Seoul, South Korea
Waegukin. That's what I am in South Korea. Teaching English for a livable wage. Far removed from my previous privileged status that allowed my flowery and lofty liberal ideals to flourish. For the first time in my life I encounter something uncomfortable from the other side and I don't like it : Racism.
My head is awash with contradictions. I reflect upon my privileged status in South Africa. I seethe at my new found stereotype of being barbaric, hairy, oversexed, big nosed and doe eyed. As the blog I briefly wrote there can attest to:
I grow defensive about my heritage and culture. I grow homesick for South Africa. I start a blog about South Africa.........
And I attack. I swing wildly at the projections of myself I see everywhere. I hack away with snark and satire at all that is innate and true that I loathe. I berate and belittle out of a misplaced nostalgia for the mollycoddled days of my liberal past.
Quickly I attract a lot of attention from websites like "Southafricasucks" and "stormfront" with healthy followings. I'm still a young man, and I'm still entrenched in "social justice" principles. My little blog at that time attracting thousands of views per day and hundreds of less than flattering comments of course puts my foot hard down on the peddle of confirmation bias. I'm feeling more self righteous than ever. More smug than ever in my "special knowledge" of the "social sciences". I see my detractors are "ignorant, bigoted, verkrampte, hateful, old men" and myself as the defender of all that is virtuous.
The fact that they do tend to be men in their 40's (or with a little more life knowledge than myself as I can now see it) and I'm a man in my twenties of course who came through the liberal education system post Apartheid. These old men were obviously indoctrinated by "swaart gevaar" and "rooi gevaar" and if only they could see the errors of their ways. I feel so superior that from time to time I pity them as I white knight along my crusade.
Thinking back....I can even begin to forgive myself. The cards really were stacked up against me. I'm not a stupid or poorly intention kid. My brain has just been stuffed too full of things that aren't well thought out. And then even more unpleasant stuff appeared in there......
Part 3 : ...A red pill.