My KBOP Monday: Why Do Koreans Hate Black People?

This is something that I’ve been asked a lot over the years.  And I do mean, a lot over the years.  People want to know how I can be around a group of people who are so hateful towards my people.  When many African Americans think about Korean people, they think of images of such as the Latasha Harlins killing or being followed around my Korean workers who won’t shake their hand and feel that all Black people steal.  Or some come across videos online of Koreans, and other Asians, wearing Blackface or promoting products that mock Black people.  To many who are African American, or even African, there is a negative feeling that they see Korean people having towards them.  And sadly, sometimes it is outright bigotry and hatred that is on display.  But what is the reason for this?  How did this start?  And is this true of all Koreans?  This is My KBOP regarding the hatred that exist between Korean people and Black people.

Negative Stories

If you’ve read my other blog, waygookinway.com, you probably heard me talk about hearing from a number of people regarding Black men who went to Korean during the war and married Korean women that were super attractive.  This was seen by some as a “problem” that needed to be fixed.  Since Korea is a society where the opinion of others, especially one’s family and closest friends, can mean a lot in life, negative stories were planted about how Black people were and how Black men treat women.  The result?  Many families felt it would be horrible to allow someone like what they heard about to marry into their family.  There also became a stigma that only undesirable Korean women or prostitutes would consider marrying a Black men.  Black men were also sometimes blamed for fathering children and then leaving behind both mother and child when they left back for America.  This created many negative feelings with a number of Koreans.

The Mainstream Media Hasn’t Helped

Have you noticed that people in Africa are often shown as being poor and starving?  Or that African Americans are depicted as living in poverty, having a messed up family situation, being addicted to drugs and alcohol, not supporting their children, not being responsible, disrespecting women, being uneducated and not having any respect for life or authority?  Well, if you haven’t the rest of the world has.  And this includes people in Korea as well.  While these images are viewed as entertainment by many, it is sometimes seen as reality by others globally.  Whether one wants to admit it or not, we are all influenced by what we see and hear.  When people see negative images of Black people, it confirms what they have heard about Black people all along.  The mainstream media doesn’t seem to be looking to change this portrayal of Black people anytime soon.  The negative narratives about Black people, as well as the feeling that it is okay to mock and make fun of Black people seem to be recycled more now than ever.  But there is one thing from My KBOP that you may want to keep in mind before writing off all Koreans as being this way.

Some Korean People Hate Everyone Who’s Not Korean

Sometimes this feeling of venom is not because a person is Black.  Some Koreans simply don’t like any non Koreans.  Korea has a history of non Koreans going there and screwing things up.  Hence, why laws are strict and it can be difficult for a non Korean person to get a job.  If you think about it, South Korea is more like an island than a peninsula.  Water on 3 sides and family to the north that they haven’t reconciled with yet.  Some say that certain laws are in place because of a distrust of China, and road signs, along with major announcements, are not in Japanese in part due to the strained relationship with Japan.  Some Koreans feel that no one should be in Korea unless they are Korean; and even then only certain Koreans belong there because people like that don’t get along with hardly anyone.

While this describes why some Koreans have feelings of hatred and prejudice, the question is do all Koreans feel this way?  Are there Koreans who love Black people and are accepting of Black culture despite all of the negative things they have seen and heard?  And are there any examples of this in the media?  I’ll give you the answers from My KBOP later.

Advertisements

My KBOP Monday: Why Can’t I Get An Asian?

For a long time now, Asian cultures has been something people have been fascinated with.  While some are into Asian cultures for the beauty and tradition, others are in it for other reasons.  One of the  most annoying things I think I would see online would be people, mainly men, complaining about how they “can’t get an Asian” to be with them.  There’s nothing wrong with having a preference and being honest enough to not waste other people’s time in a relationship you’d rather not be in.  But often times, this notion comes across as very rude and offensive.  So after talking to a lot of Asian women on this subject, here is why this comes across as backwards and offensive.

Do You Know What You Are Saying?

For those who don’t know, Asia is a very large area with a very large population.  Almost 60% of the people living on earth live in Asia.  The land mass of Asia goes from the Middle East all the way to Russia.  There are also numerous island nations as well. Bottom line is most of us with a passport don’t have a clue what you mean when you say that you want an Asian.  And honestly, we wonder if you know what you mean as well.

Why Do You Feel This Way?

The reasons why some people say they want an Asian can border on perverted to ridiculous.  I’ve heard things ranging from how submissive Asian women are to how rich Asian men are to Asian people have good genes and can fight.  Love seems to have very little to do with anything.  If you were a man or woman who had people want to be with you for all the wrong reasons, you will become very sensitive to things like this.  So the question is, if you have sincere motives, how do you set yourself apart from the people who don’t?

Learn a Language and About a Culture

Since Asia is such a broad continent, narrowing things down to a specific country, language or culture may be best.  Asian people are not the “model minorities” that some claim they are.  Showing respect for someone’s culture and how they were raised is very important.  Also, showing that you will try to communicate with their family in the language that they feel comfortable with can be a big plus.  Usually a person who has a superficial or perverted reasoning for wanting someone will not take the time to study all of this.  Knowing more about a culture will prepare you for some of the trials you may face in a relationship.

Be a Friend Before Anything Else

Being someone’s true friend and caring for them goes a long way when looking for love.  The best love stories are made up of two people who are best friends.  Learn to care for a person for the right reasons and love will follow.

