Discrimination Editor's Picks

Racist man caught on camera abusing young lady

Screen shot 2015-08-09 at 12.24.13 PM
James Hyams
Written by James Hyams

A middle-aged Korean man abused two females on the subway telling them to “go back to your country” on Saturday night.

Kate Meldrom, an ESL teacher from North America, was on the subway metro line to Itaewon when she suggested to her friend they start eating tomatoes as snacks “like Koreans do” when a man approached them.

“He got up and walked towards us and since neither of us speak Korean fluently we just awkwardly looked at him. My friend felt uncomfortable and laughed and this pissed him off. So he walked towards us and picked up her things and went to throw them but she told him to stop in the little Korean she knows.”

At this point Kate’s friend starts filming the man who goes back to his “priority seat” and picks up his hiking pole.

The priority seat, or noyakja seat, is for the elderly, handicapped, pregnant women.

As he approaches the girls he points it at them, bouncing it in his hand in a threatening manner.

“Go back your home; go back your country,” the man yells as he is within a striking distance. “Go back your country,” he repeats before putting the pole by his side and walking back to his seat.

Kate said that four Korean men then assisted them.

Korean Daniel Lee said that based on the man’s attire he had been hiking.

“Looks like he’s one of those guys that went up a mountain, drank white rice wine, and came back down intoxicated. Why older Korean men do this is beyond me even to this day,” Lee said.

A Korean-American expat, Mike Slazenger, said that he had been kicked and told to stop speaking English in one incident but refused to generalize about Koreans.

“For all the people here who keep making these generalizations about all Koreans being racist, please give it a rest. This guy doesn’t represent all Koreans, just like the white people in America who have told me to go back to China/Japan, never Korea, do not represent all white Americans,” he said.

Kate said she really likes living in South Korea and is happy there.

“Besides the occasional racist comments, which most of the time we don’t understand, everyone is nice to us. The fact that those four Korean men helped us is proof of that. We are not generalizing that all Koreans are racist.”

About the author

James Hyams

James Hyams

James Hyams juggles several careers including being a journalist and a social worker. James has an avid interest in 'telling it as it is', exposing matters of public interest, and reviving investigative journalism in the new digital era. Testimony to this is his thesis titled: “U.S. Government secrecy and the withering watchdog: Is WikiLeaks the answer?”

  • Jacob Fennell

    I’m wondering if the two women didn’t do something first, to antagonise the man, whether or not they intended to piss him off. I think there is more to this simple story than just a Korean man getting out of his seat and walking across the car to tell two western women to leave his country, in English. I think he would have had to be really upset about something which happened before the camera phone came out.

    • Anonymous_Joe

      I’m wondering why you would think that the two women would “do something first to antagonize the man”.

    • JMS

      Exactly. Maybe unintended but as often is the case more to the story I am sure. Especially toward women it is harder to believe it came about as they portray.

      • Anonymous_Joe

        Oh, bullshit. In the video there are other people on the train. Two Korean women are so unfazed as not to even bother to lift their eyes.

        Douchey ajeosshi behavior is hardly unique and neither is trying to make up excuses for douchey ajeosshi behavior.

        • Lindsay Şoricelul-Teu Belton

          Exactly. I actually said BULLSHIT out loud at “Especially toward women it is harder to believe it came about as they portray.”
          Absolute bullshit. Korean men pull this shit on women because they think we won’t fight back and they can get away with it. If it had been a large foreign man sitting there you can bet your ass he wouldn’t have said shit.

      • smithington

        “when she suggested to her friend they start eating tomatoes as snacks “like Koreans do” ”
        when a man approached them.”

        This tells us all we need to know. It’s written in a way to seem innocent with all the skill Hyam’s little grade school education can muster. They were eating on the subway. You see it, but it’s really rare, and Koreans look down on that. I’m trying to think of the last time I saw an adult have anything but a drink, and usually just a bottle of water, on the subway.

        She was committing a social faux pas an a, likely drunk, guy took issue with it. He probably couldn’t express their transgression properly and when he tried to say something to them, they insulted him by laughing at him.

        ” My friend felt uncomfortable and laughed and this pissed him off.”

        This is that moron nicky neon’s schtick all over again.

        “I insulted some random guy on the subway and he went off on me, oh what a horrible country korea is, help me Korea observer, help me!”

    • Eric Strickland

      Maybe he had a bad experience in the US.
      Maybe there’s some other reason he doesn’t like foreigners, and being drunk emboldened him.

    • Adam Traub

      I’m wondering why, when you see something like this, you indulge in victim blaming

      • JMS

        Who was the victim? You did not see anything that happened before the camera came on.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    For those who think this is mere racism, it’s not; it’s an assault. The man went back to his seat specifically to get and use a weapon to menace two women.

    This behavior continues because we, as a foreign community, do nothing about it. The bar gets set that this is acceptable for Korean ajeosshis to perpetuate on foreign women. The bar gets set that Korean man on foreign women crime is acceptable.

    • JMS

      They were not assaulted in the least bit. Harassed maybe depending on what when on prior to the camera coming on.

