Disclaimer: This in no way should be taken as fact or as a depiction of how all Koreans treat Foreigners or African Americans. These are my experience with a select group of people while I was in Seoul. This is in no way indicative of Koreans as a whole this is just a retelling of my experiences and others.
Alright, Alright if you don’t know by now I’m Black and a foreigner those two things go hand and hand, but it would be cool to know a POC (Person of Color) that was born in Korean and get their perspective on life here. Regardless being that I am a Foreigner and Black I can’t discern where people are reacting to one or the other or just plainly both. Whatever it is the level of unconformability I sometimes feel is real. So, here is a list of things that have happened to me and others
~Being asked if I played basketball / Being a Basketball player (usually because of my height)
~Trying to be sold on Basketball shoes or Basketball Jerseys
~My Friends has Dreaded Locks; People are intrigued by them
~Once at a hip-hop lounge someone tried to touch them
~Being in a hip-hop club and when songs come on people repeat the N-word when used
~Going to a park cypher and having a guy saying “hold up, let a real N-word rap.”
~Taxi drivers here can be picky
~Once we couldn’t get a cab for 30 minutes and had to walk to another location to find a taxi that would pick us up
~A Biracial couple (Japanese female, Black male) couldn’t flag down a taxi either
~When I was practicing Japanese with my friend an older gentleman gave me like the hardest eye adamant glare
~I was in Maccas (McDonalds), and a little girl started at me for what I felt like a long time
~My other black friend and I got shooed out of a restaurant ordering and like an hour before it closing (the attendant said something in Korean, but we didn’t know so that may have added to it)
Look, no place is perfect, and not all Koreans act the same. That’s the same of everyone. If I went around thinking everybody I see on my day to day has something semi “racist” to say, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy life. I don’t know what to say of a bigger picture. My blog not an afterschool special just statement from my mind. Rest assured foreigners as well have said things as well. It was back in the 2nd week I had been asked what’s it likes to be black in Seoul so many times it mentally affected me. We were in I-Park Mall it’s kind of like a physical Ebay you negotiate prices on electronics and other things and me in my friends were sitting at this intersection of the mall where all the people walk pass. My thought process was something along the lines of “there aren’t any black people or individuals who look like me if I don’t see any I might freak.” Luckily I guess this couple walked by, but it was a weird experience to have that thought process and a possible anxiety attack maybe. I been good since then but that was an oddly real moment for me. I guess the easiest thing to say is nobody is perfect and respect others and their culture question mark?