Saturday, February 06, 2010

Anti English Spectrum in the Donga Ilbo

Update 2:

The shorter Donga Ilbo article is translated at Korea Beat, while a few lines and some comments to the longer piece are translated at the Marmot's Hole.


Brian notes in the comments that Global Post also has a piece on Anti-English Spectrum. I hadn't noticed that they'd changed their front page and now, instead of having this as an introduction, they call themselves (in English, no less) Citizens of Right English Education. They've called themselves this (올바른 영어교육을 위한 시민모임) in Korean since late 2005, along with the 'Citizen's movement to expel illegal teachers of foreign languages,' which itself was an 'improvement' over the rather limiting name Anti-English Spectrum. I'll put up a translation of their new mission statement (which goes on about doing it all for the children and its desire to introduce good English teachers) another time.

Original Post:

The Donga Ilbo has two articles about Anti English Spectrum being in the LA Times and other papers. One is short and titled "'Stalkers' vs 'Protection of Korean Students,'" while the other is longer, features an interview with Lee Eun-ung and screenshots of articles about AES in the LA Times, Vancouver Sun, and National Post, and is titled "Is the "Movement to expel bad English teachers" stalking?" Both are written by Kim Hyeon-jin, and while she does put forward foreign teacher positions, doesn't actually interview any of them.


Brian said...

Not sure if you saw this, but there's a piece in the Global Post from February 3:,0

Calls them "Citizens of Right Education," though actually as of January 15th the name they call themselves is "Citizens of Right English Education." I think it's irresponsible to give them that name without also mentioning their original, and best-known, name: Anti-English Spectrum.

matt said...

I hadn't seen that piece, thanks. They've used 올바른 영어교육을 위한 시민모임 since late 2005, but I hadn't seen the change on their front page. All part of their attempt to paint themselves as something other than a racist, nationalist group, and it shocks me it took them so long to change what was originally on their front page. Now I'm trying to remember if I have a screenshot of the original text, which made it pretty damn obvious that they were humiliated by the photos of foreign men and Korean women.

Anonymous said...

Basically the Donga articles are puff pieces, just giving a platform for Lee to rationalize his hate.

Oh, and the Global Post article was interesting as well. Lee claims that he makes a point of removing all racist remarks from the site, but the journalist fails to mention that Lee himself was the source of the HIV/English teacher conspiracy rumours.

brent said...

If I wanted to see debasement of Korean women, I will just watch Korean cable TV. Even the music videos and live performances (I don't care if Koreans just think they are "cute".).

King Baeksu said...

From the Global Post: "Yi said he is baffled at the accusations and emphasizes that his group is not targeting legitimate teachers who are doing good jobs."

Bullshit. There are currently 11 ("eleven"!) threads on the AES Web site that target or attack me by name, and not one of them concerns my actual teaching ability.

As for Dong-A, what's up with all these lazy-assed, lemming-like, self-referential articles about other newspaper articles? We have seen countless "interviews" (i.e., propaganda platforms) with Yie but how many investigative reports about his high-profile organization? Who is Yie and what is his background? What makes him such an "expert" on ESL education? What are his "qualifications" in this area, considering that he is so conceerned about the "qualifications" of native ESL teachers here? And why is it so hard for a Korean-speaking journalist to spend a few hours searching through the AES Web site to see that quotes like the one above are a total LIE? "Fact-checking" -- didn't you learn what that fucking means in journalism school, or you totally unqualified at what you do yourself?

More to the point, why aren't Yie and his cohorts going after the actual gatekeepers who are bringing in all these non- and underqualified native ESL teachers, which is really to ask: What sort of ideological agenda does it serve to focus on the symptoms here, rather than the actual stuctural cause? And why are so many journalists, especially here in Korea, so gullible and clueless that they can't even ask such basic, obvious questions, preferring instead to continually feed the proverbial troll -- and give Yie and AES endless free publicity?

When the fuck is South Korea going to grow up?

Anonymous said...

Matt Dude, Put some google ads on this thing already so we can click on them and you can make some money for all the hard work you put into this blog. The research posts are worth money and I want to see them keep coming!

Anonymous said...

King Baeksu: "Who is Yie and what is his background? What makes him such an "expert" on ESL education? What are his "qualifications" in this area...?"

Good question, maybe he passed an English test but had the answers sent to him by text message. If he graduated from university I'm sure he's an embarrassment to it.

King Baeksu: "There are currently 11 ("eleven"!) threads on the AES Web site that target or attack me by name, and not one of them concerns my actual teaching ability."

That says it all, those on that ANTI-English website don't give a hoot about "right English," they simply like to get the HATE ON.

Since Yie lies during his interviews why should anyone "try to see things from their point of view?"

Anonymous said...

Thought it was interesting that the Sydney Morning Herald republished Glionna's LA Times article with a pretty aggressive new title: Stalker wages war against 'deviant' foreign teachers.

I guess we know the paper's opinion of "Yie's" comment: "It's not stalking, it's following."

Australia has dealt quite a bit with race and xenophobia issues itself of late, like the 2005 Cronulla riots. Apparently a film about the 2005 incident (called "The Combination") sparked more violence in 2009.

Any Australians out there know more about this?

Chris said...

I like how Ms. Lee states the whole "racsim hasn't been an issue..."

Oh really? Why don't you ask a mixed blood Korean national that question? See what they have to say say about that little comment.

Anonymous said...

You get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

How about we start a "follow Yie" group?

Brian said...

Here's something interesting I saw today. When you approach the Anti-English Spectrum cafe via Naver, this is how it's described:
한국여성비하 파문 잉글리쉬스펙트럼 안티 카페
Quite clear what the foundation of the group is there.

matt said...

Nice find there.'s wayback machine also has the text from AES's front page from 2005 and 2006.