Monday, January 07, 2008

America, the least racist country in the world

Dear Korean,

Why don't blacks and Koreans have a better relationship, and what can be done about the problem? It's amazing how Koreans living in Korea seem much nicer than Koreans in the United States. Do you think the U.S. has a way of dividing people?

Romulus A.

Dear Romulus,

The Korean firmly believes that America is the least racist country in the world, and this post will finally explain why that is. The Korean already wrote something about Korean-black relations here, but the second part of your question is most intriguing. Yes, the Korean does think that the U.S. has a way of dividing people of different colors – namely, U.S. is the only country where people of different colors live next to each other.

I know, I know. The Korean knows that there are minority race living in various parts of the world. But except for Europe, there is no country in which ethnic minorities, starkly different in culture and appearance from the majority (so excluding situations like Hutus and Tutsis in Congo/Rwanda,) constitute a percent that matters, something like more than 20 percent of the entire population. (In the U.S., the percentage is nearly 30 percent.) And as to Europe, well, look what’s happening to them.

Why do numbers matter? Because unless the minorities are somewhat numerous, they are not threatening to the majority. Hating takes energy; people don’t hate for no reason. Widespread hatred in the majority toward the minority takes place only if the minority is somehow threatening the majority’s position.

So if you are an African-American tourist traveling through Korea for two weeks, you will find that Korean people are generally nice to you. Why wouldn’t they be? You will leave in two weeks! But trying living there and see how you like it.

God help you if you were trying to date a Korean. Interracial relationship is a racist’s greatest fear, especially if it involves a minority-race man and majority-race woman. Ever wondered why Emmitt Till was so brutally lynched, just for whistling at a white woman? When a minority-race man dates a majority-race woman, other majority-race men feel their position threatened, because they feel that their possession is being taken. (It should not come as a surprise that racism goes hand-in-hand with sexism.)

Similarly, if all Mexicans in America were tourists, there would be no racism in America towards Mexicans. Racism towards Mexicans exists only because there is a perception (however incorrect) that Mexicans are staying in America, and are taking away things that belong to Americans – in the form of jobs, tax dollars through welfare, or literally taking away life and property through crimes.

On the other hand, Asians in America are not numerous enough to be threatening, so we have been spared from blatant racism so far. But whenever Asian Americans do appear to be threatening, the reaction is exactly the same – just look at what happened to Vincent Chin when Japanese automakers were threatening to American jobs.

Here lies the reason why America is the least racist country in the world – it’s one of the few countries that racial minorities are in a position to threaten the racial majority, and it’s the only one among those countries that is by and large successful in curbing the racist sentiments that inevitably follow from such a situation.

Notice that the Korean is not saying Americans are somehow morally superior by not engaging in the evils of racism. No inherent goodness makes Americans less racist than others – only decades of experience in an interracial society do.

To understand this, you have to see racism for what it truly is. As the Korean said several times previously (here and here,) racism is a heuristic; it’s an instinctively created survival mechanism. (On some level, it’s very easy to understand – wouldn’t there be something different about a person if he looks so different from the rest of us?) In a vacuum, racism has no moral implication. However, racism in our modern world, in which people of different races must live next to one another, it becomes an evil that it currently is.

For example, consider an act of running for your life and pushing away things that get in your way. That action, in a vacuum, has no moral implication. But what if you are a healthy young person, you are running out from a club caught on fire (and has only one narrow fire escape,) and the thing you are about to push away is a disabled man who can’t walk without his crutches, which were lost in the stampede? Pushing him away to die in fire in order to save your own skin is an evil act, but most people would do it anyway. And unless you are forced to make that moral choice by being in that situation, you can never claim that you are morally superior to the person who pushed away the disabled person to escape. Why? Because if you were actually in that situation, most likely you will do the same thing.

Similarly, a country that has no significant number of racial minorities cannot possibly claim that it is not a racist country. How can you confidently say that your morals will overcome your survival instinct, if your survival was never tested?

In fact, left alone long enough without a decisive intervention from the central government, a country will manage to find the differences within itself to hate upon each other. Northern Italians and Southern Italians bitterly hate each other; Walloon and Flemish Belgians hate each other so much that one New York Times commentator wondered how Belgium manages to stay together; Southwestern (Jeolla) Koreans and Southeastern Koreans (Gyeongsang) don’t get along to the degree that, until recently, each region would give 90 percent support to the parties representing the respective regions; the hatred between Hutus and Tutsis in Congo/Rwanda ended in genocide; same in Sudan, in Darfur.

Of course, in all the situations above, the Korean fully understands there are deeper underlying causes for the hatred – difference in wealth, colonial legacies, and so on. But regardless of the reason for the initial spark of hatred, that hatred is escalated through the same mechanism as racism – i.e., people falling into such bigoted logic as “if he is from so-and-so region, he has this-and-that characteristics.” It is hardly a leap to think that, if a significant number of racial minorities were to be introduced to a country that can be swayed by such bigoted logic, the country will inevitably fall into a heat of racist hatred. In fact, the race riots in France is exactly this. Korea is the same way, with the new wave of immigrants from China, Southeastern Asia, and the mixed-race children born in rural areas – the Korean sincerely believes that Korea will find itself in massive race riots in 20 years unless Korean government anticipates the problem (and most likely they won’t.)

America is the least racist country in the world because Americans have the longest experience in living in a truly multiracial society – more than a century. White Americans have stood in the middle of the burning club the longest. At first, they panicked like everyone else in the world. Those minority people – those chinks, wetbacks, and jungle monkeys – will take everything they had! Such fear of losing their position to the minorities is no different from the fear of fire. Just like everyone else in the world, white Americans pushed aside and oppressed the weaker, minority people, to maintain their superior position.

And then something remarkable happened. Because of an amazing collective effort, white Americans began to see that minority people were not out to get them. The fire was not real. And what they used to do in order to maintain their superior position has been unfair and evil. Here is a stark truth: most Americans renounce racism, to a degree that people of no other country in the world does. Racism has become such a social taboo that even those Americans who remain racist cannot dare speak up on their views without instantly becoming a social outcast.

Here is how much America is not racist. In 2002, then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was attending Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party. Praising Sen. Thurmond, who ran for president in 1948, Sen. Lott said this: “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.” Problem was that the main thrust of Thurmond’s 1948 campaign was to maintain racial segregation. Controversy rose, and Sen. Lott resigned from his majority leadership.

The Korean is willing to bet the lives of his as-yet-unborn first two children that something like this would not have happened anywhere else in the world in 2002. Running for President is an achievement in and of itself, as Rev. Jesse Jackson reminds us all the time. It would be nice to be recognized on that achievement, on your hundredth freakin’ birthday. For god's sake, if someone lives until 100, he deserves to hear anything he damn well pleases. If the Korean ever lives until 100, he would like to be recognized for saving the Earth from alien attacks in the year 2046. On top of that, the presidential campaign happened in fifty-four years ago! Who the hell cares? American people did, and Trent Lott was gone.

