On The Vanguard Element he invites readers to ask if he was offended:
Absolutely not…I was just utterly shocked and somewhat disappointed that culture and history is unfortunately not being invested in as much as the English language. It’s in the context that makes things racist—in this case, I saw the innocence in their eyes but it did feel extremely awkward to actually experience the “situation” take place. I’m fully aware of the US history behind repugnant blackface caricatures, but the children evidently weren’t. It was a weird occasion…I walked up to the kid, shocked by his appearance and he was equally shocked at my mere existence—just an amazing ironic moment. Remember, this was an English camp, where we foreign teachers were there to exchange many aspects of “culture.” My conclusion: ignorance is not bliss, its sad…for every nation.
I won't quote too much from the forum, because the four pages are worth reading, but I think I agree more with commenters like ehyunas
I think they were just playing a character and perhaps you are reading too much into it.
There's nothing wrong with describing someone using their colour of their skin so long as there is no negative connotation along with it. Unfortunately, North Americans have loaded words with so many connotations its impossible for us to forget that.
Ithink its of more concern when foreigners abroad expect everyone to follow their own cultural"taboos”。 What right has a country like America with its poor record of human rights to reflect on what it sees as other countries "faults". After 50 years of American involvement in Korea we are now facing another "korean" war. Lets just try to put our own house in order. I don't think America can lecture anyone on race given its history of racial troubles.
For new readers, the issue of blackface in Korea has been written about for years, in a couple different contexts and from a couple different perspectives: Scribblings of the Metropolitician on, among other things, the Bubble Sisters in 2006; my site in 2007 looking at textbooks and English-Korean dictionaries; and The Grand Narrative and Monster Island looking at an LG print advertisement in 2009. And while I've been critical of Koreans adopting offensive imagery for their benign purposes, whether a KKK hood to advertise a play or a model in a Nazi uniform to advertise Coreana cosmetics,
and while I find the debate---and its tangents into depictions of foreigners and English teachers---on Korea generally interesting, I don't put a couple of kids in the same category as using Hitler to sell make-up or the KKK to promote a dance troupe, let alone the more historically offensive examples of blackface many Americans have learned to recognize.