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South Korea Prefers White-Teachers
Posted 12/9/13 , edited 12/9/13
So...Somehow on the internet from reading up on Nelson Mandela, I got lost and eventually I came across several articles about racism in South Korea. Now, there is racism everywhere - from all people and directed to all people.



This article is about South Korea preferring White-Teachers. It is not about another country, another person, or racism in another country. If you want to talk about that - make a topic concerning those things. Don't bring it here.


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Posted 12/9/13
Japan has the total opposite problem in comparison. You gotta be japanese to be considered or jobs usually.

Yeah, of course thispolicy is stupid, not only because 'tis racist, but also because thebest people to teach you a second language are usually people who speak your language fluently and no how to teach the language to people learning it as a second language since they too learned the language as a second language. That common ground is a big plus.
Posted 12/10/13

NyakoMayushii wrote:

Japan has the total opposite problem in comparison. You gotta be japanese to be considered or jobs usually.

Yeah, of course thispolicy is stupid, not only because 'tis racist, but also because thebest people to teach you a second language are usually people who speak your language fluently and no how to teach the language to people learning it as a second language since they too learned the language as a second language. That common ground is a big plus.


Also, what kind of example is South Korea setting with this preference? It's like they want to show whites are the greatest thing since sliced bread, far better than other people including themselves. With this preference, they're telling their own people that these sort of looks and features are somehow better than even their own. Putting them up will make their own children feel that these looks are superior, and "better".

Perhaps that is a niggling reason they get all their plastic surgery to look "Western".
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Posted 12/10/13
"he was turned down because of his skin color. He wasn't upset, he says, because he had experienced racism in the States. The only difference was that people in Korea were more upfront about it." - JASON STROTHER

"White people are better. We don't have stereotypes, but we just prefer white people, especially Canadians. " - Mother 1
"Right, I agree. It's more comfortable. It's important not only for children's feelings, but for parents too. " - Mother 2

My thoughts, south Korea is just upfront with their racism and xenophobia

==================

Now, there is racism everywhere - from all people and directed to all people. - puellapeanut

Yeah, we just gotta find a way to deal with it.
Posted 12/10/13
I am not surprised, I just hope that the people there who think that mindset is okay will change one day.
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Posted 12/10/13
I think it comes down to how we associate white. Just looking at the actual colors, white is associated with good, and black with evil. That and also how not much crime by whites is reported. It's mostly colored people that are showcased as the criminal. Movies do this all the time. The white guy is always the hero. Colored person is always the criminal or in someway the bad guy. We're essentially indoctrinated to think this way. It sucks. The best we can do is become aware. Knowledge is power, and if we can acknowledge this problem, maybe one day enough people will band together to remove these stereotypes.
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Posted 12/10/13

sosarx wrote:

I think it comes down to how we associate white. Just looking at the actual colors, white is associated with good, and black with evil. That and also how not much crime by whites is reported. It's mostly colored people that are showcased as the criminal. Movies do this all the time. The white guy is always the hero. Colored person is always the criminal or in someway the bad guy. We're essentially indoctrinated to think this way. It sucks. The best we can do is become aware. Knowledge is power, and if we can acknowledge this problem, maybe one day enough people will band together to remove these stereotypes.


The irony is that in many Eastern cultures, white is associated with bad things, like death. Yet, due to Western influence, being "white" is now the preference. Quite upsetting.

I've never looked in depth to Korean racism, but it was pretty obvious it was there from all those stories you'd hear about plastic surgery there. Some pay boat loads of money to make themselves look more "white". People should never degrade their own heritage to that extent.

I, too, despise the terms "black" and "white". Pardon the pun, but NO ONE is black or white, literally and figuratively. I think a more appropriate color designation for my skin is salmon, and do you know how weird it would be to go around calling other European-descent people "salmon"? If you think about it, calling people "black" and "white" and "yellow" and "red" is just as silly. No more colors, please.
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Posted 12/10/13

Aokidanza wrote:


sosarx wrote:

I think it comes down to how we associate white. Just looking at the actual colors, white is associated with good, and black with evil. That and also how not much crime by whites is reported. It's mostly colored people that are showcased as the criminal. Movies do this all the time. The white guy is always the hero. Colored person is always the criminal or in someway the bad guy. We're essentially indoctrinated to think this way. It sucks. The best we can do is become aware. Knowledge is power, and if we can acknowledge this problem, maybe one day enough people will band together to remove these stereotypes.