      • Anonymous_Joe

        I suggest that you look up the legal definition of assault.

        • JMS

          I did and may I suggest you use something other than Google to study law. Pointing at someone with an object is not illegal nor is it assault.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Well then, post your legal definition of assault with citation.

          • JMS

            Which one do you want because every jurisdiction has their own.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Choose one that could reasonably apply and provide the citation.

            You do get at a larger point: the only applicable jurisdiction is Korea’s. Does that meet the legal sufficiency for assault (or whatever Korean law calls it) in Korea?

          • JMS

            Take me all day to find the Korean citation. However from personal experience of having something similar happen to myself. I attempted to pursue a case against someone for the same thing and it was thrown out for not meeting the definition of assault under Korean law. I did however get a minimal settlement for harrassment.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            OK, then supply a legal definition of assault for another (reasonable) jurisdiction that does not have this meet the legal definition of assault.

            As far as your experience in Korea, it sounds like you got Korea’d.

          • JMS

            You are playing the prosecution side so why don’t you show me a reference. If I am wrong I will tell you I was wrong.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            When I suggested “that you look up the legal definition of assault, you objected to my “Google” definition, which I did not supply and you assumed, of assault: “I did and may I suggest you use something other than Google to study law.”

            So supply some credible definition of assault that does not fit what happened in that video.

          • JMS

            Fair enough. When I get to a computer I will take look at the criminal code my attorney gave me last year.

          • Jimmy the Gent

            The above is assault. If he touches them, it is battery.

          • megadon

            Assault is the threat or act of violence to injure. This man did not look to injure these ladies but to show dominance by using the stick as a symbol or superiority, or elders priviledge.

            The guy saying this was assault is either a moron or intentionally blowing this dumb event out of propor ti on

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Bullshit. It’s a weapon.

            I’m an American. Can I start using a baseball bat to assert my superiority in age in Korea?

          • megadon

            So Am i, The Old Man Acted Like A BUFOON But Was NO THREAT To Those passengers. He did carry a weapon from the video you showed me. If he did, that would be a different story.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Sure, he showed dominance by threatening them with a weapon, aka assault.

          • megadon

            No, that is not the definition of assuallt. Your definition od assault is laughable at best and deceitful at worst.

            The man did not lay a hand on those people. Yes he yelled at them, but that is not assault legally. It could possibly be harassment, but that depends on the context of the situation that developed

          • burndoggy

            Must be a LONG hike to that computer.

            Assault is the threat of violence, battery is the act of violence.

            Saved you the walk.

          • JMS

            Ok Clown. Still looking for the email from the attorney in my specific case from a year ago. Either way neither crime was committed.

          • burndoggy

            Actually…the threat of violence is obvious in this video. Found your email yet cunt?

          • JMS

            I found your mom’s cunt, once you get past her nastiness and pure stank. You need to tell her to get that thing checked out.

          • burndoggy

            Hahahaha…you fucked my mum! What a fucking loser you must be to be chasing 65 year old puss! Fucking hell!

            I guess you’re as clueless with women as you are with the law.

            Later cuntbag.

          • JMS

            Well hell that explains the stank. Poor little fake English teacher with the stank as mum. Maybe one day you can grow the F up and not be a loser. You may want to send some of that little measly pay check you get to her to get cleaned up.

          • burndoggy

            Would it kill you to admit that you were wrong? Really?

            I respect that you at least managed to spell mum properly this time. That shows a modicum of growth. As for the rest…it’s a little bit of low hanging fruit to try and taunt someone based on what you perceive their profession and pay cheque to be.

            Wait…the guy who said “I found your mom’s cunt” is telling me to grow up? Fascinating turn of events. Remarkable.

          • Lindsey Walker

            Pretty sure for it to be assault he has to physically touch them. Now did he threaten assault yes.

          • Jimmy the Gent

            No. People are easily confused with assault. Assault is merely the threat of harm. Battery is when physical contact occurs.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Physical touch them part is the battery. Assault is the creation of apprehension of the unlawful contact. People misuse the terms in everyday language.

          • smithington

            How about we actually look at the laws of the country we are in instead of trying to
            impose some foreign laws and definitions like a crusading imperialist, but then again, we all know the tone you take, The Korean penal code contains no provisions for “assault” or “battery”. They do have a provision on bodily harm:

            Article 257 (Inflicting Bodily Injury on Other or on Lineal Ascendant)

            (1) A person who inflicts a bodily injury upon another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than seven years or suspension of qualifications for not more than ten years or by a fine not exceeding ten million won.

            Article 258 (Aggravated Bodily Injury on Other or on Lineal Ascendant)

            (1) A person who inflicts bodily injury upon another, thereby endangering ones life, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.

            They do have a crime of intimidation, if this is the kind of thing that is covered by the legal definition of intimidation:

            Article 283 (Intimidation, Intimidation on Lineal Ascendant)

            (1) A person who intimidates another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years, a fine of not more than five million won, detention or a minor fine.

            This is a personal crime and requires the victim’s consent to prosecute.

