California Woman Fined $5,000 for Denying Korean-American Lodging Based on Race

This just makes you wonder what is wrong with some people?:

An Airbnb host who canceled a woman’s reservation because of her race has agreed to pay $5,000 in damages and take a course in Asian American studies, a state regulatory agency announced Thursday.

The host, Tami Barker, told the woman who reserved her Big Bear cabin for a ski vacation in February that she would not rent to an Asian, justifying the action by adding in a text message, “It’s why we have Trump,” referring to President Trump.

The woman, Dyne Suh, a UCLA law student, said she was driving in a snowstorm to the Big Bear cabin when she received the text messages via the Airbnb mobile app. A tearful Suh, standing in the snow, shot a video posted on YouTube, describing her exchange with Barker.

“I’ve been here since I was 3 years old,” she said in the video. “America is my home. I consider myself an American. But this woman discriminates against me because I’m Asian.”  [LA Times]

You can read more at the link.

South Korean TV Show Accused of Racism for Skit Using “Blackface”

Via a reader tip comes news of an SBS show under fire for what seems like an annual controversy over the use of “blackface” in South Korea:

In a comedy skit, a character named Hyunhee talks to her family about her dreams of becoming a comedian despite her father’s disapproval, according to Koreaboo.

When she comes to see him, Hyunhee appears in blackface, wearing dreadlocks and what are supposed to be African tribal clothes.  

The final scene of the show has the character dancing to the song “Circle of Life” from Disney’s “The Lion King”.

In response, viewers took to social media to express their anger, with many calling the skit racist and how it’s offensive to people of color.  [Next Shark]

You can read more at the link.

Update on the Columbian Man Assaulted at A Busan Costco

The Joong Ang Ilbo has an update on the racial incident involving a Columbian man at a Busan Costco.  His activism after the incident led to positive change at the Busan police department that handled his case:

Leonardo Mendoza and Shin Jin-yeong having a friendly chat in front of a supermarket after a severe racial discrimination case involving Mendoza in Busan. [SONG BONG-GEUN]

After the incident took place, did the Busan Yeonjae Police Department chief (Ryu Sam-yeong) call to apologize?

That’s correct. On Sunday (April 2) night, three days after, he apologized, saying, “We do have training, but it was very insufficient and we will expand training pertaining to foreigners.” On the next day, I called again and requested to have an internal racial discrimination training session. I went for a lecture to the police station on April 5. When I met him at the chief’s office, he said, “Of police chiefs countrywide, I am the only one with a perm. Of policemen, there are those who dislike hearing a lecture held by a foreigner. I ask for your understanding even though the audience may be small.”

When I actually went to the lecture hall, there were 250 policeman cramped inside. The policeman who handled the incident at the time attended and apologized to me in person. I learned for the first time in my 16 years living in Korea that there was an external affairs section that investigated incidents involving foreigners.

What kind of thoughts did you have?

With all that’s happened, the police chief can be called a hero. Anyone can write or post something. However, the police chief went above and beyond what he had to do and went a step further. In the end, the incident ended on a positive note. I counted, and there are 252 police departments in Korea. The change at the Yeonjae Police Department cannot stop there. The remaining 251 police chiefs must take an interest in safety measures for foreigners.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but the Korean man involved in this incident ultimately giving a half hearted apology for the incident as well.

Foreigner Arrested After Being Assaulted By A Korean Man in Costco Parking Lot In Busan

This story of a Columbian man assaulted by a Korean man at a Busan Costco just continues to confirm my long held advice that foreigners need to swallow their pride and walk away from confrontations with Koreans.  This is because the odds are high that the police will side with the Korean and that the foreigner will end up being the one arrested which is what happened in this case.

To summarize a Columbian man and his Korean wife were walking back to their car at the Busan Costco when the Korean wife yelled loudly for a car to stop which saves the life of little kid who can in front of it. The grandpa of the little kid gets angry at the Korean wife for yelling at the kid and then eventually tries to assault her.  However Columbian husband gets in front of him to stop the assault and the grandpa pushes the Columbian to the ground and begins to punch him.  While this is going on he is yelling racist remarks the whole time. The assault is caught on camera and yet the police side with the Korean grandpa who is lying and yelling racist remarks the whole time.  The police arrest the Columbian man and say this can all go away if he does not pursue the assault charge on the Korean man.  The charges are dropped after the Columbian man agrees to not pursue the case against the grandpa and everyone goes home.

The best thing the Columbian man did was not to try and fight back despite being pushed to the ground and having the Korean man on top of him punching him.  In Korea you do not have the right to self defense like people in the United States for example may be use to having.  If he would have punched the guy back he would likely be in jail for assault.  What he was not smart about was trying to pursue the assault charge against the Korean man.  He should have just left after the assault was broken up because the odds of the police siding with a foreigner are very low.  This is where the swallowing your pride and walking away is the best thing to do.  It lets the Korean man save face while the foreigner doesn’t have to worry about getting arrested.

Korean-American Criticized for Posting Racist Help Wanted Sign

Via a reader tip comes this news about a Korean-American man in South Carolina who accidentally posted a racist help wanted sign at his wife’s restaurant and is now under attack by critics:

A South Carolina restaurant owner which caused outrage after it placed a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in its window along with the message ‘minorities need not apply’ has apologized for her mistake.

Kenny’s Home Cooking in Spartanburg placed the sign in the window seeking more staff, although when diners noticed the message at the bottom they posted photographs on the internet.

The sign had the racist message written in both English and Spanish.

However, the restaurant’s owner, who is Japanese, claimed any offense was unintentional as they purchased the sign on eBay and did not understand the messages at the bottom.

