Wednesday, 12 November 2008

a nice thing about writing at the Hub of Sparkle is, when you're piping mad about something...

I can save my social commentary/moral outrage about Korea's social problems stuff for there, and keep Roboseyo a mostly happy place.

But I'm mad, readers.  Flaming mad.

Because the people who are supposed to be protecting kids: parents and teachers and stuff, are covering up acts of violence against minors.  Rather than raising a holy stink to high heaven, and throwing the perps up against a wall, with a good strong smackdown, to show everyone around that this is not acceptable behaviour, and will be punished by the law, a lot, and is also bad, parents and teachers at schools deny things and cover things up, in order not to lose face.

Losing face, dear readers.  
In other words: they are not doing their jobs properly, because they don't want it to look like they aren't doing their jobs properly.

Yeah.  When you word it that way, saving face is absolute bullshit.

Now, I know it only raises my blood pressure to get worked up about things too big for me to change personally... but this time, I'm at least pitching in, boys and girls.

See, the biggest problem with all this violence against kids being tolerated or ignored, is that people DON'T TALK ABOUT IT.  And I can talk about it.  And now that a few people read my blog, I can even get other people talking about it.

Because here in Korea, the only time shit actually seems to get done is when someone in power gets embarrassed for not having done his (yeah, it's usually a guy, this being Korea and all) job properly up until that point.  I could reference numerous incidences where as soon as something went public and embarrassed some people, decision-makers finally got around to doing something.

It is also well-known to anyone familiar with Korea, that Korea really hates being criticized in the International Media (even the Lonely Planet gets'em up in arms, and a Singaporean textbook...heaven help us all!).  If a major network picked up a story about Korea's apparent lack of care for all the corporal punishment and, even worse, the denials, cover-ups, and general flippance TOWARD these acts and much, much worse, maybe the right feathers would get ruffled, and things would start to change.

I've started a page over at Hub of Sparkle where I'm collecting all the ugly incidents of schoolteacher coverups, parents refusing to cooperate with police investigations on violence against kids, because it brings shame to the family, of police neglecting to properly investigate crimes against kids, because it sounds too much like work, so that if/when a journalist DOES decide to do that exposee, they'll have their job made easy, because the last round of stories, news links, and blog anecdotes (see the post after the link) has just been a bridge too far, and I want to do something about it.

So go check the link repository at Hub of Sparkle.  Send me links at hubofsparkle[at]gmail[dot]com if you have a story, or leave it in the comments.  I'm especially looking for stuff a journalist would be able to use, for example, news articles from creditable sources, or articles in translation with links to the original Korean articles.  Help me build up a stockpile of yuck, so that the right people can be embarrassed into actually making this country a better, safer place to be a kid.

Leave comments about the kids over there, not here.

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