This blog has been in retirement for more than a year, but in response to the disastrous, insulting, unbelievable election results in South Korea and the realization that not everyone that I know is on Facebook, I am going to start posting on this blog again. We adoptees are part of Korean history, so I would like to use this blog as part of my own way to study Korean history and also share my study with other KADs.
The point of studying history is to not repeat it. But we have repeated it here in South Korea. We have democratically elected as our country’s next president the daughter of the most brutal dictator in Korean history — even while many victims who were tortured and oppressed under that dictatorship are still living.
Many of my friends are depressed and can hardly move.
Yet people overseas and some people in Korea, too (OK, slightly more than half of the voting population, gahhhhhhh) are cheering about this election because Park Geun-hye is our “first woman president.”
Who the cares if Park Geun-hye has a vagina!? I got one too! So did the two other women who also ran for president.
These people are also reputed to have vaginas:
Now, did their vaginas really help us all that much?
I think that it’s what is between your ears, not your legs, that matters when you are supposed to be making public policy. A high school student that I tutor told me that Park Geun-hye did not even know the price of bus fare in Seoul when she was asked. “How can she make policies for real people if she doesn’t know what we put up with every day?” she said. True that. How much we suffer on those packed clown buses.
Park Geun-hye became known as the “notebook princess” for her inability to speak without looking at her notes. (On the other hand, the brilliant Lee Jeong-hee on the far far far left KILLED IT in the debates, and she did not need to read from her notes.)
People who fought for democracy in Korea are really weeping about this, wondering if all their work has been worthless over the years, wondering whether to emigrate, wondering whether to throw away their Korean citizenships, wondering how to spend the next five oppressive years.
I’m going to stay here and learn Korean better so I can fight better, and I am going to do my writing.
So, here is my very first post in a long time. This is not even the tip of the iceberg of what I’m thinking on this situation, but I will try to update this reasonably often so eventually you will get the whole picture about why as an adoptee I am invested in Korean history and politics. I hope you’ll be able to see why this election is a total disaster for the democracy movement and many of the friends who have been supporting the adoptee and unwed mothers’ movement in an earnest way.
Here is what I posted earlier on Facebook today:
Did you see the front page of the Korea Herald today? I know that people do not have to be like their parents (thank goodness), but nonetheless, we need to know our history.
You know who’s on the right: Park Geun-hye, the daughter of Park Chung Hee, who is the president-elect of South Korea. She served as first lady (1974-1979) during a period of her father’s military rule (1963-1979). There were a total of 33,200 overseas adoptions while she was first lady, and 51,563 overseas adoptions while her father was dictator.
Sung Kim (L) is the current U.S. Ambassador to Korea. He was born in Korea. His father was a Korean minister to Japan during the Park Chung-hee administration, and was implicated in the 1971 abduction of Kim Dae-jung in Tokyo.
Kim Dae-jung spent his life fighting for a democratic society. He spent years in prison as a political dissident under military rule, and was even sentenced to death. (That is why Korea no longer *practices* the death sentence — because they stopped doing it under Kim DJ, although it still exists in the law.)
During the time Kim DJ was in prison, he wrote letters to his wife, one of which mentioned the overseas adoptees. When he became president, he was the first and only South Korean president to ever offer an apology to the overseas adoptees (even though he did not follow up with any action).
Later, he won the Nobel Prize Peace Prize.