This is, of course, not to say America is a racism-free country. Quite the opposite is true. But those who are quick to decry that America is more racist than other countries by focusing on racist incidents in America, are simply clueless. In fact, America is one of the few countries in the world where such incidents would even be recognized as racist. The first step to cure alcoholism is to recognize that you have an alcohol problem. Even if you slip and have a few drinks, you are still ahead of those who don’t even realize they have a problem.

The world is getting more diverse by day. World economy is more integrated than ever, and no single country can afford to live in racial and cultural isolation. Immigration will be a greater and greater trend. People who are not accustomed to living with different types of people will soon find themselves sharing a subway car with a strange-looking person; their sense invaded by unfamiliar smell of exotic food; their streets covered in signs of incomprehensible languages; their jobs eliminated by those willing to work harder, cheaper. And inevitably, a racist fire will build in their hearts, stoked by the fear of losing what is theirs. But even when the whole world is on fire, Americans, by and large, will remain calm.

Got a question or comment for the Korean? Email away at


  1. I just saw a Korean documentary about racism toward foreigners living in Korea, majority of them were filipino or Vietnamese women who were married to Korean. I felt deep shame that Koreans weren't very welcoming to them. Even their kids were having hard time just because they are of 'mixed blood'.
    On the other hand, how many 2nd generation Koreans born in U.S. don't have a complaint or two about racism they've suffered.
    Bottom line is, where ever there is a minority there will always be so called 'racism'.

    1. Koreans were still less racist than America, America is the most racist country on Earth

  2. All very valid points. Racism exists, inevitably, in one form or another. But it is indeed in America where it is recognized as a problem, not engaged in by the vast majority of the populace.

    I would like to correct hapa on that last line to make it applicable to any situation, not just race. In any place where there is a minority (of opinion, race, socioeconomic status, demographics), there will exist some form of stereotyping/prejudice simply because the minority is different from the accepted norms of the majority - how strong these feelings, and whether or not they will be acted upon (in the form of blatant discrimination and so on) will depend not on how different the minority is (as history shows, some of the greatest atrocities committed on so-called minorities were by majorities who were less different from the minority than whites are from blacks), but rather on the overall social stigma (or lack thereof) attached to prejudice. If there is a great deal of stigma (as there is in America), the extent of discriminatory feelings and actions will be greatly curtailed; where there is an absence of stigma, even if the differences are slight, you will see greater and more severe outrages.

  3. Even if everyone were the same race and ethnic group, it probably wouldn't take longer than 5 minutes for people to find another reason to hate one another: What part of town you're from, what school you go to, how much money you make, etc, etc, etc.

    In the end, racism has little to due with political this, social that, or economics. It's all about the sick need of some people to feel better about their miserable, worthless existence by looking down on someone else. They can only feel good about themselves by trying to make others feel bad about themselves. Thinking you're better than someone else merely because you're of a particular race (which of course was merely pure accident and nothing you've actually worked hard for) is truly loser-thinking. It's hardly coincidence such people are usually poorly educated and unaccomplished.

  4. kg jung,

    the Korean will push back on one thing you said: "Thinking you're better than someone else merely because you're of a particular race ... is truly loser-thinking. It's hardly coincidence such people are usually poorly educated and unaccomplished."

    You will be amazed with the degree to which the most educated and accomplished will engage in blatant racism outside of the U.S., particularly in Asia. For that matter, Germans during WWII (possibly the most racist state in all of human history) were not exactly stupid either.

    Your statement is distinctly American, although the Korean does not know if you are American or not. In America, racism is so vilified that people who engage in racism is also identified all kinds of negative attributes you ascribed.

    But truth is, even the most sophisticated person can be captured into the racist way of thought without proper education. Writing racism off as "something dumb people do" does not help that cause.

  5. Are you crazy, USA is the #1 racist country in the world!

  6. I really enjoy the manner in which you write but have to say am a bit disappointed in your lack of knowledge about Canada. We too are a very diverse nation; our "percentages" will soon out number yours. Obviously population wise we can't compare but that doesn't make it any less statistically significant.

  7. uprising,

    Please certify that you spent significant time studying/living in a non-English speaking country. Otherwise, you don't know what you are talking about.


    True, the Korean in fact knows very little about Canada. He would love to have an associate editor from Canada, like the way Nuna hails from Australia. But just going by the numbers, Canada's 16.2% racial minority rate does not seem terribly impressive compared to the U.S.'s 34.8.

    But the Korean would love more education. Btw, your blog is lovely.

    1. Canada's overall racial minority numbers are deceiving however. Much of Canada's minorities live in dense numbers in the Metro areas of Vancouver (45% visible minorities), Toronto (47%) and Montreal (20%). The majority of Canada's central and maritime provinces have not as yet experienced as much immigration. So Canada's urban areas have had an incredible period of adjustment in a relatively short period 1970's on, with Trudeau's policies of bilingualism and multiculturalism - might I add with very little teething pains due to intentional inclusive efforts.


      Figures from

  8. I agree that Americans do vilify racism and talk a very big game when it comes to equal rights. However, even though we have a high minority percentage, there are severe lines in the sand concerning who gets to live where and minorities inevitably end up at the short end of the stick. Redlining, white flight, glass ceiling, ghettos, racial profiling... sound familiar? We still have many tools to safeguard *our* property. It was quite horrifying to learn just how racist we really are.
    I can't argue about whether we are the least or most racist as I have never lived outside my own little state, but I can say that this is not the "melting pot" I was told about as a child. People are gathered or forced together in large pockets or swaths in separate areas. We have a Chinatown, Little Mexico, Northeast is our ghetto (or was... until gentrification took all those penniless black people out, remodeled it all nice and clean so all of us whiteys could move back in) and 82nd is absolutely flooded with Vietnamese people... but the suburbs are *nice* and *clean* (read: white).
    I know in some countries, people are killed over these things and I don't mean to discount the fact that there really are worse atrocities happening elsewhere. But even if we really are the least racist country in the world, I don't feel like that is saying much. If one person kills 100 people and another kills only 10 does that make the latter *good*, or just better? We still have a long way to go.

  9. Hey "the Korean,"

    I really enjoyed this blog. I've got to give you a description of who I am so you can appreciate my position.

    I'm a 22 year old kid working over in Seoul in the English-Hakwon business (what else, right?). I'm one of the race-less "white" Americans who tries to consider everyone just as people. I was born in the midwest, but went to college in South Carolina (I'm not sure how much you know about it, but it's "the South" for sure).

    That's when I first encountered racism. It was shocking to me how self-segregated everyone and everything was.
    However, my family and I are slightly different than normal, and we sought out things that others were never do (in fact we were frequently the minority group of our church).

    Now, a few years later I find myself in Korea. I am here because in college I met the most beautiful and loving woman in the world and want to spend the rest of my life with her (she just happens to be a Korean). So, I'm here.

