So the other night I met up with my friend Kat and her good buddy Jevon. The night started out at a game store where they were playing Rummikub. I had never heard of this game but it's pretty neat because the rules are similar to Rummy but you play with tiles and the goal isn't the accumulation of points but rather to solely run out of your tiles first. Anyways, we leave from there and go to Wow bar to have some beer and drinks.
Now up until that point Jevon hadn’t really been talking that much but after our first bottle of Lemon Cap Soju he started to tell some stories about what it’s like for him to be black in Korea. He had some whoppers but the best one by far is the one where he talks about going to his first school when he came to Korea two years ago. Now his school wasn't in Gwangju but was in a rural part of Korea that’s surrounded by rice fields and mountains. Very serene but not very exposed to foreigners. So he gets to the school, meets with his translator and then meets with his principal. The first thing the principal asks is this question, "Is your father the leader of your village?" Jevon is from Brooklyn, NY and is a Fine Arts major and has never been to Africa.
This pretty much sums up Korea’s racial tone because it’s such a homogeneous country due to the fact that no immigration really occurs here. Jevon said that because Koreans do not have a history of mass immigration they have no understanding of negative racism only true ignorance. I’ve talked with other foreigners who aren’t white and they say the same thing. Now this homogony cuts both ways because crime and disorder are unheard of here since everyone is pretty much the same. It’s wild to think about considering how racism is historically based in the States!