Monday, February 1, 2010

Here is what your enemy looks like

The Los Angeles Times, sticking to its tactic of writing up lengthy pieces on topics that were news two or three months ago (I kid! I kid!), now brings us: Anti-English Spectrum.

Ah, but what a scoop they have, because they actually have a picture of the arch-nemesis of English teachers on the peninsula, Yie Eun-woong:

Hmm... he doesn't look like he's pasty and sickly from living in his mother's basement and living off of ramyŏn and choco-pies. But those girls on the left are just walking by without paying any attention to him, and maybe they're off to meet their English-teacher boyfriends, so that could be the source of his ire.

Anyway, here's an excerpt:
Yie, a slender 40-year-old who owns a temporary employment agency, says he is only attempting to weed out troublemakers who have no business teaching students in South Korea, or anywhere else.

The volunteer manager of a controversial group known as the Anti-English Spectrum, Yie investigates complaints by South Korean parents, often teaming up with authorities, and turns over information from his efforts for possible prosecution.

Outraged teachers groups call Yie an instigator and a stalker.

Yie waves off the criticism. "It's not stalking, it's following," he said. "There's no law against that."

Since its founding in 2005, critics say, Yie's group has waged an invective-filled nationalistic campaign against the 20,000 foreign-born English teachers in South Korea.

On their website and through fliers, members have spread rumors of a foreign English teacher crime wave. They have alleged that some teachers are knowingly spreading AIDS, speculation that has been reported in the Korean press.
As one might expect, ATEK also makes an appearance in the story, which also mentions the death threat alleged to have been made by an anti-English Spectrum member:
In November, the president of the teachers group received anonymous e-mails threatening his life and accusing him of committing sex crimes.

"I have organized the KEK (Kill White in Korea)," one e-mail read in part. "We will start to kill and hit [foreigners] from this Christmas. Don't make a fuss. . . . Just get out."

Yie acknowledges that he has been questioned by investigators but denies any involvement in the threats of violence.

"To be honest," he said, "a lot of our group members believe the teachers made this all up."
Which reminds me, while on vacation, now that Christmas has passed, I forgot to put up my post about the English teacher death count. Anybody got a handle on the post-Yuletide carnage numbers?

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9 comments:

  1. What, exactly, is the difference between "stalking" and "following"?

    The death toll stands at 0, but I'm sure it's going to shoot right up!

    /cut to Kent Brockman

    "OH MY GOD!"

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  2. It's not stalking if you are stalking a white barbarian, who is defiling the Korean race, maybe smoking weed and depleting the national wealth by sending money home. It's following.

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  3. @ Kushibo

    Thanks for your comment. For whatever strange reason, you keep getting sent to my spam box even though I mark you as "not spam" and "approve" every time.

    Maybe I'm misreading you, but your tone here seems be a bit smug and dismissive (e.g. "I forgot to put up my post about the English teacher death count."). If I recall correctly, you've said in the past that if Mr. Yie were stalking people, then legal action should be taken against him. Well, he has admitted to it, and to a major international newspaper no less, though he tries to recast it as "following."

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  4. Oh, you accurately detected smugness and dismissiveness. I think Mr Yie is a jackass whose organization (and self) should be investigated for hate crimes. No doubt about it.

    But at the same time, I think the death threat was in all likelihood fake, and I think the leadership of ATEK probably believes that, too. In fact, if I had to place a bet one way or the other, I would wager that they know it was fake. Certainly the requests for information (as in the last link I left on your blog) have gone ignored. Even if they don't care to reveal that information publicly, they could at least state that they don't wish to do so instead of ignoring the requests.

    Yet the highly questionable death threat keeps getting mentioned in the foreign media that discusses AES. And that is the source of my smugness and dismissiveness, and that is what it's directed at.

    I think AES is a loathsome organization and its leader a promulgator of hate speech, but I think ATEK has shown itself utterly incompetent to deal with the issue effectively, and they only underscore that incompetence by both ducking the questions about the source of the death threat (and thus the authenticity) and spreading information about it. And that's where my smugness and dismissiveness comes from.

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  5. Matt asked:
    What, exactly, is the difference between "stalking" and "following"?

    그냥 따라 가면, following. 스토킹하면, stalking. I'm sure it's very clear in Mr Yie's mind.

    ReplyDelete
  6. extrakorea wrote:
    Thanks for your comment. For whatever strange reason, you keep getting sent to my spam box even though I mark you as "not spam" and "approve" every time.

    On several occasions, one or more of my detractors have spammed hundreds of blogs using my ID, and some of the blog services, especially Wordpress, I believe, still automatically tag me as spam.

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  7. "KEK (Kill White in Korea)"

    I haven't seen any evidence that the threat is fake. And the police investigated...

    But you know what's makes me think it wasn't written by a "foreigner"?

    What the hell is the "E" supposed to stand for in KEK? Is that for "whitE" or for "English" or what? Come on, KEK?? What foreigner is clever enough to make that kind of subtle mistake...

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  8. JSK wrote:
    I haven't seen any evidence that the threat is fake. And the police investigated...

    Have you seen any evidence that the threat is real.

    Oh, I believe such an email was really sent and that the recipient did not know (at least not right away) who sent it, but I am highly skeptical that it was actually sent by the kind of person who purportedly wrote it.

    But you know what's makes me think it wasn't written by a "foreigner"?

    What the hell is the "E" supposed to stand for in KEK? Is that for "whitE" or for "English" or what? Come on, KEK?? What foreigner is clever enough to make that kind of subtle mistake...


    You mean a typo? The E is right next to the W on the QWERTY keyboard. Hardly a stretch, both literally and figuratively.

    I was going to answer your question in more detail here (about why I suspect it was written by an anglophone sh¡t-stirrer), but I think I'll save that for a longer post.

    In the meantime, if you think someone who is exposed to native Koreans' writing in English on a regular basis could not have generated such a letter, then I suspect your circle of friends don't include English teachers as clever as most of the ones I know (though most that I know would not have done this).

    In addition, however, to the use of "whitey" as a stand-in for 외국인, which is more common as a White foreigners' construct than a Korean construct, I think the use of "hit" instead of "beat" for the word "때리다" is a giveaway that it was written by a native English speaker.

    There are other things, too, that make it not pass the smell test. Also, the failure to release for analysis the email sending information that could help pinpoint the location makes me suspect that ATEK either suspects or even knows that it's not from someone in Korea or at least not from a primary Korean speaker.

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  9. Why is it such a surprise that Koreans would make death threats or even bomb threats?

    They have quite an extensive history of it and acts of violence in general despite the fact Koreans say how kind and gentle they are. Ask Ohno.

    Here are just a few examples that don't include all the antiJapanese bullshit.

    2002: Violence against GI's and Americans (gyopos not included) and "American" looking foreigners (like) in general.

    2005: Nutizens call for filming and/or attacking white men with Korean women who they deem to be acting inappropriately.

    2006: Bomb threats against Swiss Consulate

    2007: Virginia Tech

    2008: The Crazy Cow bullshit and violence

    Their past actions dictate that they did make the death threat and the chances of Koreans making more death threats against English teachers is outstandingly high.

    Why didn't the AES jump on the bandwagon over that gyopo English teacher who happens to be a murder? Please answer that one somebody.

    BTW. An ethinc Korean, can not speak about what life is like for non Koreans in Korea. The reverse is true about a Korean's experience in another country.

    And the death toll is quite high for mixed race Koreans, isn't it.

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