Thinking about it now, I see so many things that I didn’t as a young reporter. I see their white privilege, which was tinged with racism, sexism and jealousy. How dare an *unqualified* Asian woman whose intelligence obviously was inferior to their own have a more prestigious and higher-paying job than they had? I must’ve gotten my job because I’m a woman. I must’ve been an Affirmative Action hiree. In their minds, I was the reason they didn’t have better jobs.
Singer Sam Smith got skewered on social media for a series of tweets. After witnessing his friend being abused due to his race, Smith said he was astounded that something like this could happen in London. His tweets clearly were well intentioned. But some folks wondered how he could be so naive as to not know that these things happened on a somewhat regular basis to people of color — especially since the anti-Muslim, anti-Pakastani, anti-Syrian sentiment in the U.K. has been covered extensively in the media there.
“I don’t know if you care,” a friend told me. “But words do hurt.” Yes, they do. I understand the power of words. As a writer, it’s how I earn a living. And, as an immigrant whose skin color made it difficult to blend in as a “real” American, I grew up learning about the power of words.
Don’t forget what happened to Vincent Chin. Two men killed him and literally walked away without serving a day in prison.
April 26, 2014
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Blog, Issues
Tags: Ask a Korean, culturalism, ferry, Jeju Island, jindo, Kang Min Kyu, Malcolm Gladwell, racism, Sewol, South Korea, 세월
News organizations are making the claim that Korean culture is partially to blame for the Sewol ferry disaster. Some even insist that had these been American children onboard, they would’ve escaped death. Shame on them for blaming the young victims of this tragedy.
Our local Boy Scout troop could’ve had an opportunity to learn that there are repercussions to their actions; and that sometimes, the worst action is in pretending that it never happened. Instead, they learned that if they deny something enough, they can get away with being cruel to youngsters and disrespecting members of their community.
September 8, 2013
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Blog, Blog index
Tags: Adoption, bilingual, family, immigrants, K-pop, Korean, pop culture, prejudice, racism
Before I started blogging, I thought it was a silly concept. Why would anyone want to write … for free?! Now, I get it. I just wish I had more time to devote to it. Here are some of my favorite pieces. By me. Ahem.
So, ya’ll have read about Oprah and the salesclerk at some chi-chi Swiss handbag boutique, right? Ms. Winfrey wanted to see a purse that retailed for just under $40,000. The clerk repeatedly told her it was very expensive and wouldn’t show it to her. Have any of you had a similar thing happen? I have, on a much smaller scale.
Someone privately messaged me and asked why I wrote so much about things that had happened in the past. Do I write about it so much? I’ve been writing professionally for the past three decades and I’d estimate that my pieces surrounding race issues encompass less than 1% of everything I’ve ever written.
As someone who worked in broadcast journalism—both on air and behind the scenes writing news to be read by reporters and anchors on the Teleprompter—I call a big B.S. on KTVU’s “mistake.” An anchor announced that the Asiana pilots involved in the tragic crash were “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.”