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1 calochortus  Apr 19, 2014 8:30:59am

Thanks for the link. I’ve read a bit about N. Korea over the last 3 or 4 years (there isn’t a lot out there…) and I’d recommend The Cleanest Race as an interesting look at propaganda as well as his recommendation of Nothing to Envy.

It is my understanding that the N. Koreans are, in fact, learning a lot about the outside world as technology slowly leaks in-and even if they do believe they’re carrying the torch of moral superiority and all, they’re reaching the point where they’d be happy to trade that superiority for more food. Kim Jung Un may have a tough (and brief) road ahead.

2 KerFuFFler  Apr 19, 2014 1:24:31pm

re: #1 calochortus

I have not read the book, but I found a video of the author discussing it.
It is interesting how important racial purity is to them and how much the Japanese fostered that attitude!

The ongoing racist sentiment appears to be alive and well in South Korea as well——-based on my very limited interactions with Koreans. A few years back I was a volunteer piano instructor for our local Salvation Army (though I, myself, am Jewish…) and one of my students was the wife of a Korean professor on sabbatical here. Though she was a very religious Christian, to my utter astonishment, she felt very comfortable expressing her disdain for one of my young and disadvantaged minority students——-the kind of student the program was designed for in the first place, disadvantaged! She asked me point blank why I even bothered to teach such a person and apparently had no idea how offensive her attitude was. I did not want to shame her for her question because she was from a different culture. (If an American had said anything along those lines my response would have been harsher.) I just said that the African American community had produced a very long list of exceptional pianists and composers so it made no sense to make such assumptions about others.

But, again, the thing that really struck me was that she clearly had no idea that an American would likely find her question offensive. It was more like she was truly puzzled. She thought it was a given that everyone would assume that a black student was waste of the teacher’s time.

I know one should not generalize about an entire society base on one person’s comments, but her racist attitude and comfort expressing such thoughts suggest to me that she comes from a place where racism is the norm.

(I have had other interactions that suggest Korean racist attitudes, but this one took the cake.)


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