[Brians Stuff]Socially, still stuck back in the Stone Age

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[Brians Stuff]Socially, still stuck back in the Stone Age

HELP! I am totally surrounded by hostile forces. When I conducted a mock vote on the recent U.S. presidential election in our newsroom, not a single person was rooting for McCain. The answers were very clear - Obama rocks.

Just to clear things up, I too would have backed the guy, if not for his stance that he would be more willing to engage Pyongyang. I believe that North Korea policies should have teeth.

By now you will have heard it all, how America has become truly a land where anything is possible. Maybe that’s true, but the whole thing made me think about the situation here in Korea, where great pride is placed on being a nation with a supposedly pure racial heritage. Never mind the fact that because of the numerous invasions and the colonial days, we are all but that.

Today, we have more than 1 million immigrants here, and many international marriages and kids from those unions. Yet to think one day that a biracial person could become the leader of this country is a dream that I think will never come true. Consider this.

For the third year in a row, the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation hosted a group of biracial South Korean children in Pittsburgh. Here is a quote from the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver from Peter King’s Monday Night Quarterback column.

“They were kids left behind, either by servicemen or moms who couldn’t take the prejudice they felt in the society,” said Ward. “My mom was an outcast because she went outside her race to have a child. That’s one of the reasons she moved. When I was there [after the Super Bowl], everyone praised me for my accomplishments, but they shunned the kids. So I wanted to do something to let biracial kids know they can have positive lives.’’ I don’t think that Ward ever said something like this when he was here, probably because he didn’t want to upset anybody.

Granted, times have changed - but a mixed race president?

Another event playing out far away needs to be looked upon as well. The new president of the Maldives wants to relocate his entire country, as climate change threatens the island’s existence. He said that Sri Lanka and India are possibilities because the countries have similar cultures, cuisine and climate. Australia is also being considered.

If the Maldives were near the Korean coastlines, would we ever have entertained the idea of letting these people settle here? You know the answer. And that is why the trumpeting of the fact that we are the world’s 12th-largest economy does not ring very true. Socially, we’re still living in the Stone Age.


[africanu@joongang.co.kr]
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