    It's been about six months now, and we have never felt more out of place here than anywhere else we've been. Looking that the demographics of Korea over the last five or ten years, it's hard to argue that the majority is not feeling the "threat" of minority groups (especially considering that no matter how bad the economy turns, Korean parents seemed determined to spare no expense on their child's education).

    I say all of this just to say, thank you. Thank you for recognizing that the States does try to find the common ground and that others should take a good, hard look at themselves before they condemn others for being different.

  10. US can be accept as the least racist country in the world as people all over the world can live together in harmony.
    But with harmony exists realization. People realize they are different from others. So many usually believe they must firmly side with their own kind. Thus, there are black ghettos, Chinatowns, Korean H-mart communities... etc.
    Under US, everyone does live overall happily so it can be considered least racist. But once you go deeper, you realize that even in school, usually as early as middle school, you see racial and ethnic separation. So while they live happily together, because of such close contact, there is bound to be more confrontations between different people as well. So...
    US is both the least and most racist country depending on from where you are looking at it. Uprising and the Korean is both right. The Korean just has a more broader view that much of the world outside the US also has.

  11. "Race" is a peculiarly western invention. To ascribe Korean prejudice or discrimination towards non-Koreans with "racism" is misunderstanding the Korean psyche or for that matter, E. Asian psyche; and even worse, to wash over western racism as globally universal everywhere across all cultures. It isn't. Koreans' so-called racism is informed by ethnocentricism, nationalism and/or "social status". Western racism is informed by a sense that some races are intrinsically/morally superior/inferior to others. This psychology does not traditionally exist in E. Asian societies.

    America tries very hard not to be racist, to be sure, and it talks a good game, but "race consciousness" is very much evident on every level of American society. I don't know if America is the most racist, but it's surely one of the most race conscious. And while the latter is more benign (though not necessarily pleasant), it's not altogether a different animal. It's the same animal that has been tamed, at least for now, not to bite.

    Korea's racism so-called may appear similar to America's, but it's a superficial similarity and altogether a different beast. Korea's ill is it's preoccupation with "status" and status symbols. And to the extent that spills over into "race relations", people mistake that for the same beast that dwells indigienously in western societies.

  12. "Koreans' so-called racism is informed by ethnocentricism, nationalism and/or "social status". Western racism is informed by a sense that some races are intrinsically/morally superior/inferior to others. This psychology does not traditionally exist in E. Asian societies."

    Hmm...In Korea, with all the talk about the "superior blood of the HanMin Joek, even to junior high kids, it's a little difficult to tell the difference between "East Asian ethnocentrism" and "Western Racism". By that definition, can't we call American racism "Anglo-Saxon ethnocentrism".

  13. Love the blog, Korean. Gotta pull you up on one thing though. I think you'll find that the U.S. is not the only nation with an enthnically/culturally diverse population. What about Australia? Wikipedia the stats. We get along relatively well down here too.

  14. What is it with you Aussies trying to compete with America for the crown of least racist country in the world? The Korean constantly receives emails from you people down under challenging his assertion.

  15. Re: Many Aussie's challenge to America's title of least racist country on earth. It's because we're a new, small and far away nation so we often feel insignificant and thus insecure. We fight this feeling by challenging other countries "titles", especially America's because it is the most willing to ignore the existence of other nations.
    P.S. I personally didn't challenge the title you gave to America. I challenged only the assertion that America is the ONLY enthnically/culturally diverse nation.
    P.P.S. Thanks for your comment to a post in my blog. It was an honour to receive one from The Korean.
    P.P.P.S Notice my Australian-English spelling of "honour". The "u" in there was no accident (it's a patriotic statement from an insecure Aussie).

  16. hem hem. I think Australia and Canada rightly challenge America as the most unracist country.

  17. The "Korean" is one individual speaking about racism from his/her own perspective.
    Everyone is different & you cannot put All Koreans in the same category. I don't understand why people are asking this one individual about racism in Korea. Koreans are as diverse as others. Don't put us all in the same category. I would never assume that All Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc are the same. I'm Korean. I have lived in the US for over 38 years. I have experienced racism in this country as well as abroad. There are racists in every country. There are great people in every country. We are all individuals.

  18. america is not the least racist country in the world. anyone who thinks that is just uneducated and unaware of what goes on in other countries. most racist websites are hosted in america or by americans. america has the kkk and neo nazis. not only is america racist but it tries to convince others to also be racist. watch the american media and look at how they try to make muslims and arabs look bad. look at how mexicans are treated. not only are americans ungreatful for their hard work, but theyre trying to bust them at their jobs and ruin their lives. sweden and finland seem more like candidates for the least racist. whoever said australia is the least racist obviously has never left his mothers basement. as for canada, they are the 51st state. end of story.

  19. i totally disagree w/ ur statement that the US is the least racist country in the world.
    The US has the largest number of hate/racist groups than any other country, look it up it's STAGGERING.
    I've also heard from african-americans that are teaching english in seoul that the racism they saw there was fluff compared to what they grew up in the South, they said it was nothing they couldnt handle.
    also Europe? hello?
    that little article you put up about France is nowhere near a all-encompassing or even slightly generalizing insight to immigrants and Europe.
    Although i have to admit I've never been to a European country my great understanding from meeting Europeans and even americans who live in Europe that life there has much less racism than in the US.
    There are historical accounts that say that even during the middle ages interracial marriages weren't looked down upon in Europe.
    I've definitely encountered my fair share of racism living here, nowadays even caucasians are being openly discriminated against in some places.
    I really think you should change that title, if my attempt and other people's attempts didnt convince you at all, then change it not because it's totally untrue (which it is) but because it's a huge assuming statement on your part and it's much too generalizing w/ very little backup (no concrete sources and mostly just ur own opinions), which you do have to meet IS true.

  20. Elizabeth,

    They are called "hate groups" in America. In all other parts of the world, they are called "political parties."

    Also, capitalization is a rule in grammar. Please use it.

  21. Dear Korean.

    I am Polish living in the UK and well I can assure you that racism here is nothing comparing to US.

    And... France too

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  23. I have travel most of the world and I do think that America is the least racist country in the world. I believe that racism in America is fuel by our politicians trying to get votes. In my area of the US, I feel more of reverse racial discrimination. One race in my area always blames the white man for something that happened in the past. For some reason they do not want to get over it and move on with their lives. I got over racism and moved on with my life.

    My story of racism was started in Korea. My mother was disowned and kick out of the family by her father when I was borne. My father is American and my mother is Korean. Her choices were abortion or have me. I am so glad that she chosen to have me. Since that day, my mother has never spoken to her father. My mother was not even allowed to go to his funeral. However most of the town people loved me and helped my mother raised me until she moved to America.

    I felt like Inuyasha when I was growing up. I remember one girl told me that her parents told her that she cannot play with me anymore. Her parents told her that I was a Chink and a Jap.

