Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"

The 2005 English Spectrum Incident

Part 1: English Spectrum and 'Ask The Playboy'
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The 'Ask The Playboy' sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children
Part 10: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 11: "Middle school girls will do anything"
Part 12: Netizens propose 'Yankee counter strike force'
Part 13: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1

Part 14: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 15: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 16: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 17: 'Regret' over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors

Part 18: "Korean men have no excuse"
Part 19: "Unfit foreign instructors should be a 'social issue'"
Part 20: 'Clamor' at foreigner English education site
Part 21: Foreign instructor: "I want to apologize"

On January 19, 2005, My Daily published the following article:
Foreign instructor: "The posts denigrating Korean women are terrible, I want to apologize."

"I also think the offensive posts were too harsh. I don't want Koreans to have a bad impression of me, and those posts made me embarrassed to be working in Korea."

In an email sent to My Daily by Brendan, an American working at an elementary school in Seoul, he was regretful of the fact that after the stir over the denigration of Korean women, there was a distorted view of foreigners. He introduced himself saying he'd been in Korea for 2 years, and had worked in a hagwon last year.

Referring to the posts (denigrating Korean women) as "cruel and racist", he explained the present state of the employment of foreign language instructors in Korea.

"To teach a foreign language in Korea requires a certain level of qualification, but in fact only a few foreigners here have these qualifications, so many hagwons in Korea illegally employ foreigners with no qualifications." "If foreigners with no qualifications are illegally employed, Koreans won't know if the person teaching their children is an ex-con or a pervert."

"Even tonight, a Korean man offered to sell me an illegal teacher visa. If I were a criminal from the United States, I could have bought an illegal teacher visa," pointing out the need for the government to take more care in the hiring of foreign instructors.

He criticized the irresponsible operation of the problematic site, saying, "Many foreigners in Korea exchange information at that site such as professional or legal advice, but on the site's bulletin boards, anyone can write anything, and bad posts are not erased,"

"Please tell them how sorry I am," he said, hoping that not all foreigners would be viewed in a bad light because of the behavior of some who wrote the demeaning posts.
If such an email was sent, it would seem that 'Brendan,' hoping that "not all foreigners would be viewed in a bad light," was most likely referring to himself, what with the helpful reference to illegally employed teachers as possible "ex-con[s] or [] pervert[s]" and the posts as "cruel and racist". "Idiotic and demeaning" perhaps, and, with no criminal record checks in place (then or for the next two and a half years, making it pretty clear just how much the 'safety of children' would feature in all of this) even legally employed foreign instructors were not above suspicion. To be sure, the writer of the email wasn't one of those kinds of foreign instructors, and just wanted to let everyone know that and be seen as being on the 'right side.'


monty_internetty said...

Maybe I'm being too cynical but the alleged email looks like a clumsy attempt by a news source to half atone for and half justify the media's sensationalism of the whole affair.

matt said...

Perhaps - that's entirely possible. But it's also just as possible that an expat would condemn most other expats to make himself look good, such as in this case.