Hat tip to Gusts of Popular Feeling.
The actions of 40-year-old Yie Eun-woong for the deportation of illegal foreign English instructors who use drugs or molest women are being criticized by an organization of foreign teachers, the Los Angeles Times reported on January 31.
Mr. Yie leads the group “Citizens of Right English Education” (올바른 영어교육을 위한 시민모임(불법 외국어강사 퇴출을 위한 국민운동)), monitoring the activities of foreign instructors in Korea and their pasts in their home countries.
The group was created starting from a single 2005 internet post about a community website for foreign instructors in Korea. That post was about sexual relationships between foreign instructors and Korean students, including college students or underage students, and was very shocking. Outraged, a movement including Mr. Yie began working for the expulsion of “unqualified” foreign instructors.
Mr. Yie selects problem instructors submitted by upset parents, then sends information necessary for their punishment to authorities. To gather information on the foreign instructor during that process he goes directly to their homes.
An organization of foreign English teachers in Korea harshly criticizes this, calling it “no different from stalking and harming people who have done nothing wrong,” the newspaper reported.
Members of the foreign teacher’s group said, “it is true that every year a few foreign instructors are arrested for marijuana or other crimes, but they are arrested for drug crimes at a much lower rate than the Korean population.”
At the end of last year the leader of the foreign teacher’s group, the newspaper reported, received a threatening e-mail saying, “I have formed the group Kill White in Korea to kill white people in Korea. Foreigners will be punished. Leave Korea quietly.”
In an interview with the LA Times the leader said, “foreign instructors have to submit to AIDS tests, which Korean teachers do not, and criminal background checks… Because of a few ‘problem children’ all foreign instructors are under suspicion, and this nationalist sentiment is not abating.”
In response, Mr. Yie emphasized, “I think KWK is a fake group created by a foreign instructor… the aim of our group is to protect students and parents.”
He added, “we created a system for students and parents to report low-quality foreign instructors and many times we have found cases of them being involved in drugs or gambling… The accusation that we are a racist group is false, we always try to look with an open mind at foreign instructors.”
The LA Times, relying on the views of experts, reported that there is a clash between the ideas of “Korean society changing to be open to multiculturalism rather than focusing on racial homogeneity” and “this is a problem not of race but of teachers and students”.