejection etc. ) as long as they keep up their 'comfortable' lifestlye. These are the same people who laugh at primitive folks in the 3rd world who have no greed or need for oil , live simply and frugally , and have no need to fight wars for oil , or get money to buy things they dont really need.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

narsty dog wrote:
Koreans view blacks as inferior people.
Yeah, I've heard this argument a thousand times. The reality though is that the United States has about 10-15% african people.. and the other english-speaking countries.. canada, australia, new zeland has about 1%.. the UK probably somewhere imbetween..

anyhow, i meet relatively few americans here in general.. and the chances of that american being one of the 10-15% of the black population is just about a 10-15% chance.. which is just about as many blacks i meet here.. (in relation to american teachers)..

maybe if there were more than the 1% black or whatever in 'multicultural' canada.. then maybe we'd see more..
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narsty dog



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so are disagreeing with 'the argument ' or agreeing ? Do you think koreans see blacks as inferior or not ?

What you said isnt correct anyway. Youll notice that the GIs have a high proportion of blacks in vis a vis general populace numbers. Why ? Cos they are from poor backgrounds. it s a way out - like sport .
Same with college graduates . People who work in city of London are mainly from public schools ( private in US) . Why ? Social networks , which exclude certain people. Theres plenty of people from the state schools who could do the jobs, but when they get to the interview , the person with the right 'background' gets the job. Same with ESL teaching . Lots of schools preclude blacks before the interview stage.

If you want to see / meet black people in Seoul, go to Haebangchon , there s alot of Nigerians .
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

narsty dog wrote:
so are disagreeing with 'the argument ' or agreeing ? Do you think koreans see blacks as inferior or not ?

What you said isnt correct anyway. Youll notice that the GIs have a high proportion of blacks in vis a vis general populace numbers. Why ? Cos they are from poor backgrounds. it s a way out - like sport .
Same with college graduates . People who work in city of London are mainly from public schools ( private in US) . Why ? Social networks , which exclude certain people. Theres plenty of people from the state schools who could do the jobs, but when they get to the interview , the person with the right 'background' gets the job. Same with ESL teaching . Lots of schools preclude blacks before the interview stage.

If you want to see / meet black people in Seoul, go to Haebangchon , there s alot of Nigerians .


I'm not in disagreement with you.. but the reason there isn't alot of black english teachers is because the massive majority of the english-native speaker isn't black.. its majority white.. and the only country with a almost sizeable population of blacks is the United States.. thats my main point.. and that sizeable population is still relatively small.. and when you add it in with 'multicultural' canada and australia and all the others.. it decreases the numbers substantially..

are koreans racist against blacks.. well, you want everyone to jump up and down and say 'YES'.. and maybe its really easy to do that.. but how many blacks can you expect to even want or know there is an opportunity to teach english.. or even want to come over here.. just because some white kids are teaching in korea.. doesn't mean the black american kids want to do the same thing.. some do.. but most probably have something else that interests them a little more.. is it because koreans are racist that they don't come over? i think probably not.. for one... again.. the are a minority in one of the predominant english-speaking countries.. but not that huge of numbers in total population of all the heaps and heaps of white kids running around..

i also don't agree with the statement that all blacks in the english-speaking world are all from poor backgrounds and looking for a way out.. i have met a fairly large number of middle income and higher income blacks in america.. who do not 'dream' of 'ways out' despite the hollywood movies.. and the 'sociolological academic studies' that put them in such small boxes..

as to London schools.. i have no idea.. as to the U.S.A... there are so many laws against this kind of 'old boys club' that you are talking about.. in fact, i spent alot of years in new york city and san francisco.. and i had few white bosses.. most were black (to make a point i guess.. not sure).. and others were asian.. if anyone.. its latinos who have no representation anywhere.. go to any bookstore or university.. and u will see an enormous amount of books and academic studies and music cds and everything you can possibly imagine.. even entire network tv stations and everything on black americans.. how can this be racist? i don't know.. i have nothing against any of this.. but i get sick of the ignorant stereotypes that all black people are living in ghettos.. when all someone has to do is turn on the tv, listen to music, go to a bookstore, take a class at a university, get a job, or a whole hoste of other things.. and see tons of successful black people in the States.. including two who are with Bush who are some of the most powerful people in the world..

why aren't they in korea? well.. their numbers are quite small in relation to their power in the States.. so while reading all the 'stuff' in the States.. its easy to buy into everything you are saying.. but the reality is they are still a minority.. and the ones who do actually want to be here.. actually are here.. and the ones who aren't here.. probably do not want to be here.. that just the reality..
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Kleenex



Joined: 10 Apr 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After posting this yesterday evening and not seeing any reply by the time I went to bed, I thought it would go down without a reply. It does seem that 'everything in the garden is rosy'

Tiger beer, you kind of hit a point I was trying to get at. That is...
Quote:
is it because koreans are racist that they don't come over?


