To everyone who still thinks that Koreans are all just mean, racist people– to everyone who dreams of being a star in Korea even though they are not Korean– to everyone who loves to see One Love spreading across the world…
Keep your eyes on this guy from Ghana!
And now, part rant, part real talk– I hope you’re ready for what I have to say to everyone.
To everyone who still thinks that Koreans are all just mean, racist people…
I’ve read one too many stories from people who think that all Koreans are racist based on what they’ve seen and heard or a few bad experiences that they’ve had.
Now, although I’ve talked about whether or not Koreans are racist before, I have to elaborate: A lot of the negativity you experience has nothing to do with your race and everything to do with your expectations and attitude.
When it comes to South Korea, if you refuse to assimilate into Korean culture to some extent (whether because you think you can do whatever you want in someone else’s country or because you just aren’t thinking about the MANY differences between your culture and theirs), then yes– you will stand out like a sore thumb, and for all the wrong reasons.
Even if you’re standing out for the right reasons, you still might not know it!
For example, not speaking Korean means you really don’t know WHAT people are saying about you, and this statement goes out to the black girl who was also from America that I met during my first trip to South Korea. She turned heads and stopped traffic but assumed every Korean person was just staring at her rudely or saying racist things about her.
In fact, they were complimenting her left and right, trying to catch her eye or strike up a conversation with her, but she had already put up a brick wall between herself and every Korean person– guy or girl, who crossed her path.
It was sad, to be honest, because she had really closed her heart off to the place where she was living and the people she met.
I understand that some Koreans ARE racist, but don’t let a few bad Koreans spoil the whole bunch. I had my own racist experiences in Korea– like the guy who told me to go back to my own country the first day I arrived, but that didn’t stop me from modeling in Korea, being in a Kpop video, and making tons of Korean friends and
(Yeah, let’s be honest…)
Basically, Koreans are just like us in many ways, so don’t judge them until you’ve met them.
Finally, there are the people– usually girls, who think that Korean guys only like Korean girls, or that Korean guys only like a certain type of foreign girl who is pale and big eyed with big boobs and a big butt but is still somehow skinny…
*Rolls eyes at ALL guys who want THOSE kinds of
I don’t know if you could tell, but I’ve gotten one too many questions asking ME if Korean guys like this or that in a girl. I don’t know– I’m not a Korean guy. I’ve let you all know what my Korean guy friends think, but I REALLY think you should just meet Korean guys and find out for yourself, because they are all different…
Just like the rest of us!
To everyone who dreams of being a star in Korea even though they are not Korean…
Even if you don’t want to be a Kpop star, which is hard for Koreans as it is anyway, you might still want to be a star– a celebrity, an entertainer, a comedian, an actor, a model, in Korea.
Sam “572″ is doing BIG things in South Korea, so why can’t YOU? Is it really your race or your skin color (or size) that is holding you back or will hold you back?
Sam isn’t Korean or pale skinned– far from it in fact. Yes, he is a guy, but that doesn’t mean he looks anything like the “ideal guy” we hear so much about in the Korean media or from the mouths of Koreans themselves.
What Sam does differently:
1. He speaks Korean fluently.
2. He understands Korean culture and more importantly Korean people.
3. He confronts issues such as racism and prejudice in the real world– not just behind a computer screen; and, he does more than confront them…
He changes them.
Now, I’ve seen a few people respond negatively to Koreans after watching Sam appear on the following episode of Happy Together (where Sam and Yoo Jae Suk first met and fell in love):
Well, one of the Korean hosts stated that he looks like Will Smith. Another host continually made stereotypes about Africa and African people.
They also called him “Black Sam.”
If you are American and thinking like an American, then this will immediately seem racist. However, you need to be able to see the world from someone else’s perspective and understand where they are coming from without letting your own personal experiences or biases come into play.
Koreans will ALWAYS tell you who you look like. It’s just a thing they do, and they do it to each other, too. The first words I often heard out of strangers’ mouths when I was in Korea were Beyonce, Naomi, or whatever famous black female star came to mind– and for Koreans, there aren’t many beyond Beyonce, Naomi, Rihanna, Whoopi, and Oprah!
So, it’s not something to get offended or upset about, although let’s face it– Sam looks like Will Smith about as much as I look like Beyonce or Naomi…
Not at all.
As for Park Myung Soo, the host who was stereotyping Africa and African people, he is ALWAYS rude. It’s his gimmick.
Koreans, by the way, have a completely different sense of humor and make jokes about or laugh at many things Americans are offended by. This makes sense since Korean people and Korean history are entirely different from ours, and things we as Americans might be sensitive about just don’t make Koreans as sensitive.
Unsurprisingly, on another show hosted by Yoo Jae Suk, Infinity Challenge, Sam and Park Myung Soo were watching soccer together with other Korean celebs and hugging whenever Korea scored– Yoo Jae Suk invited Sam since he thought he would be lonely watching the game alone.
Park Myung Soo even giggled like a little boy when they hugged– it was SO cute.
I’ve also heard that Sam supports Park Myung Soo by attending his events!
Finally, Koreans have a different idea of “black.” It’s just a color– sometimes, like white. They called the “other” Sam– Sam Hammington, “White” Sam, too.
To everyone who loves to see One Love spreading across the world…
I am so proud of Sam and so thankful that he is pursuing his dream with bright eyes and an open heart.
I hope he encourages you and inspires you the same way he has encouraged and inspired me– although I still have no desire to be a star in Korea even though I have had my own few seconds of fame.
Nevertheless, I am dreading the daily monotony of life as a lawyer and looking forward to KCON 2014!
So, be sure to check out the article, “Ghana’s Sam Okyere Is A Korean TV Star“!
Because, I think we should all be a little more like Sam– and that includes getting a cool last name that sounds like numbers in Korean.