    I love America because at least they just call you names. In other countries they want to beat you or kill you because of racism. Racism is really bad in the Middle East and Africa. I recall there were many fights with light skin Arabs and dark skin Arabs. The light skin Arabs would look down on the dark skin Arabs. Racism was even bad in Europe. I saw racism in Europe toward the Gypsies, people from African and people from the Middle East. Western Europeans even made fun of Eastern Europeans.

  24. Although America is very diverse, it doesn't mean that all races are necessarily "accepted." I have witnessed quite a bit of experiences, but let's not get into that.

  25. As a newcomer to your blog, I really appreciate how you attempt to view everything through an objective lens.

    I was really impressed by this article because you do not attempt to deny anything about racism, but at the same time you do not decry everything that has happened.

    I will continue reading this blog.

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    The link is a great example of racism in Europe. In the past, Europe was quiet about it and the news media did not report it.

    It is amazing on how the Southern states got label as more racist than the northern states. Like Europe, the northern states just did not speak of racism in public. Of course our bias news media had a lot of influence on who to portray as racist.

    If you think that America is the most racist country in the world, I advise you to travel the world and live in each country for more than a month and you will discover the truth.

  28. America is not the least racist country in the world. You need to travel to America and around the world to see how it compares.

    On the positive side, America is very welcoming to immigrants and delivers a lot in foreign aid around the world, something that is not recognised or mentioned much.

    On the downside, neighbourhoods are segragated, the US census only recognised mixed parental heritage in 2000, and this is reflected in marriage, comments about Tiger Woods being with a white (and not a black) woman, surveys (colour is mentioned in sample statistics which is not done in other countries), TV shows, music, movies and other media. Hence the US expression "token man".

    Obama is married to a black woman, Bush to a white woman, Clinton to a white woman, etc. In a truly multicultural there would not be this obvious racial distinction.

    People should vote for the character of a person, marry a person based on who they are and never do these things on the basis of the colour of your skin.

    My hope is that the US can break down these internal barriers over time, so it will become an even better place over time.

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  30. I don't know if the US is the least racist in the world, but I do agree with the Korean's assertion that the US has a leg up in dealing with racial/diversity issues. Although the US is mightily imperfect, I think it has the kind of experience in dealing with multi-racial/multi-cultural issues that many other countries lack and will have to eventually confront. The fact that the US now has a half-black, half-white president is a sign that the majority of Americans are not blatantly racist. I also agree with the fact that we have socially become intolerant of outright racism, which is a plus in my book.

    I believe the racial segregation that you refer to (ghettos, Chinatowns, etc.) has a large class component (particularly in re to ghettos) that you're ignoring (especially with ghettos). Your statement that "people are gathered or forced together" is inaccurate and obtuse. Especially in the case of Chinatowns, the congregation of a racial group is a exercise of free choice. New immigrants who do not speak English gather with their own racial/cultural communities because assimilation is difficult. These communities are not forced on anyone, but rather develop in response to the needs of their residents.

    Racism in the US may appear to be worse than in other countries, but I think it's because we openly and voraciously discuss it. The composition of the American people is in constant flux, and the US is dealing with it in a very public way (e.g. discussions of Mexican immigration, blacks disproportionate in the prison population, blacks in public office). I doubt that other countries would do that much better if the majority race was slated to be outnumbered in the next few decades.

    Finally, I think it's absolutely ridiculous to think that race is only a Western construct. I doubt that Koreans would be as nearly hospitable to Black-Americans if they started immigrating to the peninsula in droves. Koreans are extremely nationalistic, and they would easily display racism if a lot of Black-Americans moved to Korea, don't know know the language, and gather in their own enclaves. The US has been dealing with exactly that type of situation, and so it's no surprise that there is racial tension in American society. (also see Koreans in Japan)

    I'm not saying that the US is morally superior in any way (agreeing with the Korean), but I don't think other countries have a right to thumb their noses at the US either.

    The US is making progress, and Obama is a clear example.

  31. you cant theorise that america is not racist because it is the longest multicultural society. south africa was multicultural for even longer, but they had apartheid and rampant racist. at the same time you have countries like sweden that are mostly white and not that much multiuculturalism actually be less racist. malaysia has also been multicultural for much longer than america and they had very big racist problems. the op is a very ignorant and isolated person. have you ever even been anywhere outside the usa? you are in no position to write about which country is least racist because you have lived in only the usa and korea. your knowledge of other countries is typical of most americans, very limited. how about you change the title of your post to "america is the least racist country in the world because ive never been outside the u.s." you have obviously never set foot in europe. your theory about the tourist is wrong. there are white guys who stay in korea for more than 2 weeks, and they will still be worshipped. on the other hand, the black guy will not be. you are also misinformed about interacial relationships. there are tons of korean women with foreigners. if koreans cared so much about their women running off with a white guy then they should educate their children more to discourage them from doing this, but they obviously do not. otherwise you wouldnt see all these korean women with american soldiers. i dont think ive ever seen a race where so many of their women go for foreigners. you claim that racial minorities are not in a position to threaten the racial majority, yet your president is a black man. regardless, racism is never actually about real threats, but rather percieved threats fabricated by the far right, as seen in nazi germany. i do not know whether the jews were truly a threat to germany, but i am sure that the germans made them out to be more threatening than they actually were. you are delusional enough to think that decades of interacial experience makes america less racist. again, look at south africa. in regards to your vacuum metaphor, you really need to take some medication. seems like you must have been born yesterday and your idea of history only spans 20 years. the chinese have been going to korea for thousands of years, likewise koreans have also been going to china, yet we saw no race riots. in fact, there is a region in china is made up of 30% koreans. again, no race riots. you think white people saw that minorities were not out to get them? you need to check yourself before you reck yourself. thats the whole mantra of the white supremacist in america. you believe america is the least racist, yet theyre the only country with the kkk. neo nazis are protected by american law. americans dont see racism as a problem. they see it as freedom of speech. what is seen as perfectly legal in america would be illegal in many european countries. the majority of white supremacist websites are hosted and made by americans. there have been cases where white supremacist websites in europe had been shut down by their local governments and the white supremacists reopen their website in a country that is perfectly tolerant of racism- america. in fact, america is seen by many as a racist haven. many of the racist south africans who no longer get their way, dream of going to a place like america that reminds them of the apartheid era that they once loved. korean makes so many bogus claims, it is not even funny. he think that racists are social outcasts? get a clue fool. lou dobbs and glenn beck are some of the most popular tv personalities in america. their entire platform is racism, and talking about how minorities are out to get whitie.

  32. I'm a British man who lives in Connecticut for 2 years and I was shocked by how prevalent racism is in America.

    I'm not saying Britain is perfect. There were race riots in the working class areas of Northern England as recently as 2001. But I find the notion that America is the least racist country in the world offensive.

    If you want to visit a truely multicultural country, come and visit the United Kingdoom.

  33. Dear Korean,
    This blog entry was quite an interesting and amusing read.

    Although I don't know I would agree with the title "least racist" I would agree with many of your points about how America is ahead of the game when trying to tackle racist issues. Why? Because we are constantly confronted by multicultural diversity and we openly discuss about such issues.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on that, and although we are not perfect in any regards, our multicultural environment allows and encourages an open dialogue for racist issues.

