Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Anti-English Spectrum's attempts to link English teachers to AIDS

Benjamin Wagner's article in the Korea Herald, "Abandon discriminatory HIV policy," is well worth reading. I especially appreciated him putting the spotlight on Anti-English Spectrum's attempts to link English teachers to AIDS. I've mentioned this briefly before (in this post). Wagner notes "a quote provided by the group that has become very significant":
"At an AIDS testing center for foreigners, 80 percent of those requesting tests were foreign English teachers.""
Lee Eun-ung of Anti-English Spectrum brought this up in his Kyunghyang Shinmun article from February.

The September 18, 2006 Breaknews article this quote is originally from can be found here (in Korean) titled (in the internet edition) "At foreigner AIDS testing centers, 80% of users are native speaking instructors." Note the lovely photos used in the article.

Previous to this article, in the summer of 2006, Breaknews had published several articles about “The damage beyond imagination caused by illegal low quality English teachers” with titles like “Low-quality foreign teachers absorbed in women [and] drugs.” They wrote about ‘Low quality foreign English instructors’ shocking debauchery,’ the blogs of sex-crazed teachers and the inclusion of English teachers on a blacklist.’

The end of the 'AIDS article' has a Q&A with a man who had contributed to the several articles Breaknews had written about 'low, illegal English teachers,' a Mr. K. The interview is titled "Protection of human rights first, behind the protection of citizens; Enhance the E-2 visa, to reduce risk of HIV infection." The unidentified contributor suggests that “E-2 visa requirements should be strengthened. … A medical check certificate (including AIDS) should be added to the documents required for an E-2 visa.”

13 months later, that's what E-2 visa holders got. As to who the contributor might be, or who he represents, it might be worth looking at what appeared on Anti-English Spectrum the day the article was released. This makes pretty clear that they are connected with the AIDS article, and they're very happy that they're no longer just on the internet, but on broadcasts, in newspapers, on subways and in convenience stores.

Breaknews (AIDS Foreign teacher) wide distribution!!!
Broadcast and newspaper. Today it's come! Till now we
hadn't risen from the internet! The report's in terminals,
convenience stores, subways!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The writer of the post is em-tu, who has been identified as 'Mr. Lee' before, and whom I'd imagine is Lee Eun-ung. I would have thought only 12 year old girls would use so many exclamation marks, but hey, expanding their despicable smearing tactics from the internet to the press really must have been really exciting for them.

Below is an interview with Lee Eun-ung, where he admits that he contributed the story reenacted below to the 그것이 알고싶다's episode about English Teachers, titled "Is Korea their Paradise? Report on the Real Conditions of Blond-haired, Blue-eyed Teachers," which helped shape the image of English teachers as unqualified, pot-smoking child molesters.

So, sit back and bask in the warm-hearted interview of Lee Eun-ung that the Seoul Shinmun has provided for us:


Anonymous said...

The Breaknews photos are bizarre. Where did the first 2 come from? Clearly not Korea.

King Baeksu said...
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King Baeksu said...

What deep meaningful lives people like Mr. Lee Eun-ung must lead.

pocariboy73 said...

I'd like to send Lee Eun-ung an 'nice' email. Anybody know his contact info?

Anonymous said...

pocari - I'd like to send you and your Dave's buddies an email for calling up the K-media to alert them of "low quality" foreigners.

Thanks a lot AFEK.

matt said...

The media aren't the only ones.

I don't have Lee's (or Anti-ES's) contact information. Were you going to thank him for posting what turns up as the first result here?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Holy Crap!

Way to go, you [redacted] idiots.

pocariboy73 said...

If you guys weren't such a bunch of "low-life" foreigners then you'd have nothing to worry about. Start by acting with class when your out on public. It will get you farther than acting like an ass.

Also, stop complaining about every god dam thing in Korea. If you hate it here so much, leave ASAP. Nobody likes complainers. Can you imagine Koreans complaining as much as you guys at home. You'd tell them to go home!

Time to grow up boys!

matt said...

You've gone from wanting "to send Lee Eun-ung an 'nice' email" to defending him in less than 32 hours. Impressive.

I'm also not quite sure who you were referring to when you wrote about "you guys" who are ""low-life" foreigners" "acting like... ass[es]" in public who are always "complaining about every god dam thing in Korea" and "hate it here so much" and need to "grow up".

Was that directed at me? King Baeksu? Anonymous commenters 1, 2, or 3? Or just at anyone who disagrees with a smear campaign that is so similar to the type Anti-English Spectrum regularly wages that they've decided to take it up themselves?

King Baeksu said...

Pocariboy73, every time Korea appears in a James Bond film or Jay Leno makes a joke about Korea, half the Peninsula is up in arms, picketing and threatening boycotts and whatnot, so give me a freakin' break. BTW, for such a Korean nationalist, I find it amusing that your ID is named after a Japanese beverage. But then again, no one ever accused a Korean nationalist of being the sharpest cookie in the package, did they?

pocariboy73 said...

I'm far from being a Korean Nationalist or a supporter of Anti English Spectrum. Let's get that straight first. Nice try though :)

What I am, though, is tired of complainers and whiners on 80% of the blogs in Korea. I really wonder what keeps you "guys" here? Is it the fact that you amount to nothing back home aside from flipping burgers at the local Burger House, or is it the fact tha your license has been revoked or you have a criminal record of some sort which forbids you from working there?

Many of you "guys" need a hard dose of reality so you can get over your "Human Rights Cause" and appreciate the fact that life here in Korea is not that bad. Quit your @$#^#@ complaining with your never-ending Letters to the Editors and half-ass websites which do very little aside from making many of us look like spoiled liitle brats, while your pathetic herd of blind and idealistic sheep follow you on great crusades.

Now instead of directing your energies into changing Korea, why don't you work on changing yourself first?

King Baeksu said...
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King Baeksu said...

Pocariboy73, I graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and was a respected critic for major newspapers back in the SF Bay Area before coming to East Asia. I have also published three bestselling books about Korea, and yet the people at Anti-English Spectrum tried to get me fired from Hongik University in 2007 not because I was an "unqualified English teacher" (I actually have a teaching certificate from Westminster College in London) but simply because I had written a book about Korea. So this was a clear example of a xenophobic attempt to censor my freedom of speech, as well as an attempt to damage my livelihood. But according to your "logic," as a barely qualified former "burger flipper" I should just put up with such attacks and keep my mouth shut, or just leave Korea if I don't like it.

You claim to be no Korean nationalist, and yet your assumptions and prejudices are so obvious that you're fooling no one but yourself.

Anonymous said...

"I find it amusing that your ID is named after a Japanese beverage."

He's clearly not Korean.

Anonymous said...

Pocariboy - why don't you give posters the courtesy of a reply?

And could you clarify what you mean by "half-ass websites"? Would you prefer websites resemble your "full-assed" venue of choice: Dave's ESL cafe?

Incidentally, I'm not sure how effective your analogy is - "pathetic herd of blind and idealistic sheep follow you on great crusades."

I'm thinking "blind" sheep would have a hard time following anyone.

You can probably stop at "pathetic herd of sheep" to get the point across. Or maybe "pathetic herd of mindless sheep..." If you are really tying to be emphatic. "Idealistic sheep" just sounds silly. (Kind of cute actually.)

Anyway, good for you for at least trying to use some colorful adjectives. You'll get there!

sinema said...

Let the past be

Gary said...

What surprises is that it seems no one outside the US realizes you can't get a passport to leave country if you have a felony on your criminal records.