The irony is that in many Eastern cultures, white is associated with bad things, like death. Yet, due to Western influence, being "white" is now the preference. Quite upsetting.

I've never looked in depth to Korean racism, but it was pretty obvious it was there from all those stories you'd hear about plastic surgery there. Some pay boat loads of money to make themselves look more "white". People should never degrade their own heritage to that extent.

I, too, despise the terms "black" and "white". Pardon the pun, but NO ONE is black or white, literally and figuratively. I think a more appropriate color designation for my skin is salmon, and do you know how weird it would be to go around calling other European-descent people "salmon"? If you think about it, calling people "black" and "white" and "yellow" and "red" is just as silly. No more colors, please.




Yep yep, agreed. I'm hopeful for the future. I think one day people will look back at our time and question why?! Because by then I think we'll be past color.
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Posted 12/10/13
what it comes down to is that there is racism everywhere and there is nothing you can do about it until you address the problem of acknowledging there are evil people in this world, and you are not going to get rid of racism until we are threatened from a source not of this world
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Posted 12/10/13
Totally believe it. I used to live in S.Korea about a decade ago - not as a teacher, but as a military servicewoman. And the discrimination I and other dark-skinned foreigners experienced was often blatant. However, some of the fairer skinned Americans would experience some prejudice too - just not at the extent darker foreigners would. And when I say darker foreigners I don't just mean those of African descent. Anyone with a deeper skin tone - middle eastern, Indian, south-pacific, Latino - were treated differently (treated like a 2nd rate citizen, ignored, etc).

As others have said, it's kinda sad but a) I was already used to it b/c of the discrimination I experienced in my home country and b) it was easier to deal with it in S.Korea because it was so upfront and direct. (no second guessing, can directly confront it, etc)

It's wrong either way but in my opinion, it's easier to deal with the overt discrimination than the subtle discrimination. Maybe, hopefully, someday it won't be that way in S.Korea but...I'm not sure when.
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Posted 12/10/13 , edited 12/10/13

Madhatter8 wrote:

what it comes down to is that there is racism everywhere and there is nothing you can do about it until you address the problem of acknowledging there are evil people in this world, and you are not going to get rid of racism until we are threatened from a source not of this world


How about... Titans?

But, even with Titans, there was still racism. Just look at Mikasa's past.

There may be "evil" in the world, but I believe we can overcome it. Education is key, as sosarx pointed out. The more people know, and the more they understand, the less they will fear and hate.
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Posted 12/10/13
It'sreally just common sense. Why do we hate on people for looking different?
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Posted 12/10/13 , edited 12/10/13
My take on this issue is that coming from the Korean perspective is that to be honest, Koreans living in South Korea may seem a bit racist, but in reality, they are just curious about other nationalities (and this actually goes into the case of the older-generation Koreans). And in the case of the preference of hiring Caucasian teachers over other English-speaking teachers, well that isn't all true. The best way that I found for foreigners wanting to teach English in Korea is to go through a recruiter of some sort and a lot of people get hired through that system faster than you just applying for a teaching job in Korea. Not a lot of people know about that and that is why they get frustrated when they don't get hired.

Now you might ask what is a recruiter? Well.. this person or agency actually fills out an application for you and they just know the right things to say and with patience, you are hired.

Also, the signs that you might have seen if you read somewhere (Whites Need Only Apply, White-colour preferred, White-Americans Only) actually are signs for teaching at hakwons (after-school/extra tutouring schools). Those schools are private-run (with greedy and mean owners) and they want a Caucasian teacher b/c it will bring more students to their hakwon b/c that means more money coming in. It is like a store hiring a celebrity to work at their store and people love celebrities and they go and buy stuff at the store to see that celebrity. It is something that I do not agree with, but it is not intended to be racist towards anyone. And most teachers who don't go through recruiters and apply by themselves, end up applying at these hakwons and that is why they get rejected. This is different from public schools in that they don't have signs that say "YOoo hooo!! I want your kind of people to teach my students!" They have contracts, which your recruiting agency helps you with.