Instead, change "don't come over" to "are not hired". I'm not going to name my last school, but it didn't hire Black people because the admin believed that the people didn't want to learn from them. So I don't believe that
Quote:
the ones who do actually want to be here.. actually are here
. Narsty actually said what I had feared, that "Lots of schools preclude blacks before the interview stage." Is that not the case, TB? By the way, where did you work?

I do see what you mean when you say that America, with more Blacks, is underrepresented in EFL compared to Canada and England, with hardly any Blacks. Can't believe I overlooked that obvious point.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so anyhow.. okay, koreans are racist against hiring blacks.. overall..

but.. i have met alot of african-americans here teaching english.. some have some pretty good jobs as well..

anyhow, i could make a big list.. one of my co-workers from new york.. his african-american wife lived in a small korean town for 3 years.. she had significantly better things to say about korea than some posters here.. thats for sure..

i met another guy recently.. who manages a group of other foreigners at a nice government job in korea.. african-american guy..

i met an ethiopian guy who had one of the best contracts i'd seen.. working like 8-9 hours a week.. and getting an e-2 visa to work at some company..

another of my friends.. he's been traveling from place to place.. japan, china, vietnam, teaching all along the way.. and probably problems.. but he seems to manage fine.. and learning the local languages, etc.. he's black guy from chicago..

i met an assortment of others from time to time here and there..

anyhow.. too many examples.. are koreans racist? sure, yes.. can blacks work in korea? sure, yes.

someone just posted a very upset personal post to me because he thought i was challenging 'multicultural' canada because I put it in quotes and wrote its something like 1% black.. he was quite disturbed and insisted it was 9%.. anyhow, i went to a website and found it to be at 2%.. if anyone can find it to be a higher number to promote the multicultural canada ideal.. i wouldn't mind seeing that.. and i'm curious about the latin population as well.. not that it matters.. this is all i could find regarding the black population in canada.. http://www.imdiversity.com/Article_Detail.asp?Article_ID=149#CANADA

its always one of those arguments like when koreans boast to north americans about having four seasons.. and you just say 'okay'.. i don't mean to challenge this fact.. as its obvious canada has people of other ethnicities.. but overall, the black and latino population is ridiculously small..
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seemed to have met quite a few black people teaching English in Japan and Taiwan, although I do know of one school in Korea off the top of my head that hired a black guy (Buy the way [tm], this is the same school whose wonjang-nim said "I would never hire a black person!").
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Jasmine



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Hongkers!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason my boyfriend and I work on Saturdays is because this is the only school that would hire us.

We were told repeatedly by recruiters that the schools they were hiring for wouldn't hire black people. It took us months to find a job in Korea this time around...always the same story - "I'm not prejudiced but....it's the parents, it's the directors". Not only are they racist, but they lie about it and deny it - which I think is worse.

Not a day goes by that my boyfriend doesn't hear - "Oh! A-puh-ri-ka saram". He's American. On top of that, he been asked a barage of stupid questions like: are you in a gang? Do you own a gun? Do you play basketball? Nice raggae perm! Like people can't grow curly hair naturally. And, oh, my god, the staring.

I feel really bad for him a lot of the time. He's been told by many Koreans that he has chaned their minds about black people. That they used to think that all black people were bad, but because of him, they no longer think it's true. It sounds like a compliment, but it's not.

There's sad amount or racism all over Korea.
And if you're wondering why there aren't that many black people teaching English, it's because many school refuse to hire people with dark skin. On top of that, there are people like my boyfriend who do get jobs here, who won't be coming back again because of the poor treatment they recieved when they were here.
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Kleenex



Joined: 10 Apr 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally! First hand info...

Jasmine wrote:
Quote:
He's been told by many Koreans that he has changed their minds about black people. That they used to think that all black people were bad, but because of him, they no longer think it's true. It sounds like a compliment, but it's not.