            But a crime of assault? No, this does not meet the legal definition of assault in Korea because no crime caries that name. I guess you need to look up the legal definition of assault. The way you’re crawling up their asses lately you must be gunning for a position here. Things getting too boring over at the hole?

          • Anonymous_Joe

            I had already stated in a reply to JMS that the only definition of assault that mattered was Korea’s. I also had allowed for “whatever Korean law calls it”:

            “You do get at a larger point: the only applicable jurisdiction is Korea’s. Does that meet the legal sufficiency for assault (or whatever Korean law calls it) in Korea?”

            *******
            On a side note, you have some nerve finally showing your head around here after going on for two months about the Haeundae Beach “Sports Zone”, which you got wrong. Regain some credibility by going to that page and comping to it.

          • smithington

            I haven’t gotten anything wrong. I still haven’t seen any official from the government claiming they’ve changed the name of the zone. Have you? I’ve seen tae-hoon try to pass off two grainy cell phone pictures as proof, but it’s strange that the government was so willing to publicly announce the last name change and won’t announce this one, and that tae-hoon had to obtain proof with a potato. No, I’d like some third party confirmation before I remotely believe it.

            And an umbrella is not a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapon is something that’s actually defined legally in most places and typically refers to actual weapons like knives, guns, swords, and the like. Not a random umbrella. keep fishing. These girls brought it on themselves.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            There’s a sign on the beach. That looks more official than the press release and jives with the story I looked into.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7436751949e678253643dfea7b5dcd55ed0c22b246b454daee0da3d96236fd8c.jpg

          • smithington

            You’ve shown zero evidence you’ve looked into anything. There is allegedly a sign on the beach as provided by someone who has a vested interest in this story. It has not been confirmed by a single third party source including the people who allegedly put the sign up. It’s interesting how long it takes this place to come up with a story or evidence when it should be so easy and fast. It’s the kind of time someone would take if they were say, inventing something.

            First it was 4 or 5 days when this first came out, and a day after he told us he was going to actually tell us what happened, because he still couldn’t meet that deadline. Then it’s over a month later when they show up with this picture that’s just too good to be believed, well not really. Haundae beach in The middle of the summer and it’s a ghost town? Have you ever been to haundae beach?Let’s keep in mind the shadow in that picture makes it look like it’s late in the morning or early afternoon. On a summer day. On the busiest beach in the entire country where the entire country goes to vacation at once. It looks like you could set off a bomb there and you wouldn’t injure a soul. That totally looks legit man. Absolutely nothing could be questioned about that.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            You keep moving and will keep on moving the goal posts. What more evidence do you want? Why don’t you do your own leg work and really take everyone down for fabricating everything?

            There’s a picture. All the stories jive with what the K.O. has written, and you’ve got nothing. This is why you’ve got zero credibility.

          • smithington

            I’m moving no goal posts. They’ve been very clear from the beginning, as always we’ll do a recap for the viewers at home:

            1. Tae-hoon claimed he was going to give us an answer on the Monday after this all happened. It never came till Tuesday

            2. He blamed the government and took no responsibility for his actions.

            3. the government publicly announced a previous name change on 5/21. They have not announced any further name changes for this zone. This was a goal post I set. It remains set, unchanged, and unmet.

            4. No one, no korean media, no english media, no one other than Tae-hoon has provided any evidence to support his story.

            5. Tae-hoon at the time he came up with the story to excuse this away claimed pictures were coming regarding the prize. That’s a claim he made, not something I asked for. That was a goal post he set. As usual he has failed to meet it. Casting further doubt on any claim he makes. I didn’t set it, I’m only reminding that it has never been met.

            Here is the extent of the evidence he has provided:

            two grainy cell phone pictures that are highly suspect for the reasons I provided. The content of the pictures doesn’t remotely match where and when they claim they were taken.

            I have always insisted that we have some third party confirmation of anything from his story, and to date there has been nothing. Not a single sentence from that story has been confirmed by any third party source.

            He has been repeatedly asked why the government hasn’t released an official press release on this. He has remained completely silent. If this was a real thing, why is the government avoiding mentioning it? It would be great press for them. Show that the government is working with foreigners to improve their image. Great story, yet they seemingly want no part of that. Seems strange don’t you think? This has stunk from the beginning.

            Do you understand the concept of critical thinking? Do you understand what proof actually is? Do you think that this blog that was caught sympathizing with North Korea is so trustworthy and full of integrity? give your head a shake.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            smithington:
            1. Tae-hoon claimed he was going to give us an answer on the Monday after this all happened. It never came till Tuesday

            LOL. Oh well. Rather than publish on Monday, he published on Tuesday. There you go. Is that the best you got?

            3: They announced the name change publicly on the beach.

            4. There’s a picture and a published story. Call the Haeundae Beach proper authority and publish an op-ed piece here.

            …and so on.

            What time of day was the photo taken?

            I urge you to write up and publish a short piece. In fact, submit this one for publication as an op-ed here. I’ll bet Tae-hoon will publish it. ..and you’ll be laughed at.

