Of course the news that Zico will be appearing on one of Taeyang’s songs has lead to some discussion over whether or not Zico deserves such an honor, given his defective character. (Yes. You would perhaps expect Big Bang fans not to play this game, but . . . welcome to K-Pop.)
The specific context isn’t important, though–I want to talk about one particular exchange because it is something that I’ve seen happen repeatedly whenever Zico’s sins are under discussion.
First, some SJW comes up with a list of what he has done that is bad. I’m going to screenshot this one, because (quite possibly for the first time) it is factually accurate. These are things Zico actually has done–most other lists include a lot of fanciful inventions to make him look racist, sexist, or homophobic:
And the other person replies, Oh, but Zico got dragged by K-netz for all that.
That’s a pretty typical reply, regardless of the accuracy of the “Zico is racist/sexist/homophobic” list–whatever it was, K-netz dragged him for it!
But here’s the thing: Zico got dragged by K-netz for none of that. All that stuff upset American fans, but not Korean fans.
Would you like to see the list of things Zico has been dragged by K-netz for?
- Dating Seolhyun
- The Thailand scandal
- Another member of his group wearing clothing with Japanese writing on it during a Korean Independence Day celebration (happy Korean Independence Day, by the way)
- Kissing a man on Saturday Night Live
- The rice-pizza scandal
Notice a gap there? No concern about racism; no concern about sexism; no concern about homophobia (quite the contrary, in fact). Case in point: The American controversy over racism and homophobia in “Tough Cookie” was SO big . . . it resulted in a couple of Pann posts explaining to Koreans that it existed. (Kissing a man? Government sanction of the show. No lie.)
Korea is 96% Korean. The use of American slurs or anything that requires knowledge of American history doesn’t have a huge impact there, because Koreans (including the Koreans who do these things) don’t understand–that is not an excuse, that is a fact. This is why you have really weird shit, like Koreans doing the minstrel Michol character, and then saying it wasn’t racist because they didn’t make him that dark.
None of that is the same as saying that Koreans are not capable of understanding that something is offensive and why (and then apologizing, and then having those apologies left off those SJW lists). But it does mean that education is required. It’s simply unrealistic to expect Koreans to have the same intuitive knowledge of what is offensive to Americans that Americans have (just like an American isn’t likely to have the same intuitive knowledge of what is offensive to Kore–Jesus Christ! Did you just give your money to that store clerk with one hand!?).
Education does work though, which I think is something these K-Pop SJWs like to ignore, because then they’ll have nothing to post about. (Other than, you know, shit that actually matters–but that stuff is scary and hard.) Show Me the Money never even used to bleep the N-word out of raps; now it’s widely understood among Korean rappers that it’s better to avoid the use of that word (even though they’re not white). It’s an uphill climb, of course: Why would you expect anything else, especially given Korea’s demographics? Korea is a country with a 96% rate of ethnic homogeny trying to remake itself into a multicultural society–that’s not going to happen without a few (more than a few) hiccups.