Friday, January 16, 2009

Ask a Korean! News: New York Times Finally Catches Up with Ask a Korean!

New York Times had an interesting article about how Americans talk about race, and how it is changing now that we will (in just four days!) have a black president.

The most interesting part of the article was the idea of "strategic colorblindness": the idea that white people "can be so uncomfortable talking about race that they think the most sensitive approach is to avoid the subject entirely[.]" According to studies, "whites, including children as young as 10, may attempt to avoid talking about race with blacks, or even acknowledging racial differences, so as not to appear prejudiced."

In other words, New York Times just figured out what the Korean figured out more than two years ago when he started the Ask a Korean! -- Americans, especially white people, have become afraid of talking about race. Thus, the Korean stated in his profile: "Interests: Giving honest answers to racial questions. The Civil Rights Movement has been so successful that people now have become completely AFRAID to ask legitimate questions concerning race. This only perpetuates misunderstanding between races. The Korean is here to fix that."

Keep it up, NYT. Maybe someday, your publication may become as successful as AAK! :)

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


  1. A little late?

    College roommate of Michelle Obama on race conversations in the U.S. Roommate's mother originally protested the housing assignment that placed her daughter in a shared living space with a black student (a.k.a. Michelle Obama).

  2. Obama is an African-American, but he's not Black. Well, at least, he has not gone through the same socioeconomic historic experience of Black Americans whose families have been in the United States since slavery. The same is true of Colin Powell. Would these exact same people have reached the same heights had they grown up in Compton, Watts, Lynwood, or South Central?

    Maybe, but not necessarily.

  3. I'm not sure when it happened, but it seems like America made "becoming a colorblind society" its goal, and is now beginning to see the failure & consequences of that idea. We're now seeing a small but growing movement toward becoming a "color-conscious" society; one that respects the complex history of race in this country.


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