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The program aired by SBS on Saturday, Feb. 19, cast foreign residents (especially male English teachers) in Korea in a very dubious light. It seems that for the last two months, the Korean mass media has vilified foreigners who live and work in Korea. I do not deny the truth of the incidents presented in the SBS documentary or the scandal dealing with EnglishSpectrum.com; however, I deny the frequency of such atrocious happenings. These problems (the ones documented in the EnglishSpectrum.com and the SBS program) are presented as common maladies with foreigners, but nothing could be further from the truth. All of these terrible occurrences are a result of a very small minority of foreign residents. As often happens, a very few are ruining the reputation of the many. The whole population of male foreigners is being put to task.
Any person who breaks the law (using illegal drugs, inappropriately socializing with minors, illegal work etc.) should be punished for these crimes. I also agree that the public should be kept abreast of these issues. I do not agree that all members of the community should be painted with the same brush.
Foreigners, especially white English teachers, are a minority in Korea, but we are a very visible one. We are not, however, all guilty of these awful acts, and certainly are not all a menace to the Korean public. It is unfortunate that the lion’s share of good work foreigners do in Korea is forgotten because of the scandalous actions of a few rotten miscreants.

by Brian Haines
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