Saturday, 13 August 2011

I owe an Apology to Mike Yates and TJ

I've owed you two this post for a while.

In 2009, I wrote an angry blog post in which I called Mike Yates and T.J., two guys heavily involved with discussions about ATEK at the beginning, trolls. At the time, I didn't know them at all.

Since then, I have gotten to know these guys, through some email and through their commenting and other actions. First, they acquitted themselves admirably in explaining their views on ATEK.  During my time with ATEK, I saw them give that organization numerous chances, despite their initial opposition.  Secondly, I saw them put a ton of time and work into building the AFEK community, of which I am a member. AFEK is a great place, in part thanks to the combined efforts of all the members there (and anyone can now become a member and join discussions in AFEK's open forums), but in large part, due to the efforts of Mike Yates and T.J., thanks to whose efforts, those AFEK members have a place to meet. They have done these things in ways that demonstrated conviction and integrity.

I'm not for or against people, other than Kim Jong-il, perhaps, whom I'm against: I'm for community, and anyone who's working on building it. And Mike and T.J. have proven themselves, without a doubt, to be community builders. I respect that. A hell of a lot.

So I apologize for calling you guys trolls, that was a shitty thing to do, and it's patently untrue. I apologize for lumping you in with people who were there to watch the car wreck, or for other reasons, and thanks for the community building work you've done since then.

You can learn more about AFEK at the Midnight Runner podcast, at Chris in South Korea, at The Three Wise Monkeys, or at the AFEK page itself.


Foreigner Joy said...

You confirmed they don't live under bridges and eat goats? Anyways nice to see you feeling free to express your self this way.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Very nice to see respect & humility like this on the intartubes.

msleetobe said...

This is a lovely post. One of the things I really like about your blog is your honesty about everything, including when you feel you've made a mistake or changed your opinion. It's great to see such civility in the blogosphere :)

Shmuberry said...

It takes balls to apologize and take back what you have said publicly. I salute you for that =)

Anonymous said...

Why would you take back what you said about how they acted in the past? Did their actions since then change what they said? If I’m not mistaken they were(are?) against E-2 visa holders quest for equal checks for all. They were afraid that the E-2 visa holders claim that they were(and still are) being discriminated against would somehow hurt them. So, what I’m left with is that they didn’t care whether E-2 visa holders were being discriminated against as long as they didn’t get treated the same way. That just isn’t right! Whatever they’ve done since then doesn’t change their selfish actions/words at that time, or please explain how it does? Go ahead, keep on discriminating Korea as long as it’s not me who you’re doing it to was(is?) how they came across. What's worse, being a troll or a discrimination enabler? I don't know which one of them said what but I do know they weren't the only people more concerned about themselves than the fact that E2 teachers were and still are being discriminated against. Some of the F visa teachers are still satisfied with discrimination in S. Korea. I know that discrimination may help me get a job but I'm certainly not going to speak out against anyone fighting for their equal rights simply because it might make it more difficult for me to get a job.

Rob-o-SE-yo said...

I can't remember if I ever directly called Mike or TJ discrimination enablers... I don't think I did; lots of other pople have. I DID call them trolls, and imply they were out to destroy communities, and I see I was wrong in that, and for that I apologized. If you wish to argue out the rest of your points, go ahead and do it
on this comment thread, where it's germane to the discussion.
I'm not here talking about ATEK, I'm talking about two people whom I owed an apology.

Roboseyo said...

AFEK is a community for people who have ties to Korea, ie, they're married. They didn't do anything special, they simply signed on the dotted line. Most members couldn't pass the F2 points visa if they tried, yet they are constantly playing themselves up and thinking that they're better than non F visa holders.

The F2 points visa is another issue, but once you're over 35 you'll lose points. And unless you've got 2 PhDs and are practually fluent in Korean, you probably won't get the points. Most other "developed" countries have one requirement to get permanent residency: time. Korea needs to change if they want the world to view them as a developed country.

Those of us in Korea on our own have it much harder. We don't have a Korean spouse we can rely on. We don't get special money for housing or daycare despite the fact that we pay taxes. We live here for years, even decades, yet can't join the F forums on AFEK becuase we "have no ties to Korea". We have jobs here, had children, raise them here, chunsae our houses, use Korea as our permanent address, but none of that matters, because in Mike's eyes, it's not enough. The only way to have ties to Korea is to marry a Korean.