          • smithington

            Is that the best you got?/blockquote>
            No. That’s just the first step where he botched this. I have everything that was listed there.

            Once again: The picture comes from tae-hoon not the government. I don’t believe that is a current picture of the foreigner zone in Haeundae beach this year. The fact is the government is still calling it sports zone. If they agreed to change the name as Tae-hoon suggests, why are they still calling it sports zone? Whatever that picture is, it is not a picture of a sign that represents the current Sports Zone, formerly the special foreigner zone, in Haeundae beach.

            No one. Not even the government tae-hoon claims to have an agreement with is calling this the sun and fun zone except this blog. No one. The only proof of that comes from this blog, when there should be outside confirmation.

            The government should have released a press release. The government should be calling it that officially. Other media should be referring to it as such.

            None of that is happening. I know you’re about shoulder deep in Hyam’s ass but maybe come out for a little sunlight and get some perspective.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Why don’t you write this up and publish it as an op-ed piece? If the picture is indeed false, then the Korea Observer is done. All you need do is edit what you’ve written here.

            Rather than hide in the comments section, you can have your hypotheses checked against the readership.

          • smithington

            Unlike you, I don’t seek their approval. You keep going to this when you have nothing left to say to defend them. We’ve been over this before, I have the platform I need, and it’s not just these comment sections. There is no way you can excuse away the fact that no one outside of this blog refers to the section of beach as the sun and fun zone, not even the government who they claimed said they’d change the name. What’s the explanation? Some vast conspiracy against Tae-hoon?

            here is a fact: Tae-hoon claims he spoke with the government and they agreed to change the name to the sun and fun zone. This was nearly a month before the government released content referring to the space as Sports Zone.

            His claim is patently false. You cannot excuse that away and you know that. Which is why you’re go back to goading me, it’s basically you admitting defeat, but of course you lack the integrity to actually do that.

            There are many things that photo could be. Perhaps that’s another area of the beach, or even another beach. Perhaps it’s photoshop. Perhaps it’s an old sign tae-hoon found and the long delays we’ve been seeing is him trying to build a narrative around it. Perhaps tae-hoon had no such agreement as claimed and spent the time calling the government and begging them to let them “sponsor” a section of the beach with that sign.

            That’s all speculation as to the possible origin of those photos. Could be other things as well. What we do know as fact is that weeks after they claimed the government agreed to change the name per the contest they ran while fund-raising for hyam’s “Save the little doggies” campaign, the government is still officially referring to it as the Sports Zone.

            But you’re probably right..with all that overwhelming evidence, why wouldn’t you believe him?

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Is there a sign on the beach that says “Sun & Fun Zone”?

            It’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

          • smithington

            We have no idea. We see a picture that tae-hoon has alleged is a sign on that beach that represents that zone. We have no confirmation of whether or not that is true.

            Here is a much simpler yes or no question we actually can answer: have the government and Korean media both referred to the zone as “sports zone” weeks after Tae-hoon claimed they agreed to change the name to “Sun and Fun Zone”?

            That’s a question you can answer honestly and objectively, if you can’t, that tells us everything about your character and integrity.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            smithington: “And an umbrella is not a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapon is something that’s actually defined legally in most places and typically refers to actual weapons like knives, guns, swords, and the like. Not a random umbrella. keep fishing. These girls brought it on themselves.”

            It wasn’t an umbrella; it was a rigid hiking pole with a spiked end. He reached for it as a weapon and menaced them with it as a weapon.

            “These girls brought it on themselves.”

            That’s defamatory, and you’re dancing into douche territory.

            This is why you have no credibility. You can’t admit when you’re wrong or even see the other side of an argument. You have a “side”, and you’re interested only in that position.

          • smithington

            Nor can you, you just make up stories to try and cover your exit and
            bury your head until it passes, at least you hope. A hiking pole is
            still not a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapon refers to actual weapons.
            Things which are actually classified as a weapon. You could beat someone to death with a standing fan, doesn’t make it a weapon or a dangerous weapon.

            That’s defamatory, and you’re dancing into douche territory.

            And most of what you say could legally get you in trouble in Korea as well. So unless you’d like to go for a little mutually assured destruction, and what with that family to support, you probably don’t, I’d stop going to that well and carry on with the discussion like an adult.

            I’ve already pointed out here that they were doing something socially inappropriate then insulted the person who tried to tell them about that, then seemed shocked when he got upset. Ol’ James did his best to try and dress it up as something pretty but he left in far too many details to hide what they really did. it’s of little shock that you’re here defending that. You realize that once you manage to pull your head out of Hyam’s ass and they actually let you write something here you’ll have to use your real name right? I don’t believe a genuine news publication could allow people to write with screen names and retain any credibility. Not that that’s a big issue for you.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            A hiking pole used as a weapon is a weapon. Is a baseball bat a weapon? It depends on the intent of the user.

            smithington: “And most of what you say could legally get you in trouble in Korea as well. So unless you’d like to go for a little mutually assured destruction….”

            Go ahead.

