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Pet Sins June 1999

Korean view on race of US servicemen who rape local women

I had a rather disappointing Korean worker who once told me, "There are many US servicemen who rape Korean women and sorry to say, but most of them are black." He then went on complainig about the problem of American soldiers molesting women in Korea, and even went as far as to say that if, hypothetically, the soldiers of other smaller Asian countries happened to be stationed in Korea, the Koreans (or at least his idea of the Koreans) would not hesitate to 'beat them up'. The only reason he said that the US soldiers weren't beaten up by the locals was that the US was a "big strong country."

OK, so he is not only bigoted against American blacks, he despises the people of smaller Asian countries, and he paints his own people as cowards who cringe before the strong and only dare to strike at the weak. Or rather, he showed himself as one who subscribed to such values.

Disgusted, I left the conversation.

I casually revisited the topic with him on another occasion, asking if US servicemen in his country caused problems. He then reversed himself and said that most American soldiers in Korea were well-behaved, and U.S. military's own disciplinary procedures were enough to resolve any criminal cases, and that rapists among the servicemen were an exception, not the norm.

Who know what caused the flip-flopping? Maybe be he figured out he shouldn't be saying such things in the work place and changed his tune? The damage is already done. We've already seen his true colors even if he tries to whistle a PC tune now. I regret that I did not tell him off to his face the first time. Not that he was not overheard saying more hateful things later. That guy was full of scorn and negativity towards non-Koreans, especially people of color.