Korean nationalists and the Olympic Torch relay

Recently I learned Koreans made a very big deal of minor scuffles at the Seoul torch relay. According to the BBC, several pro-Tibetan or anti-Chinese protesters had tried to jump the Olympic torchrunners at various points in Seoul. At the same time, dozens of ethnic Chinese or international students followed the torch as it made its way around Seoul.

Eventually there were some scuffles between the Chinese students and the pro-Tibetan and anti-Chinese protesters. For some reason, the Seoul riot police were not able to contain them and were overpowered according to Korean youtube videos. Furthermore, the Korean bloggers claim the Chinese embassy in Seoul encouraged Chinese people to gather around the torch relay and to defend the torch.

I really like how Korean nationalists often make things up just for the sake of trying to win an argument or undeserved sympathy. Sure I felt bad for those pro-Tibet protesters who got roughed up by the Chinese protesters, yet I am shocked how the Seoul riot police, which has much experience in putting down riots that numbered in the tens of thousands, can’t put down a group of Chinese kids that numbered at 6,500 (if the Korean nationalists are correct).

At the same time, it’s also great how they jump to conclusions and generalise all Chinese people as backward barbarians or violence-prone. It’s ironic because these are the same arguments used by Japanophiles and Japanese nationalists to bash Koreans. Besides, people are people and this means Koreans are no more special than Americans, Chinese, Mexicans or even Japanese (GASP!).

So anyway, I recently got into an argument over a Korean nationalist’s superficial conclusions on the Seoul relay. First I said Sinophobia will become quite popular after the Beijing Olympics based on my observations to which she replies should be encouraged. After I pointed out Sinophobia is a fancy word for anti-Chinese sentiment, she backtracked and ranted about how Chinese people need to apologise for their savagery in the Seoul torch relay.

Later the argument involved technicalities. She claims I still supported the Chinese protesters despite condemning violence in general and supporting the Seoul police’s right to arrest them for breaking local laws. For some reason, she claimed that Koreans are all well-behaved and nice people until I pointed out how they trashed the Swiss embassy when they eliminated the ROK in the 2006 World Cup. She countered with technicalities in that they only trashed a building while Chinese people beat up Koreans.

Anyway, she took pride in how she cut of all of her Chinese friends because they disagreed with her on this Seoul torch scuffle, which is just petty and sad. At the end of the argument, she repeatedly made ad hominem attacks and petty remarks that give me the impression that she and other Korean nationalists actually believe they are a chosen people. As such they act with a false sense of entitlement whenever something bad happens to Koreans regardless of the insignificance of such events in the short and long-term.

It’s no wonder why Asianphiles would eventually develop negative attitudes towards Koreans and create such sites like www.occidentalism.org…Korean nationalists promote negative Korean stereotypes and fuel anti-Korean sentiment around the world.

I actually appreciate the research done by the two actors for their Korean History Channel sketch even more after that discussion with that Korean nationalist


5 thoughts on “Korean nationalists and the Olympic Torch relay

  1. LIM, you certainly makes a life out of arguing with nationalists. Their arguments are based on a certain doctrine of faith. Come to think of it, Einstein has a great quote about faith:

    “Science with out religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

    Like wise:

    “Facts without nationalism is lame. nationalism without facts is blind.”

  2. How would you like it if a crowd of foreigners began a wave of nationalist demonstrations in your capital city?

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