A GREAT POST BY MICHAEL OF THE SCRIBBINGS OF THE METROPOLITICIAN. IT LOOKS LIKE HE WAS TEACHING IN YONG-IN. NO WORD YET IF ANY OF HIS STUDENTS WERE ABUSED.
OK – child abuse is not funny.
Still, is his name seriously...Chester?!
Anti-Foreigner Backlash in 5...4...3...2...
Now, let's not forget that there hasn't been a single proven allegation of any foreigner molesting children to date – oh, and we can be certain that if there were one, the yellow journalists who call themselves the Korean media would have been all over that like flies on doo doo – but now that a serious Chester has been found to have lived in Korea, it's going to be a media field day. (Like here and here and here and here...)
But before the games begin, let's not forget that even this seriously crazy fucker hasn't actually been accused of molesting children in Korea, nor as part of any English teaching. Not that that makes him any better of a person, but let's remember: the Korean media is going to use this as an excuse to paint all foreigners with the "Chester the Molester" brush, the non-scandal of the English Spectrum-gate (and that dumb post of as single dumbass) is going to be dredged up and polished off yet again, and the allegedly low sexual morals of foreigners is once again going to take center stage.
This, in a country in which sex with minors for pay actually is a well-known concept and word (the "compensated dating" that is wonjo kyojae), you can regularly read about teachers, professors, and other Korean men of good repute getting caught having sex with minors in "love motels," and even in popular culture, you can actually have plots that involve teachers wanting to have sex with their students passed off as acceptable fare (Eorini Shinbu).
I won't even go into a spiel about the many times I've heard about male teachers who inappropriately touch their students even today, and you can ask just about any Korean female over the age of 40 about whether or not they had a teacher touch them or their friends in public, without even trying to hide it, since back then, even parents trembled before the word and reputation of the lowliest of teachers.
And the Korean media will appropriately forget just who should be embarrassed here, as Korea continues to be the place that wants to pay bottom dollar (yet that pay's still pretty good) for any native speaker with a pulse.
Although this is old ranting material for regular readers of my blog, the Korean media should also ask the question of why white skin is a passport for good living in Korea – is it any wonder that a molester on the run was in Korea? 'Cause if you're a foreigner with no qualifications, a background you don't want checked, and employers who don't want to know and don't care about quality, anyway, then Korea's the perfect place to hide out.
Or, at least the perfect place to live a straight life and earn money to support your molestation habit for vacation time in Thailand.
This is not to say that this is typical of all or even most of the foreigners who live in Korea; I'm simply pointing out somewhat of the opposite – that given the lax controls, the desire for cheaper rather than better teachers, and the easy monies and silky honies that can be had with white skin – is it any surprise to find someone like this in Korea?
And whose fault would that be? The vast majority of law-abiding, normal foreigners? Or the results of a system that is so lax, unregulated, and out-of-control that you get the occasional crazy show up here?
But no, the searing light if social criticism will instead be a blinding light of racist stereotyping for a scandal that has yet even to happen. Well, the truth doesn't matter to the Korean media, anyway – hence, media outlets don't even print retractions. Perhaps that's because if they held themselves to that standard, the pages of corrections and retractions would have to occupy and entire section of the paper itself.
Anyway, some predictions:
1) More calls for background checks on foreigners that won't ever happen, and won't affect anything, anyway.
2) More "stories" printed about the allegedly lower sexual mores of foreign men.
3) No actual stories of foreign teachers having been caught doing anything with a minor, unlike what you can hear about every day in the society section of any Korean newspaper.
You can read about what I think would improve the quality of teaching and life for foreign teachers and their students alike, but it's all fantasy, since it'll never happen in a Korea that treats foreigners, no matter what we do, like walking, talking dictionaries.
Wanted Pedophile Taught English in South Korea
Interpol is hot on the trail of a man suspected of molesting some 12 Southeast Asian boys and posting the photos on the Internet.
And what do you know — he’s an English teacher in Korea:
A week ago, the investigation into a man suspected of molesting at least 12 boys in Southeast Asia was nowhere. Desperate, Interpol issued a worldwide appeal, posting a wanted poster online. The organization said the move was unprecedented — usually, national authorities decide whether to seek the public’s help.
Today, Interpol’s chief announced some significant progress: Tips have led investigators to a name (as yet undisclosed) and a place (Thailand). A few days after a media blitz that included an item on this blog, airport security cameras evidently caught him fleeing South Korea, where he teaches English, Interpol said.
The Register posted the Thai immigration authorities’ photo of the man, too. I’d post it, but to do so might actually be illegal in Korea, so just follow the link.
The man, whom Interpol declined to publicly identify for “investigative reasons,” was photographed by security cameras at the Bangkok airport last week. He had been working as a teacher of English at a school in South Korea but was forced to flee shortly after the international police organization issued a public appeal for help in tracking him down. Police say they have determined the man’s name, nationality, date of birth, passport number and current and previous work places.
The man had altered his photographs on the Net to make his face unrecognizable, but Interpol had managed to find a way to restore the photos to their original state.
In case you’re wondering, it doesn’t appear the Korean press has caught on yet. But they will. Don’t worry. Not that it will lead the authorities to review whether it’s such a good idea to let virtually any white person with a pulse into the country to teach English or anything…
(HT to reader)
UPDATE 1: More from AP.
UPDATE 2: It still doesn’t look like the local press has caught on. But on a related note, Yonhap reported on Oct 12 that an American English teacher was charged — but not detained (!) — for sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl during class at a Seoul English school for children.
The guy is suspected of having placed his hands up the little girl’s skirt. The teacher vigorously denied the charges against him, but prosecutors submitted as evidence CCTV footage. Or so reported YTN.
Prosecutors initially asked for a detention warrant, but the court turned it down, saying — and sit down for this — that the client wasn’t a flight risk.
I’ll say that again — the court turned down a detention request for a guy allegedly caught on tape sticking his hands up a 6-year-old girl’s skirt because the suspect — a foreigner, no less — WASN’T judged to be a flight risk.
WTF? And judges wonder why someone might want to shoot them with a bow and arrow…
UPDATE 3: Yonhap just got the story:
There is shock that a man wanted all over the world on charges of traveling the globe molesting children has worked as a teacher in Korea.
Expect more on this later.
UPDATE 5: The suspect’s name has been released. Also, he fled Korea only last week. (HT to reader)