Last week in the Korea Times we were subjected to this mound of dung from the University of Virginia's Jessica Kim, a Korean-American or Korean student who doesn't like white people in Korea; an excerpt:
Recently, a lot of people have been calling me and emailing me, to the point where I just had to shut down my phone. Some even identify themselves as a friend of a friend of a friend of mine. That's a long social chain.
These random ``friends" who don't have a job or got fired recently have been trying to get in touch with me to ask me about teaching English in Korea. They all say in unison, as if it comes from the Holy Bible, ``I heard all you need is the 'white looks' and you are good to go." I have heard this millions of times already, but every time I hear it I can't help myself from cringing with every single muscle in my forehead. I may need Botox soon even though I'm only in my early 20s.
So why is Korea, the nation that even created a national day to celebrate the beauty and the history of the Korean language, seen as the place to go for those ``native speakers" who have no life goals? The aim of trying to learn English is healthy for the mind and soul ― it's for personal development. However, the situation here is to the point where it's almost an obsession, not to mention an embarrassing one.
Do we really want these ``white-looking" people to just stroll into Korea, who probably scored less than 500 out of 800 on their verbal portion of their SATs or don't even know what they SATs are, to be hailed as kings by Korean parents? This leads to my point: Korean parents need to change their attitudes.
Two quote-unquote white people, the target of Jessica Kim's ire.
Roboseyo's Robert Ouwehand sent in a rebuttal---written in full here---that appeared on the Korea Times website this evening. An excerpt:
Does she know these people well enough to accurately judge their probable SAT scores, or is she guessing wildly about their intelligence? How did she judge that they had no life goals? Is she so sure that their only qualification to teach English is their white skin?
Does she even know how many of them are asking about teaching in Korea out of a serious desire to come overseas, and how many are simply exploring possible options, the way desperate people do during a financial crisis, when they feel their options diminishing?
And how dare she call these people miserable failures in their own lives, unless she knows their entire life stories?
Finally, as a long-term professional English instructor in Korea, who works hard to improve both my craft as a teacher, and my students' true English capability, I deeply resent Kim's insinuations that my white looks are my only important qualification to teach English in Korea.
More more eloquent than my response of "Maybe your parents should have hired Chris Benoit to babysit."
Actually I responded a little on a post of my own, which fostered some thoughtful comments beneath it. As Rob pointed out in his original letter, the KT shouldn't have even printed stuff like that; there's no point even debating any merits Kim's piece may or may not have, or talking about what "qualified" really means vis-a-vis her letter, and it's just a waste of effort when we do.