One fact that was pointed out was the fact that Koreans just want the foreigner to work and then leave within months. NOW, that is true for hakwons, but not for public schools. Public schools put you on a contract and you stay for a very long time (sometimes you can even take up residence in Korea as well). That is why, personally, I think if you want to get hired in Korea as a teacher, you find a job through a recruiter who would recommend and apply you to a public school, which out of honesty, is quite better to work at. And at public schools you might get stared at for a bit, but it is purely curiosity. I mean, if all your life you only see Caucasians in movies, you would be curious.

A note about recruiting agencies, some countries don't have those or they don't have such access to such agencies (but I believe some agencies have websites, but if you don't have access to internet then ) and that is why they have trouble getting a job, because they try to apply by themselves.

Also I would like to make one more note that those articles are old and actually it has changed up a bit now with the emergence of these recruiting agencies.

And yeah my post might be long, but this is my tidbits on the topic.

And oh yeah, please stay on topic, or your post will be deleted
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Posted 12/10/13
One thing to keep in mind is that currently South Korea is very image conscious. There is a primary emphasis is on physical beauty and physical image. So in the case of an "English" teacher, the image must fit the job. In all probability the "ideal" person would be a stereotypical British teacher. However, going back to image, when a South Korean (or really almost anyone else outside of the US and the UK) think of English Language, they are going to think America. Hollywood stars and TV celebrities in particular.

As a result the physical image a lot of South Koreans are going to think of when they think English Teacher is going to be American, White, Blonde with Blue Eyes. Just because that is what they see on TV and in Movies the most.

A tutoring agency is thus going to cater to that perception because frankly they are in it for the money. They know that with the emphasis most Korean families place on image that as long as they fit that image that those families will pay a lot of money for the instruction. Whether the instruction is very good or not is not going to be questioned by the parents. For many South Koreans physical image equals success. If a person looks White with Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes, then they will assume they speak English well. Regardless of the truth behind that.

The racism is less on the part of the companies hiring, and more on the part of the consumers who make the generalizations and stereotypes. And so tutoring companies are just going to play into that because at the end of the day it means a fatter profit for them. They only care that the parents are satisfied with the results.

As far as what kind of example they are setting? I do not think they care. I really doubt it is hurting or changing how South Koreans see themselves. All it means is that they think English is spoken by people who are White with Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes natively. It is not a question of better, in fact South Koreans are going to think they are better than Americans or anyone else. It is just an acknowledgement that a lot of business is generally done in English and that knowing English even if they do not use it can be advantageous. Just like knowing calculus or being able to drive.

Also, South Koreans do not really get plastic surgery to look Western. They get it to look more "Korean" and beautiful. South Korea, especially, is currently placing a huge amount of emphasis on physical beauty. The only thing "Western" about what most Asians do is skin whitening. And that is less because the West and White people, and more because clear white skin has been seen as pure and beautiful in Asia for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is one reason apprentice Geisha's paint their faces white. It is not something they are doing to imitate Westerners, but simply to promulgate their idea of beauty.
Posted 12/10/13

Cellory wrote:
Also, South Koreans do not really get plastic surgery to look Western. They get it to look more "Korean" and beautiful. South Korea, especially, is currently placing a huge amount of emphasis on physical beauty. The only thing "Western" about what most Asians do is skin whitening. And that is less because the West and White people, and more because clear white skin has been seen as pure and beautiful in Asia for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is one reason apprentice Geisha's paint their faces white. It is not something they are doing to imitate Westerners, but simply to promulgate their idea of beauty.


Great points, but I have to disagree on the plastic surgery statement. While it is true that looking "cute" plays a big role, and light-skin is part of their culture...

Go to Korea, watch any interview, question people...Majority of people questioned about their plastic surgery will eventually say that they want to look more "Western" and it is true. To them, Western means white-European features, nothing else. They want the light skin (which they usually have) and the usual Caucasian features (or those associated with them).

It's amazing to me the sheer number of those questioned who will almost always say "to look Western". Or in other words, to look white.

Having Asian blood in me, I know this is something that is desired by quite a few, but not something fully admitted to. It is also something that seriously ticks me off.

Wish they could see they look fine the way they are, and these "desires" are only crushing their self worth, which has led South Korea to be a seriously shallow and pretentious society filled with people who aspire to be something they are not.

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