    I do not know enough about other places but I can say something about Europe and this is a comment posted 2 years later from the date of this blog, that Europe is very very xenophobic. The Korean hits it right on the dot, because Europe has not been exposed to cultural diversity like America has. They can say that America is very racist, but really they say that with relatively no or little multicultural exposure. Even in countries that are experiencing a deluge of foreign immigrants, this exposure is relatively new and so they really are not handling it with grace. Evidence of the french ban on muslim wearing the veil, the Swiss ban on building minarets...the Danes with the most strictest immigration polices in the EU...just to name a few.

    Now I am saying this from firsthand experience, as opposed to some comments above who did not even visit Europe and claims it is not that racist. Moreover, I was a Korean American traveling through Europe and let me tell you, I had not felt so different in a LOONGG TIME. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone would assume I was Chinese, greet me with Chinese, and outright comments of "ni hao mah" followed me like the plague. America is NOT PERFECT, but being greeted by a self-satisfying cashier at a Berlin Burger King with "NI HAO MAH!" in front of a snickering crowd that didn't think it was a problem, now that's really not okay either and is telling of how Europe has yet to develop social codes that encourage cultural sensitiviy. Something I believe America is openly dealing with and I think, for the most part, has come a long way. Also, if you look "white" like most Europeans, whether you have totally different cultures, its a lot easier to Pass. Basically if you look Caucasian, phenotypically speaking its not the same as looking Indian, Asian, or Middle Eastern. The European Union may be culturally diverse but let me say that the majority of Europe physically can all pass as "european" or "white."

    So who do you think would encounter more racism? The Korean living in Europe? Or the Polish man? Most probably the Korean because he/she looks PHYSICALLY different. Although its not fair, that's how it seems to go. I'm not saying that people who are Polish or Scandinavian or English isn't multicultural because they can all be lumped under a Caucasian category. That's not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is that at first glance, people will gravitate towards the person who looks blatantly different to single out.

    Europe projects a very progressive image but in fact, they are barely hitting the tip of the iceberg. They are not prepared to deal with globalization and the immigration waves it consequently brings. Especially when most of the countries are still pretty homogeneous, relatively speaking. How do you teach multicultural values in European classrooms, or even feel the need to, say like in Spain when most of the classes are filled with Spaniards anyways with the maybe occasional international student?

    I'm pretty sure we will be seeing in the future an increase in racial discrimination/ xenophobic attitudes in Europe as Europeans will be confronted with a rising proportion of foreigners. Who knows though? With their emphasis on human rights, perhaps they will deal with racism a lot better and faster than America but as of now, with the way things are going, it doesn't look very likely.

  34. All the comments suggesting the author needs to go look outside the US are really funny...

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Reading the description of the guy pushing a disabled man out the way to escape a fire just made me think of this:

    The fun starts at 1:15.

  37. I just want to add, after i experienced days solid of groping by complete strangers in the street that i physically had to fight off in Turkey, and ever since that any foreign muslim man thinks you want to have sex with them if you say hello, which isn't proper racism but sort of, i realised racism is always fuelled by sexuality. All the US racism is in terms of black men raping white women etc... You can get some racism aroused by greed over money or fear, but to keep it burning for centuries, you need repressed sexual emotions..

  38. TK, I applaud you for having the guts to post this. Not surprisingly, some people find your post controversial (people who didn't read it and/or missed your point). Also, not surprisingly, the pervasive "anti-American" crowd has come out of the woodwork. If there's one thing I've learned since I started traveling, it's that most countries will go out of their way to contradict ANYONE who says anything even remotely good about America.

  39. Great points made! America is realizing the problems at least.

  40. This was really interesting to read. I have been to Japan, Korean, Europe, Peru, and the United States. I was amazed by what I saw. I have seen racism in all of those places but how it is dealt with is so different.

    I worked at a sandwich shop in Texas and one day we had a trainee who was a second generation hispanic. This nice old man who had always been patient with me came in so I had her take his order thinking, "He will be real nice to her". Wrong. He verbally abused her, called her "wetback", asked why a spic worked in this place. (Guess he never bothered to look in the kitchen at who was making the sandwiches). The response? The customers around heard him and jumped all over his butt about it. We thought there was going to be a customer brawl breaking out from how pissed they were. They called him "rude", "racist", and all sorts of things.

    In Japan, on the other hand, I can't tell you how many times I saw mannequins depicting blacks with big red lips, giant noses, and beady eyes. Nobody said anything. Or be asked by students "Why are foreigners so violent?" Me: Pardon? Japanese students: Yeah violent. They always commit crimes. Not like Japanese. Me: Right... These stereotypes were just accepted as the truth. It was amazing.

    In Peru it was worse. I saw billboards equating blacks to dogs. The only group above blacks were people with Indian blood and they were still way below the elite of Peru. But what was shocking is how little discussion there was about whether this was ok or not.

    Maybe Europe's changing, I saw terrible things that were made all the worse by the fact that nobody saw a problem with this behavior.

  41. @Lam
    I 100% agree that often times cultural or class-related groups make a conscious choice to congregate together. Often, as you said, there is a language barrier or even just the comfort of knowing that others in your neighbourhood have a similar cultural background. What is also applicable, however, is that the class system is rather unbalanced when it comes to who gets to sit where. Not all of these communities are destitute and forced, but enough of them are to make my point that it is still a problem in this country. Think of how many white people are in our jails compared to any other race. We're not the worst, but we still need a lot of work. Another amusing thought (whether true or not), is that we seem to mostly be pointing out how racist white people can be. I've had many people across many cultures/races who have displayed some fairly nasty racism about me. These pockets of people choosing to live almost exclusively together tend to be the worst for this kind of behaviour from non-native peoples. So, we've got people of all types being jerks to each other from time to time. But as I said before, I can't make any kind of fair comparison as my experience with other countries is extremely limited.

  42. Racism in the U.S. depends on the states that you're living. not only does racism depend on the states, but also the counties. i live in the O.C. and there is a lot more racism around the coastal areas than santa ana or fullerton. racism in california is dramatically different from racism in..georgia or missisispi. its mostly nurture and racism starts its roots in the family structure.

    I am also korean (born in the u.s.) when i visited korea, i mainly spoke english. i got a LOTTTT of baaaaaaad stares from high schoolers, and everyone treated me like an outcast because i talked/dressed/acted differently.

  43. Hey Hannah, just wondering where in Korea you were staying? I was in Seoul and no one ever looked weird at me when I spoke English...of course I know how to speak Korean as well but that's beside the point. How were people dressed differently? I could barely tell foreigners/natives apart...

  44. Wow, after that one comment no-one's mentioned Canada again!

    Canada's percentage of minorities (aside from Aboriginals) in rural areas is almost non-existent, but the major cities are very diverse, especially: Vancouver: 52% of the population does not speak English as a first language. Toronto: 49% of the population born outside of Canada.

