There is a big controversy yet again in todays’ headline news. Region to region, and class to class – the discrimination never seems to end as animosity towards each other is certainly dividing the nation into two – and what is worse, this negative attitude is now towards innocent foreigners in the country.
A man in the 60s is under investigation from the police authority over alleged of calling all sorts of names as well as physical brawl against a Colombian in Pusan who was in the process of helping to protect a child from a car accident.
This incident got viral as Mr. Reo Mendoza (43), who has lived in Korea ever since 2001, has publicized on the 31st through Facebook by pleading for unfair treatment to all the followers “To all the foreigners living in Korea: Be alert from being arrested without any caution!!”.
Mr. Mendoza and his Korean wife have witnessed a case where a child almost got into a car accident in Pusan on the 30th after completing their shopping at a Mall nearby. Mrs. Mendoza has screamed as an ignorant car driver has missed to see a child, who has quickly run on the way to the car, and fortunately that has helped to avoid an actual accident. However, the real problem occurred afterwards as Mr. Mendoza has given a well-meant advice to the child’s mother in a poor Korean language. That has brought a child’s grandfather who has cursed back to Mr. Mendoza to “leave the spot as it is none of his business from the first place”. In the end, Mr. Mendoza has been pushed by physically and also been pressed to the ground by force. Mrs. Mendoza’s mobile has been taken away by the child’s mother as the phone has been taking filming such violence conduct on the process – ultimately, Mrs. Mendoza has reported to the police as the child’s grandfather did not stop to swear at the Mendoza’s.
Something that is loss for words happened at a police station – the child’s grandfather has mistaken Mr. Mendoza to be a Polish person living in Korea and has in multiple times sworn “a Polish bastard”, and further learning that he was from Colombia, the grandfather has pursued further personal attacks “a Colombia bastard who is more third-world than Poland”.
With all this, the Mendoza family has officially requested to the police for help of refraining from racial indiscrimination. However, the reply from the police was more shocking that any others imagined. They have replied that Mr. Mendoza was not called as a ‘negro’ and thus was not considered a racial indiscrimination, and even asked the Mendoza family to agree on the troubleshooting with the child’s grandfather.
After the incident, Mr. Mendoza himself has shared on the 3rd through his Facebook account that “The Chief of Pusan Yeonjae Police Station has called Mr. Mendoza himself to apologize, and promised to educate his fellow police officers to protect the human rights of the foreigners living in Pusan”. Similar cases are occurring all around the country similar to what Mr. Mendoza had to go through, which is truly embarrassing in this global environment where we Koreans treat people different depending on their appearances and nationalities. We must admit and acknowledge such negative attitudes, and must change from now on.
Such present conditions are so widespread across the society that it just covers up the genuine democratic movements of candlelight rallies. It sure is not correct to judge those people who have entered into this country to earn for their livings as we have gone through the same paths in the United States several decades ago. One should never forget the past and history, and discriminate those people which clearly contradict the philosophy and views of our lives as well then. Even if such incidents are not experienced by one, he or she must understand the others by imagining to be in their shoes – compassion is needed at the end of the day for the humanity after all.
It is not possible to get a respect from others and vice versa. In order to do so, one must open one’s heard first of all, and treat others with open hearts without discrimination. Above others, adults with responsibility must change and reform so that the next generation witnesses and follow with example. Those old habits and thoughts are difficult to be reformed in one day – however, for the better future as to regards to everyone involved in the society and community – these thoughts and traditions can be reformed with strong conviction of labor at the end of the day; and that would have to start from myself.
▶한국어버전: [천지일보 시론] 편견과 차별 없는 세상, 나로부터 시작된다