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The other night, I get a message from someone that made me think a lot.  It was from a person who has talked to me privately about Korea and Korean things.  He was scared because he wants to go to Korea and possibly move there.  But he was told that since he is Black, he only had a 10% chance of leaving Incheon International Airport because Koreans hate Black people.  For the outright hatred of Black people to everyone eating dogs and cats for every meal, perverted stereotypes about Korean women and so forth, I have heard a lot of strange and sad comments about Koreans.  But why do people misunderstand Korean people or Korea in general?  Here are a few reasons why this may be the case.

Lack of Korean Identity

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been with my Korean friends and have been told how great my Japanese or Chinese is.  People in America love Korean products from companies like LG and Samsung, but don’t recognize Korea as a country with it’s own identity and culture.  Some of the perverted thoughts about Korean women are based on things that are done in other cultures.  Until people recognize that Korea has it’s own culture and language, Koreans won’t fully be understood.

Influence of Western Media

Western media often tries to say they are friends of Korean people, but they have often done more harm than good when it comes to the Korean community.  Koreans are often ignored when it comes to issues.  When Koreans are portrayed in the media, they are either greedy, worshiping White people or turning their backs on their culture.  Men are shown as being goofy sidekicks, nerds that are clumsy around women or great fighters, but rarely are shown as being romantic, caring or family men.  Attractive women are often shown shown as only wanting White men only, sexually hyper or not being able to speak proper English.  Often times, it is said that these portrayals are based on reality.  But if you really know Korean people, you know that this can be far from reality.

Not Talking to Korean People

It’s amazing how much of an “expert” people in this world can be when they don’t talk to people.  People who say negative things about Korean people often have never even had a Korean meal or a conversation with a Korean.  This is why sources need to be carefully checked before believing it as accurate.  The reality that is shown on television, movies and certain websites are often someone else’s reality.  But when you discover things for yourself, things can be different.  Sometimes, you need to take what some people say with a grain of salt, a spoon of sugar and a glass of water.  The truth as someone else sees it, may not be the truth as you see it.

All in all, the truth about Koreans can be hidden for many different reasons.  But what can be done to learn the truth about Korea and Koreans?  I’ll talk about that later.  But if you are Korean, what are some things you wished people would know about you?  Leave a comment below so we can see what the truth is from your perspective.