GV Face: Too “Asian” to Evacuate? South Korea's Ferry Tragedy and Culture Blaming

Join this video hangout live at UTC 2:30 PM on Google Plus.

Stubborn stereotypes about South Koreans prevail in much of the reporting on a capsized ferry that led to the deaths of more than 200 people, most of them teenagers on a school trip. Were they too “obedient” to evacuate? On today's #GVFace we talk to Global Voices Korean editor Yoo Eun Lee about Korean reactions to the international media, what the tragedy means at home, and who is really blame.

Also read: South Koreans Accuse Government of Botching Ferry Response


  • cleanupphilly

    I’m sorry, but if a ship is tilting on a 45 degree angle, or even taking on any water, listing even a little, common sense tells you get off the boat. You don’t need to wait for the captain.

    Obviously the international media gets that the captain is a criminal for being first off, and making sure of it by telling everyone to stay in place by installing a continuous loop message stating that order to the passengers. He should be shot. I hope they put him to death for this.

    But who trains their kids to be so docile that every single one freezes in place like deer in the headlights? US kids, I’m sorry, would be off that boat like rats, and anyone in their way would have gotten a boot in the groin, while they screamed “ABANDON SHIP” like maniacs. It would have been mass panic, but most would have lived. They would have fought to lived.

    If your kids are not fighting to live, something is wrong with the way they are being raised. Prepare them for emergencies. Bad things happen. The world is not a safe place. My condolences to the families.

  • cleanupphilly

    US kids, I’m sorry, would have stolen the life jackets from the crew, taken their illegal guns out of their suitcases, held it to the heads of the crew, and said “Show me NOW how to open up this life boat,” and gotten off that boat.

    I hate to say it but US kids, as bad and delinquent and awful as they can be, would have fought to have survived. These are the great grand kids today of the soldiers who fought and won WWII, who fought in North Korea, or what they still refer to as “Korea,” who almost froze to death. What happened to the Korean people, who were right by their sides?

    • Azia

      American kids would have died on that boat. They are rapidly becoming docile. Look at how the conservatards and religious nut cases have taken control of government and are now forcing everyone to live according to their sick stone age ways?

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.