There’s just so much that goes on here that is pretty darn offensive, in my opinion. The things said, some offensive caricatures of people of other cultures, even racist masks…no, but really.
Anyways in Korea’s defense, I don’t think they really know any better, honestly. The vast majority of the exposure they have of other cultures is what they see in movies. Which I guess, would be why I’ve been asked more than once if I can sing like Beyoncé or if I can rap in general.
So, that’s some of the lighter stuff, but, it gets worse. Last year, while in Jeonju for the Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS), we ended up talking about religion in Korea. My teacher mentioned how there’s some Mosques sprouting up around Korea. I was really surprised, because I never thought there to be many Muslims residing here. She said, “No, there’s a lot coming. It’s scary. It seems dangerous.” Oh no. That’s not right. I didn’t know that that sentiment had spread to Korea. At the time that she said it, I just kept my mouth shut (mostly because I didn’t know how to rebuttal in Korean, at the time.) But, holy crap that’s awful. And she doesn’t even know that that’s an offensive thing to say.
A gay friend of mine, who also did CLS last year, had a home stay family that consisted of a middle-aged man. That’s all. He didn’t come out to this home stay dad/friend at the beginning, and curiously asked him about his feelings on homosexual people. The man went on about his disgust about gay people, while he was talking to one right there. Granted, he didn’t know, but, in general, Koreans about 30 years old and up are highly homophobic.
There’s work to be done. And by no means am I trying to say that America or other countries are any better. America has a long way to go as well. I am hopeful, though.