            “I’ve already pointed out here that they were doing something socially inappropriate then insulted the person who tried to tell them about that, then seemed shocked when he got upset.”

            You don’t have a shred of evidence. The only thing that seemed to upset the ajeosshi is their existence.

            ******************************
            (BTW, I’ve never banned or put anyone on lock down at TMH, but I’d at this point I’d put you in the sandbox. I view that libel is not protected speech. Credit Lee Tae-hoon and James Hyams for their over commitment to speech or lack of interest in their comments section.)

          • smithington

            A hiking pole used as a weapon is a weapon. Is a baseball bat a weapon? It depends on the intent of the user.

            A weapon is not a deadly weapon. Remember we’re talking about legal definitions here right, you’re the one who wanted to bring that up. Just because something can be used as a weapon doesn’t make it a deadly weapon under the law. An education, do you have one? Can you prove it?

            You don’t have a shred of evidence. The only thing that seemed to upset the ajeosshi is their existence.

            The evidence is in the article. Did you even bother to read it, or do you just jump to the defense of these two at the drop of a hat? They admitted they were eating on the train when the guy approached them and tried to talk to them. Anyone in Korea knows that eating on the train is not well looked upon, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or anyone with more than a grade school education to realize that he was probably trying to complain to them about that.

            They then admit that while he struggled to communicate with them, they started laughing at him. They provoked the entire incident. That’s what happens before the video starts. that’s their words, the only thing I’ve done is used an educated objective mind to read them.

            (BTW, I’ve never banned or put anyone on lock down at TMH, but at this
            point I’d put you in the sandbox. I view that libel is not protected
            speech. Credit Lee Tae-hoon and James Hyams for their over commitment
            to speech or lack of interest in their comments section.)

            Well we’ve already seen how you’re incapable of defending yourself like an adult or carrying a debate without nearly flying into some kind of little tiff. One of your buddies tried that awhile back because he didn’t like being called out on his crap and your lord and master had to go through and set him straight. If you’re going to roll with the big boys in the comments section of K-blogs you need a thicker skin.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            BTW, you should have included more of Criminal Act:

            Article 283 (Intimidation, Intimidation on Lineal Ascendant)
            (1) A person who intimidates another shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years, a fine of not more than five million won, detention or a minor fine.

            Article 284 (Special Intimidation)
            When the crime of paragraph (1) or (2) of the preceding Article is committed through the threat of elective force or by carrying a dangerous weapon, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than seven years or by a fine not exceeding ten million won.

    • Lindsey Walker

      I’ve seen worse on the NYC subway. There are crazies everywhere.

    • megadon

      No its not. He was not threatening to injure physically but to show dominance of another person.

      You are blowing this H this out of proportion

      And yes I looked up the definition of assualt. And what this.little man did was not considered assualt.

      • Anonymous_Joe

        He went back to specifically grab a weapon, which he proceeded to menace them with.

        “And yes I looked up the definition of assualt. And what this.little man did was not considered assualt.”

        Provide the definition with citation.

        • megadon

          Well that’s your own opinion which is quite delusional. Because mentally you need some help. If you start accusing every grimy old man who yells at you as assault, you aren’t going to go very far in life. Pity to you.

          According to legal theory and practice th isn old man did not assault those pasengers.

          You can believe whatever.unicorn out there to believe. I ain’t buying what you are peddling

  • Brendan Shea

    Layne Fostervold joined a conversation about racism with a comment about “whitey,” which is why he was so poorly recieved. He came at it from a place of personal hurt, I’m sure, but confrontational generalisation coupled with intentionally inflamatory name calling isn’t going to move a conversation forward.

  • Stephen Scott Botka

    “For me, this happened throughout my entire life, not just one isolated incident. I just find it interesting, that white people get so bent out of shape when they experience racism.”

    Incorrect, anyone who experiences racism will get “bent out of shape” when they experience racism. Unless the person is emotionally detached from the situation.

  • Stephen Scott Botka

    “For me, this happened throughout my entire life, not just one isolated incident. I just find it interesting, that white people get so bent out of shape when they experience racism.”

    Kate said she really likes living in South Korea and is happy there.

    “Besides the occasional racist comments, which most of the time we don’t understand, everyone is nice to us. The fact that those four Korean men helped us is proof of that. We are not generalizing that all Koreans are racist.”

    It doesn’t appear Kate is getting “bent out of shape” here Layne Fostervold.

  • Stephen Scott Botka

    Layne Fostervold says:
    “For me, this happened throughout my entire life, not just one isolated incident. I just find it interesting, that white people get so bent out of shape when they experience racism.”

    Kate said she really likes living in South Korea and is happy there.

    “Besides the occasional racist comments, which most of the time we don’t understand, everyone is nice to us. The fact that those four Korean men helped us is proof of that. We are not generalizing that all Koreans are racist.”

    I don’t see Kate getting “bent out of shape” here Layne Fostervold.

