[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Why print racist opinions?

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Why print racist opinions?

It was no surprise to see another racist opinion in the Friday, Dec. 19 edition of the JoongAng Daily, “Give them all the boot.”
Another uninformed Korean giving a racist opinion about foreigners residing in Korea is not surprising. The fact that the JoongAng Daily actually printed it is.
Sara Yeo, the author of the piece, is outraged that a foreigner committed a capital crime in Korea. Yes, Ms. Yeo, I am, too. Furthermore, I hope the person who murdered the convenience store clerk gets the maximum sentence possible. No argument from me.
I am also saddened because this incident will give further fuel to those, like Ms. Yeo, who see all foreigners as criminals while overlooking the horrendous crimes committed by her own people. This is not a new attitude.
Most foreigners, from “3D” workers to teachers and soldiers have been victims of crimes committed by Koreans. Workers at dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs are routinely cheated and sometimes physically abused by their Korean bosses.
Private teachers are often swindled out of their pay by their Korean directors, and soldiers often have their rights violated by ungrateful Koreans who dislike them for a whole multitude of reasons.
We saw this collective xenophobic mindset rear its head last year after the middle school girls were killed in the road accident, and all foreigners were made to feel uncomfortable for months afterwards even though we had nothing to do with it.
Government officials, rather than trying to calm the situation, exploited it for their personal gain.
Contrast that with the comparatively muted reaction by Koreans to the mass murder committed by a Korean on a Daegu subway this year, and we foreign residents living in Korea get a good look at the character of Korean people.
Ms. Yeo need not worry about this foreigner needing to be told to pack his bags and get out. After nine years of Korean hospitality, I will soon be leaving of my own accord.

by Murdo McNab
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