Remember That Asian People Are People

From My KBOP, there are a lot of similarities between different Asian cultures and the culture I grew up around.  The reason?  Because we are all just people at the end of the day.  Treat people with respect, and you will be shown respect.  Don’t lie about who you are and what you are.  Treat an Asian woman like you would any other woman, and an Asian man like you would any other man.  You’ll likely get a better response if you do things this way.

The people in the Asian community are truly wonderful and beautiful inside and out.  There’s nothing wrong, strange or abnormal about being an non Asian that wants to date/marry an Asian person.  But just remember to keep things respectful.  If you do, you may just find the love of a lifetime.

Are Koreans Color Struck?

So here is a post that you will not see on any of my other sites, but is kinda a hot topic for many out there.  The notion of being color struck when looking for love has been around for a long time.  Many get upset with Black men who are in the public eye that they feel are color struck, and many hear stories of Koreans being the same way.  So let’s examine what it means to be “color struck” and what my experience has been in dealing with Koreans in this regard.

Meaning of Color Struck

What I mean when I say color stuck is that there is a certain skin color that someone feels is more desirable or attractive than other skin colors.  For instance, there are some Black men who date Black women, but only ones with lighter skin.  Or some will look at Terrance Howard’s choices when it has come to dating and marriage and would say that “he has a type”.  Some Spanish speaking countries have been accused of being color struck by only showing models with a light brown skin color as being beautiful and not showing of women with darker skin tones as being beautiful.   So with that definition in mind, is Korea a color struck culture?

Korean Can Be Color Struck

The truth is Koreans are not all one skin tone.  There are Koreans that have a darker complexion that what you are used to seeing.  And maybe that’s the problem right there. Korean is known to have almost a cookie cutter standard of beauty.  Be as thin and as light as possible.   Just think of Korean K-Pop girl groups for a minute.  How many of these girls do you remember having a darker skin tone?  How many of them have appeared in photos that looked Photoshopped to make their skin look lighter?  Or how many Korean beauty treatments have you seen that are said to be designed to balance out the skin tone, which seems to lighten the skin tone in most cases?

To say that life in Korean culture as someone with darker skin can be a challenge can be an understatement.  For instance, it’s well known that there are a number of Black people who make up the foreign population in Korea.  However, Black women often have a hard time finding makeup that will work for them since the makeup there is typically only for women with lighter skin.  Korean American culture has been known for having “interesting” views on skin color and keeping the skin color one has as balanced as possible.  Some Korean American women I’ve met have even gone to wearing a glove on their left hand while driving, in part to make sure that their left hand doesn’t get darker than their right hand.  Perhaps the saddest thing I’ve seen in dealing with this issue is talking to a young Korean man who told me that “Asian women with darker skin simply aren’t attractive”.

Where Being Color Struck Comes From

For some, this is a deep rooted issue that goes back to the days of Korean dynasties.  It’s been said that during that time, the wealthy and royalty were indoors most of the time.  As a result, there was little exposure to sunlight and many had paler skin.  However, poorer people worked in the fields, thus having darker skin.  The association of lighter skin to wealth and beauty seemed to be formed then.  In the time after the Korean war when Black men marrying Korean women was seen as a “problem” to some, Korean parents were sometimes told to only allow their daughters to marry White men, in part because “their grandchildren would have lighter skin and be treated better by people”.  This helped to create a stigma towards Koreans who did date Black people or people with darker skin of other ethnic groups.  However, it is important to keep one key thought in mind.

Not All Koreans Are Color Struck

While some judge all Koreans as looking down on people with darker skin, that simply isn’t true. Many Koreans don’t think twice about the skin color of a potential partner.  They’re focused on how they will be treated in the relationship.  And as far as makeup goes, some report that makeup is finally being sold in Korea that is designed for women of darker skin tones.  What about my experience in dealing with Koreans as a Black man with dark skin?  While some people are idiots, most are cool and treat me as a human being.  Once they hear me speaking Korean, or respecting their culture, I’m treated just fine.   No one had a problem trying to set me up with a date, with some telling me that there were plenty of areas where women preferred Black men with darker skin.  And as for Korean men, I’ve met a lot of them who actually like Black and Hispanic women.  When looking at their history of who they dated and who they have been openly attracted to, they are anything but color stuck.

Korean culture can do some racist things and some things that are very insensitive.  But the entire culture or population isn’t that way at all.  Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find the root cause of why something happens or why you’re being lied to.  Take it from me, you can find friends and love in Korean culture as a person with dark skin.  While it may not be the optics that  you see, Korean culture probably isn’t as color struck as you’ve been lead to believe.

Welcome to KBOP

 

Welcome to my new site.  You may have seen some of my post before at waygookinway.com and be wondering, “why start a new site?”  The reason for this site is that waygookinway.com answers a lot of the questions that people have asked me over the years about Korean life and culture.  However, it doesn’t always answer how I personally feel or some of the things that I’ve been through.  Over the past 15 years, my points of view on life have been molded by by being a Black man in Korean/Korean American culture. Because of this, I can better understand multiple sides of issues that I otherwise would not be able to understand or see without my time spent studying Korean language and culture.

My experiences and viewpoints are therefore different than what you may see from other people in the media.  That is the point of My KBOP and what you can expect to see on this site.  So what does KBOP mean anyway?  It stands for my Korean and Black Oriented Perspective.  This site is where you will gain more insights about how Ahn Daewoong (안대웅) came to by, why I am a waygookin at all times and what others and I have experienced.  I’ll give you the good, the bad and the ugly about Korean/Korean American culture from my point of view.  Be sure to follow along as I explain things and take you on my journey as a Black man in a Korean world.