Kind of like saying, "Oh, Damon? He's great. I don't even think of him as a black person." When my friend Damon told me about that one about a decade ago I immediately thought, "Daamn, have I ever said that?"

Jasmine, is your boyfriend from the US? Who or what's to blame? Hollywood? Mark Twain? Ethnocentrism? How long did it take you to find a job?
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Jasmine



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Hongkers!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's from the US.

What's to blame? Ignorance. Stupidity. People not questioning what they see on tv - what I wouldn't give for the Cosby show to be aired on tv here.

But what really gets my blood boiling is how most Korean people are prejudiced against (toward?) black people, but there's no lack of young Koreans trying to copy hip hop music, clothes etc....and doing poor job at it, might I add.

It's kind of insulting...
Confused
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girl



Joined: 30 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay, let's look at it from this point of view...

korea has been a country that has been closed off to the western experience for many years so what they see on tv is what they believe about the west.

you're right, there is a lot of racism in korea, but there is racism everywhere. koreans really don't know how to express themselves tactfully, so when they see a black person they automatically think of all the images they see on tv, movies, music videos and so on. it's all they've really been exposed to, if you think about it.

you can't really place blame and hate the people just because of what they've been exposed to and what they know. they have only been exposed to so much as far as the west is concerned. yes, black people, and let's just say foreigners in general have been poorly treated by many in korea, even gyopos have been badly treated and we're the same kind!! but what i try to remember is that not all of them are like that and it's all based on ignorance, lack of education when it comes to social ettiquette and the things that go on in the west. i have had black friends come and visit me while i was in korea and most koreans treated them very well. i had a black friend work with me in a hagwon and she was treated very well. so it depends on who, what, when and where.

don't feed into the stereotyping and racism in korea. when you get angry that's what they're expecting. they want you to get all riled up because they want to be proven right about the stereotypes, whatever they may be. ignore it if you can, because you will only get yourself all riled up over nothing, ignorance being nothing, and feed into it all even more. trust me on this one, i've been there done that.

so, the next time a korean says to your boyfriend that because of him, that particular korean doesn't think all black people are bad, he should take it as a compliment because he has changed one person's point of view about a particular race and the stereotypes that go along with it. imagine now, that korean will tell one friend and then another and so on. so i would be proud of my boyfriend and the next time that happens i would say thank you.


Last edited by girl on Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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girl



Joined: 30 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speak on tiger beer, great post by the way!!!!

and let's not even get into the candian arguement about racism and "multiculturalism" Rolling Eyes
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rumibaer



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jasmine- I honestly do sympathize for the way your boyfriend has been treated. One of my co-workers is caucasion, and he told me he'd like to visit me in Korea sometime. I said "Sure" but in inside my head thought,
"he's going to be stared at, etc.." but you know what....if that co-worker had been african-american, I don't think i'd even want him to come at all- because I know how widespread the discrimination against blacks is in Korea. I mean... these are my own people, but I know that racism against blacks is prevalent in Korean society. A kind of "inside" joke amongst korean-americans, is how from an early age our parents tell us,
" Marry a Korean! but if not...white is ok.... or other asian..but NOT Japanese, and NEVER black!". Can't tell you how many other korean-americans i know are either told this verbally by their parents at some point, or just have an unspoken understanding.

Yes, there are Koreans who are racist. But you know what? You can go anywhere and find discrimination. The way your boyfriend was treated in Korea, was no worse than the way myself and my family were treated when we went to Jamaica. I was so excited to go, but the whole trip was ruined, because EVERYWHERE we went, the Jamaican people were constantly shouting to me " Konichiwah??? Japanese??? Ohiyo?? Chink!! Slanty eyes!" That made me never ever want to go back to Jamaica. Not only that, but I go to school in a metro area, and not a day goes by when I'm in the city that a black guy doesn't come up to me and say, " ooooh..pretty china doll!". In fact, it just happened to me again today. And is it because I dress like some lady of the night, or exude sexuality? no, it's merely because of the asian-ness of my face. I do feel bad that Korea treated your boyfriend badly, but I can't help but say that it's realistic that any person who looks foreign to a homogenous nation such as Korea is bound to face some level of discrimination. Don't forget- there's a reason that Korea is called the Hermit Kingdom.
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