    • Lindsay Şoricelul-Teu Belton

      His first comment in the OinK thread was:
      Layne Fostervold: “People tell me that all the time in the USA, so it’s good to see that happening to whitey in other countries.”
      People got quite upset about this comment, particularly since he later said terms such as “chink” are derogatory (which, obviously, it is), but didn’t seem to see the issue with his referring to an entire race as “whitey.”

      • Layne

        Lindsay, please use the whole context when quoting me as the chink reference was when Shawn Blomme said “I hate the term whitey, it’s racist and derogotry. Then I said, “So is chink and panface.” Which are just some of the racist slurs that I experience in America. As far as not seeing an issue with referring to an entire race, white people do that to me all the time, yet you were no where to be found to correct them in generalizing an entire race based on a racial slur.

        • burndoggy

          Now we have the stupidity of OinK but in an entirely new location. Nice work.

          I think that Layne was trolling and looking for shit, but at the same time he was bashed over the head with something he said that was totally taken out of context.

      • Anonymous_whitey

        HHAHA You’re crying about being called “whitey” hahah!!! You definitely are clueless. You know how often minorities in America are called racist names? No, you don’t. Because you’re white and you will never know what is like to be judged by the color of your skin.

    • Layne

      Stephen Scott Botka, it wasn’t Katie, but the legions of minions in the group called Oink which stands for “Only in Korea.” So before you go and make stupid comments, get all the facts straight.

      • Stephen Scott Botka

        Layne,
        with no picture to show your face.

        I’m entitled to post as I see fit.

        No time for your emotionally charged up comments.
        I have nothing else to comment on about this article or your trolling.

        anything else you write here will remain automatically unread, so don’t waste your time.

  • Doge Wallace

    White people only care about racism when it happens to them in other countries, yet still remain ignorant about the racism faced everyday by people of color back in their home countries. They also forget that the reason they have jobs in Korea is because of their skin color.

    • Anonymous_Joe

      You think that white people remain ignorant about racism in their own countries and only care when it happens to them in other countries?

      You’re wrong. Regardless, would it make it all right in Korea?

      • Xman2014

        It’s true though. This is made into a huge big stink and every single Koreans in Korea faulted for racism and “assault” on these foreign women. Because always it inevitably this type of stuff turns into Korean bashings. Yet go search on Youtube and see how many videos turn up when you search for racist attacks in NYC, LA, Chicago, etc that nobody can even count nor keep track of. Yet every time that happens the explanation is always the same, unlike in Korea, the people who are doing this don’t represent the majority.

        • Anonymous_Joe

          It turns into Korea bashings because Korea does nothing about it. Korean police laugh at expats who report these incidents in Korea. Korean newspapers churn out such incidents when reported against foreigners. It’s institutionalized in Korea, and Korea just says “This is Korea, and Korean culture trumps Korean law.”

          Look at the difference in reaction in the expat community when expats behave badly. Expats don’t defend expats behaving badly. It’s in all practicality inconceivable for Korean authorities to consider that Koreans could be on the aggressor/wrong side in Korean/foreigner disputes.

          In all fairness, it’s also inconceivable for Korean authorities that younger, women, less educated, not related, fewer connections, employees, etc. could be the damaged party in incidents with older, male, educated, family, name-dropping, employers, etc.

          Korea’s problems will continue so long as its institutions and authorities mete justice by ranking in the Confucian order.

          • Doge Wallace

            And when will the west’s problems go away? Police are killing over 1,000 civilians a year, including unarmed civilians. The racist government of the USA has enslaved in for-profit prisons blacks at a much higher rate than whites, who have a much higher chance of being punished/incarcerated than whites for the exact same crimes.

            Talk about Korea’s problems all you want, but deal with the racism at home first. While a few white people who are privileged to be able to live in Korea and earn good money without having to join the US military may experience racist attitudes here and there, ultimately the real racist problem lies in their own home countries where they have ignored the problems or remain completely oblivious while when they experience minor grievances in Korea that people of color face on a regular basis back in the US, yet they don’t care. They only care about themselves.

            Joe, people like you are typical whites who think they know how others should live yet completely ignore their own crimes. Again, you are in Korea and working there because of your privilege. Be aware of it.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            You know nothing about me or what I am “typical” of. Regardless, this is a Korea-centered site. You should post your rant on some American centered board.

          • Doge Wallace

            When I do post rants on American sites (especially about racism), the response is a denial of racism or some justification or the typical “America: love it or leave it!” — and then to see westerners in Korea completely ignorant or in denial of the racism in their home countries are all of a sudden experts on racism in Asia.

            Your first response was: “You think that white people remain ignorant about racism in their own countries and only care when it happens to them in other countries?”

            Well, DUH. That’s you. Even though you got your job because of your white skin, any little perceived anti-white racism and oh my god the world is going to end. Yet again, you still remain completely ignorant as to how people of color deal with racism on a daily basis in the west, or even how people of color in Korea (blacks, SE Asians, etc) deal with racism.

            …but again, of course all you care about is “racism” against whites, even though you’re the one that has the privilege to go around traveling the world to almost any country without needing a visa and just being treated as superior upon arrival because of your white skin. But wow, some people don’t kiss your ass and you feel a little hostility and it’s RACISM!!!

