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racism

Should Race and Culture be Off-Limits in Comedy?


3 Female Teachers Talk About Dating, Racism, and Safety in Korea

One thing I’ve learned through blogging and vlogging over the past two years is that there are a lot of questions about life as an expat teaching English in Korea.

They are all different and they comes from all ages, races, and backgrounds. Among the questions about food, qualifications, documentation, and who Korean girls like most are those from female teachers inquiring about dating, racism, and safety.

Dating:
This is a danger zone topic I learned the hard way through my HIGHLY controversial vlog, DO NOT Teach English in Korea if You Are These Types of People.


My Experience of the Hypocrisy of Western Prejudice


A Challenge: RE My Asian/White Couples Post

My last post on Asian/White couples seemed to offend a few people, so in a bid to understand why, I am issuing a challenge to any readers of this blog, not because I really believe my position is infallible, but because I do want to genuinely know if the offence I have caused is justified.  If you can fulfill any of the following, I will issue a public apology for what I wrote on this blog:

Fight The Power

Why have I stopped blogging? Because blogging doesn’t pay. Writing books doesn’t really pay either, but it does pay something, and I decided over the last two months to devote all my creative powers toward using writing to make that something into a bigger and more substantial something that would be sufficient to extricate both myself and my family from Korea. Not surprisingly, we’re all still here.


Letter from Ireland, August 2013

Dunboyne, Ireland
16 August, 2013

Dear Korea

Negativity is an often attractive topic. It’s in our nature to be critical, to find issue with what is at fault, and even when we are happy we still find reasons to complain. This isn’t exclusive to any particular situation or condition, everyone does it in some manner or form. There may be some explanation to it, but that is not my aim today.

I wanted to write today about something which has being an increasing source of bother for some time, and since I am now in Ireland I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on it from a particular standpoint.


How To Fight The Hellos

It’s always confused me, this occasional predilection Asia has for greeting non-Asians with an English hello—I was once helloed as faraway as the Balinese countryside, while riding on the back of a speeding motorbike, by a uniformed schoolchild—and though I can’t speak for the tone used in China, Japan, or other countries, my impression is that in Korea the speaker is generally attempting to alienate you from his culture, to establish that you are a member of a different tribe, to amuse his friends, or to sate a Pavlovian reflex implanted within his consciousness by his television or his elders: when you see a person who looks slightly different, you must say hello in English.


Haps Interview: American Pitcher Shane Youman Reacts to Controversial Remarks

From: BusanHaps.com
 

 

It’s been an interesting 24-hours for Lotte Giants pitcher, Shane Youman. The 33-year-old starting pitcher from New Iberia, Louisiana unsuspectedly was at the center of controversy yesterday, when Hanwha Eagles’ slugger Kim Tae-kyun was asked during an appearance on an Internet baseball radio broadcast about difficulties batting with the Giants’ ace on the mound.

The star Korean slugger replied:

“The Lotte Giants’ Youman is the most difficult player to play against. His face is too black, so it is hard to bat because his white teeth and the ball confuses me when he smiles on the mound. So, I suffered a lot."

He then went on to add, “There’s no particularly difficult pitcher, but when I play against Youman, I screw up because of his white teeth.”

An eruption of negative comments ensued on Korean baseball forums as Korean netizens charged Kyun with making racist statements. The outpouring from fans caused both Kim and the Eagles to immediately issue personal apologies to Youman.

In an exclusive e-mail interview with Haps, Youman gives his take on the comments, the controversy and to baseball life for an African-American journeyman in Korea.


DO NOT Teach English in Korea If You Are...

Teaching English in Korea (or any foreign land) is not for everybody.  I think many people believe it's for them and that it will turn into an epic experience of natives embracing them at the airport, ultra disciplined and respectful students at all times, and a year long toast at the bulgogi restaurant or bar.


Unfortunately, Korea is none of those things.  In fact, for some the reality of it shatters their expectations and they go away disappointed and disillusioned. 


That Is Mannerless Speaking

While standing in line at the new Starbucks in town—why did I even go there? the green tea latte was $6!—and listening to Hanggai in my earbuds, I heard a woman behind me shouting, in Korean, “It’s a foreigner! It’s a foreigner!” I turned around and looked at this woman, who was shouting for the benefit of her toddler, then standing far beneath us. Rolling my eyes, I turned back to the front of the line, but the shouts of “It’s a foreigner!” continued unabated, and I thought, yes, this is it, finally, the moment I strike back, after almost four years of listening to people talk about me as if I can’t understand them, the end is here, this is the turn of the tide.

The earbuds come out.


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