    Calgary's minorities are at 26% (if you include Aboriginals), Ottawa 22%, Winnipeg 24%.

    Montreal/Quebec City are exempt because immigrants generally don't want to learn French (English is more useful etc., inb4 bitter Quebecois/e) and never immigrate there.

    (sorry, this is all from Wikipedia...)

    Anyway, at the rate Canada is accepting immigrants I'm sure we'll catch up to the US in no time. In Vancouver it's pretty accepted that white people are on the verge of becoming the minority.

    I'm not gonna say there's no racism in Canada, because there is. But I can count on one hand the number of times I've heard someone say something overtly racist here, and I know people who say they've never experienced racism growing up here. (I live in Vancouver) I'm sure it depends on your race and where you are, though. But compared to the things I hear about in the US, I really think Canada is a lot better.

  45. You are right about the biological principles. However, you are wrong about the American people being on-board with anti-racism. After all, We are the ones being hurt by all of it. Our government spends about 400 billion dollars a year creating the kind of environment where Lott, one of our representatives, loses his job for representing us. We the people would rather have a poorer America populated by White Americans than a richer one dominated by a global elite. This is a political conquest, and we are the savages.

  46. Are you talking about the America I have been living in for 59 years being the least racist country? Obviously you don"t live here. Try being black in America and you will change that tune real fast. How dumb is it to hate people just because of the color of their skin and discriminate agaist them economically, socially, and every other way possible. Of course God whom they say they believe in does not condone or agree with the racist in this country and will one day judge them. We deal with racism every day in this country. Everywhere we go. So, until you have walked a mile in the shoes of the people who are the recepients of this racist society, I don't think you are able to rightly judge the racism in America.

  47. Not to kick a dead horse, but Canada enjoys similar diversity and far less racial tension than does the United States. Our smaller minority-per-capita figures compared to those of the U.S. are due to the fact that the slave trade never really took off here like it did down south - Canadian race relations are, because of this, much less dichotomous than American ones. We are also home to Toronto, whose population is 50% foreign born.

  48. As another Canadian hailing from Vancouver, I would have to agree that there is less racial prejudice in Canada than the US, especially in urban settings and with the younger generation of Canadians. In Canadian society, there is a very important concept of "Cultural Mosaic," which stands over and against the US concept of "Blending Pot." From a young age, the Canadian education system places a strong emphasis on teaching children to celebrate diversity.

    Personally, although I am caucasian, I experienced being a "minority" growing up in my high school, which was over 80% asian 15-20 years ago (it would be higher now). For me, it is really strange to travel to other areas of Canada, because there seems to be an overabundance of white people. Although "racist" ideas may have been more prevelant in my parents' generation, and especially my grandparents' generation, amoung Canadians my age and younger, they are really unacceptable. Also, mixed relationships and marriages are extremely common in (at least urban) Canada. Hesitancy towards them tends to be more common among people who have recently immigrated to Canada, then amongst people who have lived here for an extended period of time.

  49. US is most definitely one of the least raciest country without question. There is a difference between racism if you want to call it that and flat out hatred. We do have groups like that but they don't dare expose themselves to openly. What is also interesting is the perceived racism some people have from one part of the country to the next or from state to state. This is a phenomena that that flat out doesn't happen in many other parts of the world. Some would think states like Montana, Wyoming, Dakota's and much of the northern US would be more racist then let's say Washington, New York or California. Although just the opposite seems to be true. Montana just as an example has a very high Native American population upwards around 10% give or take a few percentage points.

    Some 22 native American tribes are represented. That's not counting the one which the government doesn't recognize yet!! Job placement among native Americans there is among the highest represented of any state at both the local and state level. This is saying something as Native Americans are usually the least represented of all minority groups throughout the US. The increase in minority populations though has seemingly had a positive effect on the people and not a negative one as you might expect. If I have heard any stereotypes at all it is usually caused by the natives themselves between each other (difference tribes) then with the majority population. You do see the occasional victim card played when things don't go their way but not due to racism from what I hear.

    Montana in fact has made national news quit a few times for it zero tolerance policy in regards to white supremest movements, gangs and the like! This is rare even for America to take such a hard approach but unheard of anywhere else in the world. I feel discrimination is more an issue then racism but that to has it's limits. No one is going to push that to hard without being labeled an outcast or putting themselves at risk. I myself live in a small city of around 250,000 people. Yet one would be amazed just how supportive we are of minority groups. We recently had a Korean couple that moved here which were struggling getting a home and forced to live in their car. Once people got word of this though that changed. Local news stations stated fund raiser drives. Food was donated and several families even offered their home to stay, gave them a car and helped them secure a job lol.

    You tell me where in the world you are going to see that kind of community involvement. Not to mention for a minority and of which no one knew. Sure you might see more racism in a town less then 10,000 people. Although they don't like outsiders period. Whether they are from the city, a different state or otherwise. America certainly isn't perfect by any means but is no where near what you would experience in other parts of the globe. The whole point I am trying to make is that an increase in a minority population doesn't necessarily mean a increase in racism. Overall the Korean makes some good points here but I have to disagree with certain aspects of that. Overall though it's all in what one's experience has been I guess.

  50. 1. As it's clearly pointed out by several responders, 'a Korean' speaks with prejudice: who knows how many countries this Korean has spent a significant amount of time in (more than say five years). You would have to morph into each of the races, change sexes, genders, social classes, subconscious prejudice from experience; anyway, all impossible stuff to do.) Apparently he has spent at least this much time in the U.S., so it would seem he's picked up some of that 'you like what you know/ what is familiar nationalism'. Choosing such an attitude and title may have been an ironic attempt to stimulate more responses. People adamantly disagree so they respond, or people agree and support such a 'well-rounded' and objective account from a minority race representative living in the U.S., and so respond positively; either way, it could be a strategy to rack up more of an audience. Who is it that said, "The only bad press is no press"? Oh, yes, it was Pol Pot, I believe.

    As one of the responders seemed to want to say, one's perception of racism becomes relative to which race one represents, which country one goes to, the manner in which one acts, the language in which one defends/asserts oneself, and what social class/group one represents oneself as: say you're black, white, asian, latino, middle-eastern, etc. and dressed up and act like, for example, a 'hardcore mohawk crackhead punk-bum' in a conservative neighborhood within Australia, Canada, England, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, Peru, Turkey, or any of the other countries mentioned by responders to this blog: you will stick out, may face discrimination/ negative vibes, and depending on your experiences in the past, you could label this as racist, sexist, classist, identitiest, etc.

