The K blogosphere has been up in arms about blackface. Apparently some Koreans took it upon themselves to paint their faces up to look like some cartoon character who is himself questionably offensive. If that character himself isn’t offensive, then the cartoon itself is, because it depicts Africans with bones through their noses.
Now, why am I writing this post? Plenty of other K-blogs have condemned the Korean media/Korean education/Koreans themselves for this action. I’m not going to do either of those things. I in no way support or condone what has happened and I am thoroughly disappointed, but this post is about the other bloggers.
Other bloggers took the chance to point out that this is proof that Koreans or Korea is racist.
I’ll have you know that this particular blackface incident was not learned from a fellow blogger or fellow expat… A Korean person who has never lived abroad and who doesn’t interact with foreign people on a regular basis pointed it out to me and was very distraught about it. “How on Earth could something like this happen!” were more or less the exact words.
So my friends, this may only be one example out of many, but we have to realize that not everyone in Korea feels that this is not a problem, and that Koreans themselves are not a hive mind.
Are there racists in Korea? Yes.
Are all Koreans racists? No, and far from it.
Express outrage over the issue and boycott the station or organize a campaign to promote awareness of this issue.. but don’t make it worse by stereotyping an entire nation of people.