            I hope in your next life you’re born as a black man in America.

          • Ally

            Word. White people always trying to point out the faults in other countries, yet, they have no problem with the racist issues going on in their own country. Why? Cause they benefit from the system.

      • mmdir2005

        From your White privilege point of view?

  • shellfishbisque

    Wow, excellent posts drawing parallels with unrelated situations and speculating that “There must be more to the story.” How sadly typical that is.

    • JMS

      Because there is often more to the story. How sadly typical and might I add ignorant is it that we bash the Korean man without knowing what happened prior to the camera coming on.

      • Soroush Farhadi

        oo yeah , how bad is it to bash the korean man , the poor korean ,man , 🙁 i do sympathize him, so bad , really poor guy , aaaa pity him , the poor guy being criticized for being a piece of fucking shithead racist , please stop insulting this motherfucker , @@ ARE YOU SERIOUS ??

        • JMS

          Thanks for proving my point about being ignorant. Good job!

      • Anonymous_Joe

        Perhaps you can supply some reasonable scenario in which he would be justified in menacing two women with a weapon?

        • JMS

          Never said he wasn’t in the wrong. However that doesn’t mean these other individuals did not do something prior to the video to provoke innocently or otherwise. I reserve judgement and condemnation because like every other arm chair quarter back here we do not know if something happened prior to the recording starting. We all can assume and pass judgement but if it was reversed and the two ladies were shown on video yelling at him waiving a stick we would ask what did he do to provoke them. Everyone wants to jump on the crazy ajeosshi train and maybe that is all it is but only the people in that subway car know that for sure.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            So in the absence of any evidence whatsoever, you want to leave open speculation to provide mitigating circumstances for a (Korean) man to menace two seated women.

            If I put it even more plainly, you want to shift the burden of proof without lacking not only a shred of evidence but also wild speculation to be proved.

            Let’s get something else straight here: do you think the expat community would be supporting the asshat if the aggressor had been a foreigner and the victims Korean women?

          • JMS

            The burden is on the two claiming to be victims, if there is no evidence fine maybe he was completely in the wrong. However, we are taking their sole account and a partial video of the incident as 100% factual without his complete side of the story so it is still speculation for either side of the argument and that is a fact.
            “do you think the expat community would be supporting the asshat if the aggressor had been a foreigner and the victims Korean women?” No. But I do think that if it was two expat women as the aggressor towards a Korean man the women would be supported first and we would ask what did he do before the facts ever came out.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            JMS: “The burden is on the two claiming to be victims, if there is no evidence fine maybe he was completely in the wrong.”

            Yes, they have the burden of proof of their claim, and the video supports that claim. They are not claiming that they had provoked the assailant. In fact no one is other than you, smithington, and others based on nothing more than speculation.

            As far as his side of the story goes, they were seated. They had no motive to “provoke” him and there is no evidence. I see evidence that this guy went back to his seat, got a weapon, and menaced them with it.

          • JMS

            I know we are beating a dead horse because it doesn’t really matter what you and I think either way. But isn’t it speculation to say “They had no motive to “provoke” him”, how do you know that without speculating. Unless you know them personally and if you do than I would understand that point of view. If not it is the same as me I don’t know that they did provoke him or not. I am more on the fence leaning in their direction. If you are satisfied with a partial video to form an opinion that is fine. I personally think there is to much gotcha type stuff out there to make someone look bad and I tend to want to hear the whole story if there is one.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Well, I urge them to FILE CHARGES so that the assailant has his opportunity to explain himself.

            I will say this: In a country that doesn’t recognize self-defense (or at least anything that isn’t perfectly calibrated self-defense) as a legal defense, this guy’s got a problem in that he had gone back to get a weapon, returned, and menaced them with it.

            By the letter of the law, he’s got a legal problem.

          • smithington

            once again, with the falsehoods, or sort-ofs to try and make a point. The country does recognize self-defense. It does not recognize castle-doctrine self-defense like America, but self-defense is perfectly recognized under the law. it doesn’t have to be “perfectly calibrated” the law allows you to defend yourself, not get revenge.

            Do you spell credibility with a K by any change?

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Note that I qualified the self-defense doctrine with “at least anything that isn’t perfectly callibrated.”

            I’ve followed Korean judicial decisions. I’ve seen Korean courts fail to convict a taxi driver who raped a 19 year-old American soldier just arrived at Incheon airport because she didn’t resist enough. I’ve seen Korean courts award damages to a Korean rapist because the woman (I believe foreign) bit the f@cker’s tongue, which the courts deemed excessive.

            I’ve seen Korean courts send a school bus driver because he used “too much” force in defending himself while defending bullies beating school kids. I’ve seen Korean courts rule in favor of a burglar because the apt. owner whacked him with a drying rack. The apt. owner’s family was sleeping when the burglar broke into the apt.