    2. As another responder seemed to allude to: multicultural populations in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, ummm... say Stockholm or Gothenburg, Gotham City, seoul (I don't capitalize the Seoul's 's' because I'm racist against Koreans, just kidding) (yeah right, maybe 이태원 between the hours of 10p.m. and 4a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights)etc. are really concentrated in major urban areas that are easy to commute/ immigrate to from afar. Once you step out of these major urban areas, the cultural/racial diversity quickly falls off. And the 'sticking out like a sore-thumbedness' quickly springs up, and along with it boom racism!: treating a bipedal human with (normally) two eyes, two legs, one nose, one chin (rarely) etc. different from those people who are the same race as you, who are so common place you fall asleep into your slavework, merely because they don't fit the staus-quo hypnotism of tedious monotony you're used to: "Oh, so I was talking to this (insert race) guy today, and..." boom, I would be surprised if any responder to this blog doesn't make a variety of similar accidental and subconscious Freudians on a daily basis. Anyway, (worrying about the 5000 or so character word limit I'm always seeming to go over on my responses), racism is a big-daddy problem in the world, but it's all but a hungry, runtish 새끼 supping at the teet of the real monster: global capitalism!!! If you really want to get rid of racism, start with getting rid of this originator: and who's going to do that? Nobody. Gotta get that caaaaaaash, baby!

  51. Hello Korean. It is an interesting and provocative point of view here.
    Unfortunately I think your main argument of comparison with Western Europe is wrong and so simplified (I mean the French riots' example). You identify them with racial issues, and therefore you show a lack of knowledge about the topic... It reminds me the same kind of simplification that american medias did when they talked about an islamic revolution in France.... (lol?)
    I think it's sad you have neglected the French case (as well as the British, or Dutch cases), because in my view these countries clearly challenge the Usa on this field. Oh and btw the Canada is certainly much more tolerant than the US ( your "16% argument" is not relevant, it is not just a question of quantity).

    PS: I understand that you want to be a good patriot, appropriate the highest values for your country but you should however remember this tip of one of your compatriot :« you needn’t be a better royalist than the king »...

  52. The common myth being espoused here is that diversity, tolerance, and multiculturalism = "not-racist".

    I find it interesting the number of commenters that say their nations (Canada, UK, Western Europe) are much more enlightened, tolerant and accepting of different races and ethnicities than the US.

    There are plenty of countries that have anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action like programs, and profess the belief in a multicultural state. However, this in and of itself does not mean the population is racism free or even accepting of other groups.

    While anecdotes, news stories of race riots and how someone was treated at a restaurant are interesting gauges of social civility/tolerance.

    The best indicators are those that show how vested those "minorities" are that country. ie. Their incomes relative to the national avg, how well represented are they in senior government positions and heads of corporations and businesses and their presence in other national institutions, police, fire department, military.

    And how well represented are these groups in other spheres of society. In news anchor roles, as politicians, military leaders, and cultural icons. France only recently hired its First BLACK news anchor.

    By these measures I feel that US is still the least racist developed country on earth. For example some Canadians posters point out the racial mix of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal is high where whites are a minority or will be. And i will respond with New York, LA, San Francisco, Houston, Miami to name a few. To the Europeans who bleat about their enlightened tolerance and acceptance of others i say Racism in Soccer. To those who point to Canadian Governor General's Adrienne Clarkson and Michaëlle Jean I say Barack Obama. An elected head of the nation vs APPOINTED token positions.

    Frankly all nations are inherently racist. However what sets the US above all of them is the OPEN acceptance that the country is racist with racist tendencies, while at the same time actively working to remedy the situation, instead of brushing everything under the carpet or pointing out shallow examples of why their societies are better than Americas.

  53. @jollyroger I think you still use tools of analyze made by and for the anglo saxon societies. Their models of integration are different for the other countries (especially the Western Europe ones, not really for Canada or UK which are quite similar to the usa). that's why your comments and your examples for international comparisons are in my view irrelevant.
    Indeed, the simple fact that you assimilate multiculturalism (the anglo saxon model of integration by excellence) with non-racism shows how your assumption is distorted.
    I won't mention all of your short cuts here, but by the way I would agree with the fact that racism is hardly measurable.

    Ps: I don't understand why you use the "token position argument" to defend the american "tolerance", while it is the country which proudly use affirmative action, and many other "token position" actions to put forward its "diversity".... it seems really contradictory to me.

  54. Dear Korean,

    Everytime I read any of your posts, I start to wonder very much during the reading. Any word you write there that has the power to make me meditate about the issue will make it. And that's because the majority of the things you say makes sense to me and to me, you seem to be a very observant and critic person (not only when it comes to korean culture, but with the rest of the world in general).
    I really agree with your explanation about racism. However, in this post I have to disagree with you at some points.
    I don't think America is the least racist country in the world. I think everyone forgets about South America, which had the same slavery process that the South of USA. I'm a brazilian, and I no longer defend my country when it comes to politics and social differences, but when it comes to racism and religion, I think Brazil would be one of the least prejudiced countries of the world (if not, the least of the whole world).
    And, talking about racism, here is the reason that I think it's true:

    1- Unlike United States, Black People, White People, Asian People (We have the biggest population of japanese out of Japan of the world and looots of Chinese living here) and even indian people live together, at the same neighborhood, at the same street and even at the same house.

    2- United States is still a very segregated country from my point of view, because they still have that thing of black people marrying only black people, white people marrying only white people. I know that the exceptions are huge, but they still have this kind system in their society. And, in South America, if you look at a list of the new etnicities that were created after europeans and africans come here, you can see how mixed we are. Well, one of the symbols of Brazil, besides Carnival and Soccer, are their "mulatas"; women that are a mix of europeans and africans, and that are considered very pretty and sexy all over the world.

    3- People here are so mixed that we just don't seem to think too much about each other's race or ancestry, we just get along well.

    However, no place is free of racism and Brazil is no different. I could only say that, from my point of view, racism here is a random stuff and once in awhile pops out with some isolated cases.

    Well, it's my first comment on your blog, and I would like to congratulate you, because it helped me a lot. And say sorry for eventual english mistakes.

  55. Most people here are missing the point. As the Korean has pointed out in previous posts, his favored approach to persuading people consists of ethos, logos, and pathos: establishing credentials of expertise, making a rationale argument, and then appealing to the emotions of an audience. He has not demonstrated ethos in this post (AKA he has traveled and lived everywhere in the world) and may be eliciting some pathos in some viewers.

    Therefore, I believe his point to be mostly about the logos of the matter--rational quantitive arguments about what makes America the least racist:
    1. Relative diversity by percentage of minority population
    2. More time spent living as a diverse society (South Africa meets the criteria for diversity but loses out somewhat due to the recency of apartheid).

    He backs these points qualitatively by pointing out that:
    3. Racism is a heuristic, a way for humans to simplify a complex world in order to survive. To some degree we can't help it except by overriding it by thinking higher thoughts.
    4. Racism has become taboo in America, and incidences of racism are quick to trigger media comment.

    #4 follows #3 because unless we are willing to acknowledge a inherent behavior or bias, we cannot address it. I would even categorize racism as an even more general in man: fear of the unknown. I think the best European analog of what America has experienced with acknowledging and addressing a history of segregation and race issues is Germany & Jews. Germans are generally very sensitive to be seen as anti-Semitic due to their past history and willingness to address it.

