Thursday, April 28, 2005

Being mixed race in Korea

David Yeagley:

It wasn't her body that was exposed, but her race, or, shall we say, her 'real' race. Korean actress and producer Lee Yu Jin is down and out in South Korea. Why? The word is out: she's half American. She's a mixed race. Her white father was an American GI. She's 5'9", and was always suspect because of her height.

"People ask why didn't I come out earlier and why this is such a big deal, " the 27-year-old said. "It wouldn't be anywhere else, but Korea is still a closed society where people like to talk about the purity of the race."

Lee Yu Jin isn't alone in her plight, either. There's the popular singer "Sonya," television host Jennifer Yung Wisner, and basketball coach Kim Dong Dwang. Bi-racial persons are considered a downer, in a place like South Korea (to say nothing of Nort Korea).

Janet Mintzer, president of Pearl S. Buck International, says, "My impression is that there is more discrimination against Amerasians in South Korea than anywhere else in Asia and that it has not improved significantly." PSBI, a Pennsylvania-based foundation, is credited with coining the term "Amerasian," and works with the biracial children in not only South Korea, but also the Philippines and Vietnam, among other Asian countries in which the U.S. military has had a presence.

Just goes to show that racial bias is found all over the world and not just amongst white people.


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