[EDITORIALS]Don’t blame GangnamPolice are investigating an anonymous letter sent to an elementary school in the Gangnam destrict stating that students in the eighth district (Gangnam area) have to be killed in order to cure the people’s desire to get their children into schools there. Although there is a possibility that the letter might be the work of a mentally ill person, what is worrisome is that such hatred is spreading in our society.
In September, a man in his 40s called the Seoul Metropolitan Police and threatened to bomb an apartment complex in Daechi-dong and the Tower Palace’s health club, while kidnappings aimed at females living in the Gangnam area have happened at an alarming rate. These are all signs of a spreading anti-Gangnam sentiment that has reached a dangerous level.
As skyrocketing real estate prices have served as a catalyst for division in Korean society, the unreasonable bashing of everything related to Gangnam is worrisome.
Not everyone living in the Gangnam area is rich. Nor is it a place where everyone owns more than one house. In addition, Gangnam residents didn’t conspire to raise real estate prices. Gangnam residents are just like everyone else. They are ordinary citizens. Our problems today are a result of years of neglect of the real estate market and the public education system by the government.
Starting on Sept. 31, the Gangnam district police stepped up security patrols in the Apgujeong-dong area, but we all know that these measures won’t solve the fundamental problems.
First, the government needs to change its attitude toward the Gangnam area. If it keeps pointing its finger at the Gangnam area as the source of all problems it will only fuel hatred for a specific group.
In order to resolve the frictions that come from such hatred we need a broader solution. This is a time when the government needs to do substantially more to close the income gap and improve the social security system, while those who have resources should be more modest and fulfill their social responsibilities.