On a subway in Seoul, Beauty Epps is approached by a middle-aged Korean woman. But when he shows up, the owner opens the door, stutters and then says, "Oh, no, no." "Why not? There is still a clear disconnect between the 98 percent ethnic Koreans and the 2 percent "foreigners" of all sorts -- mixed-race children, foreign brides, native English teachers, migrant factory workers and the tiny number of permanent immigrants and refugees who are now Korean citizens.
The old Korean ladies had an affinity for touching black skin and hair.
My arrival in South Korea in 2010 was like arriving in a rural white American town in the 50s, sans systemic racism.
Cross-cultural experiences are hilarious because there is a great amount of xenophobia, pure ignorance, and blind nationalism that disrupt rational thinking.
Westerners in the expat community exhibited their form of prejudices against Asians as well.
The infamous "see these rocks" guy of You Tube fame (explained in detail later in this article) snapped and unloaded on an old man on a bus. Racism happens in the workplace, on the street and at the first meeting with a girlfriend's family.
Korea's anti-black sentiment stems from a range of influences, from the traditional Korean preference for the color white, to the burning of LA's Koreatown in 1992, to the Confucian philosophy of hierarchy, to the idea that blood type defines personality. The local media continues to be flooded with racist sentiments, advertisements and perceptions. American Maria Hernandez, 30, says she experiences racism every day."I've never had to come to terms with (racism) like I have here."Racism in the classroom For many black teachers in Korea, the problem begins before they even arrive -- finding a job.They typically organize events through private Facebook groups which could have up to tens of thousands of members.While the aim of AMBW groups truly do provide a safe space for two of the most marginalized members in society, some argue that it promotes fetishization of a particular race.Writer Zach Schwartz was offered the opportunity to explore one of NYC’s biggest AMBW communities after he was introduced to it during a date.“An Asian man can go into there and all these women are talking about how beautiful he is.A black woman can go into there and she’ll find the Asian men who appreciate her skin color, culture, and beauty.After all, we’re human, not someones pet skipping down the street.