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.
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.