Public notice to young researchers, artists, and journalists

I can’t believe I need to say this, but I guess I do because the situation of disrespect has been getting progressively worse over the past few years, and this weekend I just about lost my shit.

Public notice: If you are someone who is coming to Korea to interview, study, or make an art project out of people here, treat us with the same respect as you would anyone else. Think about your white neighbor, for instance. You understand and treat your white neighbor as a human being with thoughts, feelings, and dignity — as opposed to the zoo animals that some people seem to think we are. We are human beings too.

Basic courtesy: 1. Write a letter of introduction. Write it in a language that the people can understand. If their language is Korean, it is your responsibility to get it translated. If you cannot translate it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. You would not expect your white neighbor to read a letter in Korean.

2. Arrange mutually convenient dates to work together, if people agree to work with you. Do not just show up whenever is convenient for you, with your deadline, and expect your white neighbor or anyone in Korea to suddenly drop all what they’re doing so they can help you with your project. People actually have things that they are already doing. Like going to work. Don’t come here and say, “Well I only have two weeks and so I need to meet you before next Thursday.” Maybe we are busy until Friday. Contact people before you buy your plane ticket.

3. When you get here, do not just show up at someone’s house, meeting, or workplace. Contact them first and ask permission to come. If a stranger just showed up randomly on your white neighbor’s porch, he would slam the door in their face and say, “Sorry, not interested.”

4. Be prepared to convince people about why they should participate in your project. Convince us that we should work with you. Tell us what you are doing and why. Show us work samples so we can make an informed decision.

5. We are more likely to want to work with you if you are working in solidarity with us. Are you going to stick around for awhile and make a friendship and build trust with us? Are you going to support our work through yours in some way? If so, we are more likely to want to cooperate with you. If you have learned something about what we are doing before you even contact us by reading on the internet or reading books, etc., we can tell how much you have learned by your attitude. If you have done your homework, we are more likely to want to work with you because you have shown that you are already caring enough to take the time to learn. Do not expect us to use our precious time to explain everything to you from square one. If you are here for a quick trip to just take what you need for your personal gain and then leave, why would we (or your white neighbor) want to give you the time of day?

In addition, people who work on a volunteer basis in Korea are working ON A VOLUNTEER BASIS. Volunteers get to do only what they want to because they are not paid to do anything. We are doing activist work out of our convictions. We are usually happy to help out when we feel that your work aligns nicely with our convictions and our activism. If you have a great track record and you come well-prepared, people will probably fall all over themselves to help you.

However, if you have come to Korea in a completely ignorant state or with an attitude that Koreans do not deserve the same respectful treatment as your white neighbor, then don’t expect volunteers to use their precious and limited time to help you do anything, and don’t expect us to open any doors that will enable you to exploit our friends.

Lesson: Do your homework. Use common courtesy. Then everything will work out fine.

8 responses to “Public notice to young researchers, artists, and journalists

  1. Wow! Racist white hater much? And somehow I’m supposed to believe your a victim. My God. Vengeful and full of hate and self pity. You’re a real winner Jane. Banana. “I wish I was raped….wahhhh.” get over yourself.

  2. kelly kinsel

    jane,
    you sound very racist. “white neighbor” What the hell is that? I saw your stalking episode on dark obsessions and I was interested in knowing why they said you had no contact with your adoptive parents. So I looked you up on the internet. you obviously are a very angry racist person. Obviously, you have benefited from your stalking and adoption since you are all too happy to do TV shows and write books about it to make money off of it. After seeing your racist attitude towards “white” people I can see the problem may not even have been your adoptive parents or the stalker, maybe the problem is you. You ungrateful racist bitch! I am sure your adoptive parents wish they never had anything to do with you either and adopted a nice “white” girl who wouldn’t be a mental case

  3. Jillian Brown

    As a white woman who grew up in a predominately Asian and Latino community, I understand Jane’s bitterness towards the people who treated her like a racial slur. Any outsider is seen as a threat by a homogenous group. Jane, many of the watchers of the ID channel are narrow minded, fearful types who like to watch shows that confirm their distrust in humanity. Granted, I am sometimes one of those people, since I’ve been through some hellish experiences involving my fellow humans (though not as extreme as your own).

    Now, as for this blog, the problem with American artists, researchers, and journalists is not necessarily that they are racist and see Koreans as ” zoo animals” (though Americans sometimes do have that perception when confronted with non English speakers). Many of these types are simply arrogant and entitled. As someone who has known many future young journalists, artists, and researchers, I’ve found that they tend to be very singleminded individuals who care only about the goal they are perusing and little else. Understandable, but it makes for very bad manners.

    I also wanted to say that as a rape survivor, I appreciated your apology, but when I watched the show I did understand the point you were trying to make. We all need to learn more compassion and understanding. Unfortunately the Internet is not conducive to that.

    All the best in your endeavor and your new life.

  4. @melpa and kelly… I don’t understand where YOUR anger and hatred is coming from. Jane is simply stating: When in Korea, do as the Koreans do. There’s nothing wrong with that. She doesn’t sound racist to me. Obviously, she is responding to the ‘disrepect’ that she mentioned in the OP. Since some people are thick, she needed to spell it out plainly. And she’s right. Americans expect all other nationalities to adopt to their culture when in America so why is Jane labeled a racist for expecting the same for her culture? Talk about hypocrites… I’m so glad Jane is back in Korea!

  5. Wow! Just watched you on ID and I was soooo Team Jane until you grew more and more annoying, spiteful towards those horrible white folks who fed and clothed you all your life instead of leaving you for the non-whitey Koreans to smother you to death. You possess a stone cold heart. As they say, the fruit doesn’t fall from the tree so you and bio-dad seem to have a lot in common. He only wanted to murder you but, hey, at least that son of a bitch wasn’t white and English speaking … And let you LIVE! Enjoy Korea, ingrate! The land that threw your ass away.

  6. Wow. What a shame that had to be spelled out! I can see it though, as people can get so caught up in their own thing; but my jaw was really dropping open as I read your guidelines, gleaning the level of rudeness of these people! I sure hope they are the exception.
    I watched your story on ID, Jane. Realizing you grew up being shamed for being “different” (not white) and then not even being allowed to have it acknowledged (ever!) made me so sad. I wanted to come through the TV and hug you.

  7. Pingback: Public discover to younger researchers, artists, and journalists | Posts

  8. I pray for you. I pray for the Lord enters your life, and removes the hurt from your body, mind soul and spirit and replaces it with his love and comfort.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I no longer have time to update this blog regularly, but I appreciate your comments, even though I cannot respond to all of them. All comments (except spam) have been allowed to go through unmoderated since June 16, 2014. Any comments you see prior to that date have been read and approved by me. Thanks again, and wishing you peace and blessings.

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