links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Monday, October 02, 2006

oh blessed white saviors

uhm... so, i dont really get caught up on forums. i used to read on Lost the Series forum (yeah, so?!), and learned about trolling and sock puppets and flaming, and wow people really take things personal/out of context. communication is so funny... our word choice is so important, b/c once feelings get poked, people will only turn what you say into an attack and refuse to learn anything from it. for instance, i was on on a forum about african american teachers in korea. a woman was venting that she had trouble finding a job. most said, "color is an issue here, but keep trying." I think that's great advice, honest, straight forward. but then a couple of people, these white saviors, swoop in with their brotherly advice for her to NOT come to korea. you know i had to say something...

from Yo!Chingo (bold & italics mine): I'm quite white and I get stared at constantly in and around Seoul. I thought that I'd get used to it, but after a year it still makes me uncomfortable and squeamish. If I was black there is no way in HELL i'd come here to teach unless I was making mega bucks ,and I was exceptionally thick skinned. Many times I've mentioned Africa in my classes in some context and the automatic responses are dirty comments or the making of apelike gestures. That's highly offensive to me and it's not even directed at me. My advice would be to find a more progressive country like Japan to teach in. Good luck to you!

from me to him (after i made one post telling the girl that her color is an obstacle, but not an impassible): big friggin deal. perhaps koreans will discriminate to your face, as opposed to the states where they do it behind your back... we still know they're doing it. no difference. once again, being black doesnt stop us from doing a got-dammed thing. jaundice, my advice is keep applying, there is a job out there waiting for you.

and then from me again, 10 min later b/c im so very passionate:*sigh* im sorry, Yo!Chingo, but this is really making me mad. my apologies, my anger is not directed right at you and i dont mean to target you. but good lord, white esl teachers have to deal with stares for a year? so what? you cant know what its like to have dealt with stares and comments your whole life, and to continue to deal with it for the rest of your life. having it done behind your back, to your face with backhanded comments, by your boss, by your school mates, by your so called friends who swear they dont see color, having it done in political policy creating obstacles to obtaining unity or financial independence, it is just as bad, worse even, as someone calling you monkey to your face. personally, i am forgiving of foreigners who discriminate, b/c i am a guest in their country, and perhaps they've had little to no exposure to black culture. i am not tolerant of it here in the states, b/c this is my home and i should be able to do whatever the fvck i want. everybody who reads this, please for the love of god, STOP ADVISING PEOPLE OF COLOR TO NOT GO TO KOREA. we KNOW our color is perceived as a strike against us, ok? we KNOW it already. we learned it back home a long, long time ago.

from duloz:Why are you knocking yourself out to get here? Don't obsess over this palce. If you want to teach ESL, join the Peace Corps, get a master degree while you serve and then work for the State Department with your hiring preference.

from me:*sigh* i only meant to express that i think white people shouldnt advise people of color to not come to korea. helpful advice is one thing, "So&so, there is a lot of discrimination here," i appreciate, but saying "dont come to korea" or "go to japan, they're more tolerant there" or "yeah, black people couldnt handle this, b/c im white and i cant handle it sometimes," i am saddened that you dont find that a little insulting. forgive if i come off as obsessive. but if i want to come to korea and go the hagwon route, then i can try if i want to. b/c im black, i should have to join the peace corps, get my masters, and find a place that maybe tolerates black people a little more? do you hear yourself, dulouz?forgive if im passionate. its frustrating, and we dont keep our mask on straight all the time.

from duloz, who didnt hear a goddamn word i said:ESL is largely a bad career choice. Its unprofessional employment. I can say that because there are plenty of threads that refer to these jobs as McJobs. They are. These people are not real teachers. We don't assign grades, nor make real curricula, nor participate in the students' longitudinal growth. We make the cash registers go ka-ching and then leave town before the parents can really figure out what has gone on. Long term involvement here is not a good idea. There a few people here that have legitimate careers but most of us do not. The public school teachers have more comfortable accomodations but still they are in a postion not knowing if they are having any real effect in learning. Life here is an opiate. These jobs for many of us here are easy to get but many times I wish they were not so. Its the same stuff every year and there is no growth. I would not give advice to anyone that I would not give to myself and as we speak I'm waiting form peace corps app to get approved. I have 10 years of fed gov't employment and that all applies to the 20 year state dept retirement. If you are young and have a degree, I'd recommend the military as an officer. Thats not bad but its still pretty dull. If you like languages, they always need more language workers. I think you just need a job right now and that plane ticket and $500 a week plus housing looks really really good. Yea well, I can pee most of that money away quickly and the apt is really really small. It aint that great.

i didnt respond, b/c im seeing that people do that thing again, about taking things as an attack, dont see your apologies or explanations. i instead put a post suggesting the original poster take another photo to send with her resume, one in business attire and flattering light. i end my post asking others what their photo looked like when they were job hunting.

from Yo!Chingo (bold mine, and really pay attention and compare to previous bold):It seems that you've had some unfortunate experiences in the States. I feel sorry for you, but I simply told the OP what I'd do. It's their choice to come to this country, but shouldn't they know what they're getting into b/f they do?!? BTW getting stared at is horrible for someone (like me) with a touch of social anxiety disorder. Being in Korea is at times torture for me. I'm also sorry that you feel being a minority makes you an expert on other people's experiences in Korea We're all minorities here. (he inserts a "rolls eyes" smilie here)

from me, this time really reminding myself that some white people just arent going to listen: my apologies that you got nothing out of my posts aside from my personal frustration. this will be my last response related to color on this particular forum. i've expressed what i wanted to, i've nothing more to add.

fuuuuuuuuuck! people are so goddamned selfish! fucking selfish, egomaniacal, self-involved assholes!! where the fuck did i say they couldnt talk about something b/c they're white? how you gon' talk about "im telling them what they're getting into" but advise her to NOT EVEN TRY. nah, man, you DONT know. and how the FUCK this guy gon' talk about "im so thick skinned, and i cant take the stares" and then go straight to "oh, you meanie, dont make fun of me b/c i have social anxiety disorder!" im not racist, i dont see color, im so progressive! if the discrimination bothers me, it must be so awful for those poor black people! ... selfish. SELFISH fuckers. the world is so much bigger than you all, idiots. see outside your bubble, it aint all about YOU.

anyways, March 2007, i will be in korea!

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