Owner Sook ‘Sue’ Shin told WYFF News: ‘I never ever meant that, so I’m really sorry.’

A friend claimed they mistook the word ‘minorities’ for ‘minors’.

Shin’s husband, who is Korean, purchased the sign on eBay.  [The Daily Mail]

You can read more at the link, but I can easily understand how someone who uses English as a second language can make this mistake.  However, it hasn’t stopped people from expressing their outrage at the owners.  It seems to me the real racists are the ones criticizing this couple for not understanding English better.

Is Hollywood “Whitewashing” Asian Characters In Movies?

It does seem pretty hypocritical that the supposedly progressive Hollywood continues to have non-Asian actors play Asian roles:

A live action remake of Disney’s “Mulan” is set to release in 2018. For now, Disney hunts for actors and actresses with the potential to play the heroic roles of the movie. It was rumored that Disney set its eyes on famed actress Jennifer Lawrence for the role of Mulan. Lawrence is known for many heroic roles, including Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games trilogy. It is also rumored that actor Zac Efron will be playing the role of Li Shang from the original animated film. Despite both celebrities having great success in such movie roles, they are terrible candidates to take roles in the film, all due to racial background.

In the original story, Mulan is portrayed as a young Chinese woman taking her father’s place in serving in war by disguising herself as a man and secretly leaving her family. In recent days, heroic lead roles in Asian settings have been given to American actors. The upcoming 2017 American-Chinese fantasy epic, “The Great Wall”, stars Matt Damon (The Bourne Saga) as the lead role. The main question to stress is if the film industry is discriminating and disregarding people of color and the culture they represent.

Since there are several films where whitewashing has occurred, the main and only intent of the film industry is money.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

South Korean Fans Upset With Racist Gesture at Rio Olympics

Considering all the black face and big nose caricatures used in the Korean media, South Koreans really do not have much of a moral high ground to stand on with this issue:

South Korean football fans became upset when a spectator allegedly abusing Asians was shown on TV as South Korea beat Fiji.

At the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil, on Aug. 5, a man made “slanted eyes,” a Western gesture to make fun of Asians’ eyes.

Some regard the act as racially offensive.

South Koreans were even more embarrassed when they learned that the man was cheering for South Korea.

He was holding a national flag and wearing a red T-shirt just like South Korean fans.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Chinese Television Commercial Being Called the Most Racist Ever

Via a reader tip comes what is being claimed as the most racist TV commercial ever that has been airing recently in China.

The Chinese television commercial shows a black man apparently doing painting work inside a home covered in paint.  He begins to whistle at the Chinese woman in the house who is flirting wth him.  The Chinese woman puts a laundry detergent pack in his mouth before grabbing the black man and throwing him into the washing machine.  Afterwards she opens the washing machine and instead of a black man coming out a clean handsome Chinese man comes out.  You can watch the video below:

This doesn’t surprise me, but the laundry detergent company said they intentionally made this advertisement to be provocative:

Xu Chunyan, an agent for Qiaobi based in the Suzhou, China, told the Times that the ad was meant to be provocative.

“We did this for some sensational effect,” she told the newspaper. “If we just show laundry like all the other advertisements, ours will not stand out.”  [Miami Herald]

For those not familiar with China racism is not a big issue with them and this commercial is definitely racist.  However, in the age of the Internet commercials like this can no longer just remain with a domestic audience.  With that said what affect will the blowback on the Internet really have any affect on the company if they are strictly targeting the Chinese audience?  Since their goal was to stand out to their domestic audience, the controversy on the Internet is probably only going to help their sales if anything because of the increased attention.  Plus I just don’t expect a big movement with China to develop as a backlash against this company that would impact their sales any way.

Mixed Race Children of US Military Servicemembers Faced Hard Lives In South Korea

Below is a really good read in today’s Korea Herald that I recommend reading in full.  It is about the history of mixed raced children in South Korea fathered by US military servicemembers.  These mixed race kids definitely had a hard life growing up in South Korea.  Of particular interest is the role that Korean brokers played in trafficking women into the sex industry.  It makes me wonder if these were the same brokers who trafficked women to Japanese soldiers during the Japanese colonial period?:

Jang Yeon-hee is searching for her American soldier father, who left Korea while her mother was pregnant with her in the 1960s. (Claire Lee/The Korea Herald)

Jang is one of some 40,000 mixed-race Koreans born in South Korea from 1955-1969, many of whom were born to American soldiers who were temporarily stationed here. Many of the Korean women who gave birth to such mixed-race children were those who were trafficked by Korean brokers to work as prostitutes for the U.S. military.

Many fathers simply went back to the U.S. and never returned. Mothers relinquished their children, as many of them had no financial means to raise them, while suffering from severe social stigmatization for being sex workers. Most of the children were adopted into American families. For those who remained in Korea, like Jang, life was filled with a sense of alienation, racist attacks and longing for her birth parent.  (………)

To this day, Kang doesn’t know if her father died that day or simply decided to leave her mother for good. After her father went missing, Kang’s mother had a number of live-in relationships with American soldiers, who supported her financially.

Her mother soon started working as a dancer for the U.S. military, moving from one base to another. Kang lived in almost every Korean city that had active U.S. military bases, including Dongducheon, Osan, Paju, Pyeongtaek and Uijeongbu. During these years, Kang witnessed many teenage daughters of sex workers being trafficked or forced to work as prostitutes by their mothers’ pimps and brokers.

“Those brokers should still be tracked down now and jailed. … It’s not too late,” she said.  [Korea Herald]

You can read the rest at the link.