            I’ve seen Korean courts fail to convict a bar owner who was not part of a fight, grabbed a baseball bat, and beat three unarmed soldiers with a baseball bat. The bar owner acted in “self-defense”. I’ve seen Korean courts convict an American soldier of assault and battery with a deadly weapon when an angry Korea mob attacked him and he pulled a legal knife to defend himself.

          • smithington

            You’ve shown no indication that you have anything resembling a working knowledge of the Korean legal system. You don’t know the basic terms for laws, or remotely seem to understand even the simplest ones. I don’t believe for a second that you’ve followed or understood anything.

          • Anonymous_Joe

            Citation, please.

            The problem is that the Korean legal system is based on nationalism, and its rulings based on nationalism have produced some laughable rulings.

          • smithington

            A citation for your legal ignorance? This thread. You carried on about the legal definition of assault in Korea and there isn’t one. You repeatedly failed to understand the legal concept of a “dangerous weapon”, you also seem to fail to properly understand the concept of insult and defamation laws in Korea. The citation is yourself and shoddy posts. Go crawl back in your hole, you’re played out.

          • shellfishbisque

            What’s “their direction?” A narrative of provocation that you invented? The whole story has been told. I suppose in your mind the two girls are misrepresenting what happened–or it’s “possible” and you have chosen to believe this distant possibility more than the explanation that was given? There’s a difference between bashing and condemning, and if you haven’t observed poor behavior towards others in public on an almost daily basis by men who use their power and the status age gives them to push others (particularly women) around, then I don’t know what planet you live on. This should be condemned, particularly when it is caught on camera, and that isn’t often enough. Last week on the subway my friend was harangued for five minutes for giving up his seat to a pregnant woman (in the normal section of the train!). A few months ago we were in a 7-11 buying water, not talking, and someone told him to “go back to India.” He’s Iranian. When I first arrived here I was speaking to my Korean friend on a bus and someone complained continuously for 5 minutes about how I wasn’t speaking Korean. I had been here for two weeks. I’m going to let you take a wild guess on the gender and age of the individuals responsible. Also, take a guess how many people stood up for us. Wasn’t caught on camera, but I think you can figure this one out. When you victim blame in these situations you give people who essentially have absolute power more of it.

          • JMS

            Meaning I am leaning to their (the women) side of it even though I would rather see the whole confrontation before judging.

          • shellfishbisque

            Well, I’m glad we are on the same page then, if only slightly.

  • bioshock_____

    Just ignore one Internet troll. We don’t know both sides exactly.

  • Chucky3176

    Lies! Obviously a Japanese pretending to be a Korean! And the two girls were in on it! And the Korean Observer! Korea is perfect!

  • Jamal

    This is really just the tip of the iceberg. Most Koreans tend to quiet racists unlike guy in this story. It’s more what they don’t do rather than what they do do that makes them racists. They don’t do anything to protect foreigners from being discriminated against. No laws have been passed to stop Korean businesses from discriminating against foreigners. Foreign teachers have been required to pass HIV tests for years- something that most Koreans don’t give a rat’s ass about. What about the Filipino women being trafficked over here on entertainment visas or SE Asian workers being treated like crap by their employers? You know if these things were happening to Koreans that Koreans would be screaming bloody murder.

  • yomomma

    Most foreigners that go to Korea to work or visit are rude and obnoxious, so who the f’ing cares if this person told them to go back to their country… also reading some of James’ blog, dude has a total douchebag attitude…. social worker my ass, you can read his blog and it reads of how much of an asshole James is…

  • jamesisadouche

    James Hyams is a douche, it shows in his writing…
    Either way, fuck white people who think they can understand Korea or any other society outside their home country…
    Also fucking white people from the US are obnoxious as fuck, it’s the same in the US, these fucktards whities in the US think we are all Chinese…
    Fuck James Hyams

  • patrick brannan

    The guy is a d bag. Call a spade a spade. Just another Ajushe with a massive inferiority complex. Sucks to be that bitter in life.

  • bumfromkorea

    I like how every single person in the articles, even the victims, refuse to be racist and talk about the “Koreans” like a monstrous blob of singular consciousness, but comments here revels in it.

    I’m so thankful that I’m not a crybaby victim-mentality wuss that every time a drunk crazy guy on public transportation accosts me for being a minority (in Phoenix, Arizona no less), I don’t start bitching about how typical this is for a Caucasian to do.

  • Johnny M

    There is no evidence of racism presented this article at all. A feminist could call the same incident “sexist.” This guy is expressing his distaste for foreigners in his country, and that is called “xenophobia.” Of course, the incident becomes much less interesting because the same thing happens everywhere, and a truthful headline would gather dramatically less attention.

  • bultak23

    Korea is an ethnic nationalist state, this is what you should expect when you go there. Koreans have not yet learned to treat people of other races with respect. Not unlike the primitive hill tribes of New Guinea, they fear those that don’t look like themselves and fear their “magic powers.” If one is faced with a hostile native, hold up a pocket mirror as they will be dazzled by their own reflection.

  • 島風

    My family is treated horribly in the USA when we stay because we’re Japanese.
    Although it is the philipine Americans that are especially rude, not Caucasians.

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