    Most commenters I see are making comments based on TK's quantitative arguments about mix of diversity in a country and using anecdotal evidence (their own lives) as fact. While I enjoy reading about people's experiences, they aren't great as quantitative evidence. Since I happen to agree with TK's general view on why racism occurs (heuristics) and how it can be addressed (time & effort), I just want to know if anyone wants (or cares) to disrupt his line of reasoning.

    To summarize as I see it, America is the least racist country in the world because:
    1. Events have conspired to create conditions of naturally high diversity (i.e. immigration, forced or not) which can be supported by census data.
    2. Longer history and experience (read: trouble) spent gradually desegregating naturally.
    3. The cultural will to recognize and decry events of racism.
    4. (Unofficial) A large supply of women of Korean descent to date. :)

    Feel free to call BS but attack the line of reasoning instead of quibbling over evidence difficult to substantiate.

  56. This is the first time I've ever read one of your articles. I didn't read the whole thing but what I did read was intelligently written and insightful. Nice one Korean.

    "However, no place is free of racism and Brazil is no different. I could only say that, from my point of view, racism here is a random stuff and once in awhile pops out with some isolated cases."

    @Isabella, thats how it really is in America when you actually live here. You have to understand how much the media sensationalizes everything.

  57. Also, isn't affirmative action or any kind of law that encourages diversity or deals with race in any way inherently racist? Maybe its not racist by some people's definition but here in America if you even acknowledge the differences between races you are considered a racist.(Assuming you are white, of course.)

  58. Normally, I find the Korean's posts to be intelligent and insightful, but this is not one of them. Claiming that the USA is the least racist country in the world is not only incorrect, but makes a mockery of the suffering that people of color had to go through (and still go through to this day). Your argument doesn't work because the original settlers of America weren't European Whites. They were Native American. The land was stolen from them, and with the use of African slave labor, this country was built through systematic genocide and racial oppression. White Americans didn't start being racist because foreigners were invading their land, no, THEY were the foreigners who invaded other people's land. And once they settled in, they tried to keep everyone else out so that they could keep the wealth and prosperity to themselves (that they gained through racism). Your argument makes sense when applying it to European and Asian countries since they're the ones who originally settled there, but not in the case of countries like America, Australia, and South Africa. Where the original settlers were booted out by foreign invaders. I'm a bit shocked at the lack of insight in this post. Maybe the Korean is blinded by the fact that he is an American and is seeing the US through rose colored lenses. FYI, I am Korean (not American), but I live in the US.

    1. You seem not to have properly read his post. He didn't deny that the United States historically engaged in horrific acts of racism and even genocide. He is saying that now, in recent years, American culture has been moving away from that, and Americans are ashamed of that past.
      And, yes, racism does exist, but it is also a social taboo.

      Personally, I have no opinion on whether the United States is currently more or less racist than other countries, since I have too little experience or knowledge. Therefore I'm not defending his argument, simply presenting it accurately.

    2. By the way, according to what I read elsewhere on this blog, the Korean lived in Seoul until he was 16.

  59. I agree with the Korean in this statement. It doesn't mean that I did not witness any racism in the US. I actually dealt with it daily. I am a successful person so some Nature-Born-American knew me at first they made fun of my accent and then my shortness. Once I show them my intelligent without using English or physically advance they got to know the real me. They did not make fun of me anymore. Why I still think America is the least racism country. The real question is why I left my country that its people speak the same language and has the same color as me and live in a country that have some people treat me like that. I believe that hater is gonna hate. My native country, we almost didn't have different color people (at the time I left), so we don't have racism. But we did have discriminate from region to region, from country people to city people, from rich to poor, from low class to upper class, from education to un-education. The biggest discrimination is between people who speak their own mind and people who follow the political party rule. And that is the worst. It is so bad to the point it unbearable, so people had to leave or stay in the bottom of society. So American may have racism. But if someone like me, who come at teenager age, speak no English and had nothing to offer but strong mind and live an American Dream in just 10 years, then America did something right. God bless America.

  60. I was reading your article on 'America, least racist country in the world' and have to disagree. There is more then racial stats you need to consider. I was hoping you could shed more light on how you came to your conclusions after reading my own interpretation (a Canadian's interpretation).

    Canada has been a multi-cultural melting pot for as long as America has. We have less people as a whole but are as ethically diverse and mixed as the United States, more so in some ways which I will get to shortly (actually I'm going to say the U.S. from now on because everyone from South to Central to North America are Americans). In the U.S. when you move there as an immigrant it is generally expected for you to re-invent yourself by discarding anything non-American. In Canada it is generally expected you will be both (i.e. Canadian-Korean). In the U.S. immigrants generally segregate themselves from each other whereas this is much less the case in Canada. There are exceptions to this rule of course (New York City or some places in Vancouver) but as a generality I have observed it to be mostly true.

    I am happily married to a Korean now but when I was much younger my first wife was from the U.S. My son is a Canadian / U.S. citizen and my grandfather on my dad's side was from the U.S. I have gone to a U.S. school, lived in the U.S., travelled to the U.S. extensively and have many U.S. friends as well as family. My son's U.S. uncle has told me in confidence that his own mother thought his Pilipino wife would be better off discarding any of her non-American customs or beliefs. In contrast my Korean wife has never been subjected to such insulting suggestions in Canada. In Canada she has gladly been accepted as a Korean - Canadian. It has never been suggested that she discard any Korean beliefs or customs that were not exclusively Canadian.

    Growing up in Canada my friends, neighborhood, schools, community functions were all racially mixed. I grew up with friends from China, the Philippines, Burma, Europe and Mexico. In contrast my U.S. friends largely grew up hanging out with people who were ethically the same as them. My U.S. friends were surrounded by different cultures but as a whole they did not mix with each other. As a whole this simply is not the case in Canada. Even when I travelled overseas (i.e. Norway and Malaysia) the U.S. community largely kept to itself. I was one of the few people, among the U.S. students, at the U.S. school in Oslo who had a best friend that was Norwegian. The only person I knew who had deep associations with Norwegians outside the school was my British friend (who incidentally lives there, speaks the language and married a Norwegian). I have also encountered U.S. citizens living in South Korea. One U.S. air force pilot I talked to had lived there three years and yet only knew one word in Korean. My experiences with the U.S. on this front have been numerous and consistent.

    As for history it was Canada who offered freedom to African-Americans facing persecution in the U.S.A. due to the color of their skin. Our immigration policies and laws in Canada have largely been generous and accepting (minus our current prime minister - Stephen Harper).

    To conclude Canada is as racially mixed as the United States but is generally more accepting and welcoming of the immigrants that come here. From a Canadian point of view we see the United States as the more racist nation so I have take exception to your assessment - I don't know if Canada is the least racist country in the world but it is certainly less racist then the U.S.

  61. So, TK, after the election, what would your thoughts be on all of this? Would you revise any of your statements?


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