SOME SOUTH KOREAN BUSINESSES REFUSE TO SERVE FOREIGNERS
(P1) Megan Stuckey, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen living in South Korea, told a local newspaper that she was denied entry to a bar simply because she was a foreigner.
(P2) The bar Stuckey had tried to go into, Green Light, even has a sign at the door stating its policy: “Only Koreans are allowed because our employees are not able to communicate in English,” it reads. “We are not RACIST.”
(P3) Stuckey, who teaches English in Korea, said she still wasn’t allowed in after speaking Korean to the staff.
(P4) “This is racist, by any definition,” one commenter wrote on the newspaper’s Facebook page. But he also added, “Their bar, their country, their rules.”
(P5) Korea has a small number of businesses with these kinds of bans: Last June, The Korean Observer reported on a SAUNA in the tourist district of Busan that refused entry to those who “clearly look like foreigners”.
(P6) “They cause too much trouble,” a staff member told the paper. And in 2014, a pub popular among foreigners created CONTROVERSY when it banned Africans because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Yet despite OUTCRY from the international community, such policies are not illegal.
(P7) While the existence of “Korean-only” businesses might seem harmless to some—after all, there are thousands other places that foreigners can visit—they point to a larger problem. South Korea, unlike the U.S. and most other developed countries, has no ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS in place, even as its population becomes increasingly multicultural.
(P8) Even the United Nations has TAKEN NOTICE.
(P9) In 2014, U.N. human rights expert Mutuma Ruteere urged Korea to enact comprehensive laws to address “racism, XENOPHOBIA, and discrimination” after his first official visit to the country.
(P10) 1.5 million people—or 3 percent of Korea’s population—are foreign-born. There are now more than 200,000 multicultural children in the country—eight times the number there were in 2006.
(P12) Koreans struggled to MAINTAIN that identity during four decades of Japanese COLONIALISM prior to World War II. During this time, the Japanese attempted to replace Korea’s language and identity with those of Japan.
(P13) After World War II and the Korean War, many Koreans became RESENTFUL of the presence of the U.S. military in the country.
(P14) More recently, the government has made some attempts to ease the situation of non-Koreans.
(P15) In 2008, the Multicultural Families Support Act was enacted to provide immigrants and their children with necessary SOCIAL SERVICES.
(P16) Anti-discrimination laws have been attempted in 2007, 2010, and 2012, though the bills have failed because of strong OPPOSITION.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you believe that racism or xenophobia are problems in your country?
- Have you ever been the VICTIM of racism or xenophobia yourself?
- What kinds of laws should there be to protect MINORITIES?
- When does it make business sense to TURN AWAY customers?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Anti-discrimination laws
- Take notice
- Social services
- Turn away