Saturday, March 21, 2009
A Korean Priest after reading Black Like Me written by John Howard Griffin was very much moved by the story of Griffin. It allowed him to see how he (all of us) in his own life is controlled many times by some stereotyped idea. Griffin back on in 1959 made himself into a black man by artificially darkening his skin to pass as a black. With the change in his appearance he traveled in the Deep South exposing himself to what ever a black man would receive at that time of our history. The priest mentioned how it was not hard for him to understand both the black and the white person's responses. But it was rather easy for him to return to the Korea of the present and see how he is also now faced with some fixed ideas about woman, migrant workers, the noble and low occupations, and many other facets of life with a very strong bias in certain areas. He was particularly moved with those who have been removed from their homes because of development. On the 20th of January, residents who were evicted to make way for a new development by February in Yongsan, which is the middle of Seoul, opposed the decision and five people were burnt to death as a result of police action. One policeman also died. There are those who have no connection with the incident and see no problem but for those who are involved it is an entirely different set of feelings. It showed him how much of society is cold and indifferent to many of the problems that we face.