When many people think of Koreans being racist, they usually think about older Koreans hating Black people. But very few ever think about how the younger generation feels. But knowing how they feel is just as important since they are the future of the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.). Therefore, this article is dealing with younger Koreans who reside in Korea, not Korean Americans. What is the answer as to what such ones think about when they see Black people in Korea? How does the future look for relationships between Black people and Koreans?
Some Are Opposed
For some younger Koreans, they do not like to see Black people in South Korea. Then again, many of those people don’t want to see anyone who is not Korean in the R.O.K. There is a simple rule that people with this mindset have when it comes to anyone in Korea. If you don’t speak Korean, you don’t belong in Korea. As a result, they are more likely to feel that any non Korean they see does not speak any Korean and should be somewhere else. To be fair, most people feel that you should speak the language of their country when you visit or try to move to their country. Many in the U.S. openly look down on people who do not speak English “properly”, even though most of the world would argue that people in the U.S. don’t speak proper English.
But some younger Koreans have also been taught that foreigners, aka waygookins, are bad people that do damage to Korea. It has been said that a number of Korean women have dated foreigner men that have gotten them pregnant and then left mother and child behind. This has caused a lot of stress for the mother, and has resulted in some children being ridiculed for not being fully Korean and not having their father around. Others remember the history of other countries interfering with Korea, resulting in Korea being divided to this day. For these, and other reasons, there can be some distrust of non Koreans by younger Koreans. Also, if they go by what they see on television and movies, they will only see a negative image of Black people. When you only see negative images, you tend to only think negative things.
Others Are More Positive
While some may think that Korean people only stay in Korea and only do Korean things all the time, the truth is that many Koreans travel internationally. And some Koreans have lived outside of Korea for a period of time before moving back to Korea. This means that many younger Koreans have been around Black people and know something about Black culture. Even for those who have not traveled outside of Korea, a number may have had English classes that were taught by a Black person. So for these younger Koreans, they are not scared of Black people. To them, people are people. Also, many have seen Black people who speak Korean, on some level, and that are respectful of Korean culture.
Many younger Koreans have also been influenced by Black culture and entertainment. So it is not unusual to see younger Koreans that are into the same sports, music, dancing styles and clothing styles as Black people. Others even learn English by watching Black television shows or by mimicking their favorite Black entertainers. And a number of these younger Koreans actually have friends that are Black and that they love like a family member. It’s not that they go out of their way to like Black entertainment or to make Black friends. They just happen to like entertainment with Black people in it. And they find friends that are into the same things they are into, who happen to be Black. Others are willing to take a chance to get to know other people and educate themselves more on other cultures. This makes up mindset of many younger ones in Korea.
What’s the Conclusion?
Younger Koreans tend to get painted with a broad brush that states they are prejudice against Black people, when in fact most younger Koreans are not prejudice against Blacks at all. Many younger Koreans who react negatively toward Black people also act the same way towards White people, Hispanic people, other Asians that are not Korean and even towards some Korean Americans that cannot speak Korean properly. It’s more the feeling that you are a stranger in the neighborhood and that it will take time to get to know you and trust you. In the world in which we live, this is not an unusual thought for others to have. Does this mean that I am excusing rude behavior? No, not at all. But I feel that I should explain that if you do happen to see some negative treatment towards a Black person, or if you are Black and experience some problems, it may not be because of skin color. The more everyone puts their guard down and learn to deal with each other, the more everyone will get a long. Thankfully, the younger generation of Koreans seem to be on the road to doing just that.