[EDITORIALS]Pure hearts, not bloodKorean society is excited about the success story of U.S. football star Hines Ward and his Korean mother. However, we wonder whether the mother and son could have been so successful had they lived in Korea, which is concealing its embarrassing habit of discrimination against mixed blood people.
Kim Young-hee, Ward’s mother, had to immigrate to the United States because her own family in Korea turned their backs on her. The son and mother faced a cold treatment in Korean-American society after moving to the United States. “It was discrimination by Korean people that I felt was the most difficult to overcome,” Ms. Kim said tearfully in an interview.
According to a support group of mixed blood people, about 35,000 such people are living in Korea, but there is no accurate figure. This is an example of Korea’s indifference to these people.
Until now, we have overly emphasized the significance of our homogeneous society and have had too much pride about our pure blood tradition. But that does not mean much in this era of globalization.
Discrimination against mixed blood people is destined to bring about problems in our society. Mixed blood children often become outsiders at schools. Foreign mothers who are not fluent in Korean have difficulty helping their children study. After being pushed out from Korea’s education system, mixed blood people will be stuck in a vicious cycle of unemployment and poverty. As this population grows, they will become the cause of social conflicts and we will have to face undesirable troubles.
It is time to establish a cultural foundation on which Korean children and mixed blood children will be able to mingle naturally.
The government should provide a system to treat the social and psychological distress of mixed blood Koreans.
Their peculiar nature should be taken into account when providing employment; a welfare policy to help them escape from poverty is also a must. Schools should provide education on the culture of diversity in which different ethic groups can live together.
The most important thing is our awareness of ethnic diversity.
Unless we change our thinking, no policy ― no matter how good ― will work. We should open our minds and hold their hands to raise the second and the third Hines Ward in Korea.