Tiger JK on Racism and Change in South Korea

Just making a post to link to Tiger JK’s wonderful op-ed on AllKpop. Tiger JK is a South Korean rapper, married to Tasha/Yoon Mi Rae, a rapper/singer of Black and Korean heritage. They have a young son named Jordan and as a family have received their share of nasty racist remarks. I love Tasha and Tiger JK for their musical talents, but this little piece makes my cold dead heart grow a few sizes bigger.I’m glad that someone in the Korean entertainment industry is speaking up about this.

As I read the replies and comments to the news story about UFC‘s Ben Henderson (Lightweight champion), I was dumbfounded and saddened by quite a few racial slurs. He was the son of a Korean-American mother and an African-American father. He wanted to come back to Korea to feel that he’s a part of the Korean collective.

Such instances of racial discrimination are not isolated… the comments to the news article about a TV comedy ‘Sebakwi’(‘Three Wheels’), showing a parody of blackfaces, also revealed prejudices.

Why should we apologize? Don’t they make fun of Asians in America, too?“, some kids asked while others would say, “They were only comics dressed up as a black-faced, thick-lipped cartoon characters performing in a comedy like SNL.

Read more….

And just because…get all the way into this performance of “Pay Day” by Tasha and Tiger JK because its pretty amazeballs.

4 thoughts on “Tiger JK on Racism and Change in South Korea

  1. As a Korean-American, I’m not that surprised by this.

    I occasionally hear my dad and grandfather say some insensitive remarks against black people on the side. My seemingly well-mannered cousins have said similar things when I was in Korea back in 2002. And I definitely hear it from Korean-American friends today. It’s usually said “in jest” but, c’mon..

    Perhaps this is true of all immigrant groups but I definitely feel that Korean-Americans are particularly exclusionary. You can see it in the number of churches we have all around Chicago and surrounding ‘burbs (When you add religion into the mix, yikes).

    Anyways, I don’t feel like I’m saying anything new but it is interesting how I see K-pop taking a lot of elements from the hip-hop without taking into consideration the skin color largely responsible for the culture and the history behind it. And in reverse, if K-pop is gonna become global, it needs to act by global standards and take in what’s going on outside the hermit country.

    • I mean, I’m black (don’t be alarmed!) so sadly, without getting all victim about it, I’m well aware of racism. Most of the time I’m able to go about my day and not worry about it but occasionally I get smacked in the face with it and is kinda hard to deal with. Sometimes it feels like EVERYONE has some negative shit to say about black people and its like…well damn, excuse me for existing. How am I supposed to process that? The fact that for people who’ve probably never even seen a black person in real life, its ok to just assume we’re all spear chucking drooling jungle monkeys (or, for those who are more familiar: violent thugs/ignorant/welfare queens/sluts/etc.) is just…tiring.

      On a sidenote, like I said before, I’ve never really been exposed to large populations of Asian people. There were like 5 or 6 in my prep school and then lots more in college but they tended to keep to themselves. I only mention this because I remember the first time a friend took me to like H-Mart and I remember having this feeling of dread that I was going to have to deal with a lot of crazy looks and bs. On the whole people just seemed kind of amused that I was there. But it still took a long time to feel ok going by myself which I admit is ridiculous. But now I don’t care and I even take my mom there because she loves the seafood. She takes pictures of the food like a tourist. I’m sure there are some little comments or whatever, but I guess thats the benefit of speaking only about 30 words of Korean. Ignorance can be bliss sometimes.

      And don’t get me started on the kpop swagger-jacking. Most of the time I find it completely hilarious and precious. But when I’m reminded how little respect they have for the people who produce the music/style/culture they are so happily aping I feel like slamming my head into a wall. Its a mess. It always reminds me of something Paul Mooney (a comedian, if you’re not familiar) used to say in his act: “Everybody wanna be a ni**a, but dont nobody wanna be a ni**a”.

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