When I was arrested at a protest after U.S. military vehicles crushed 2 Korean schoolgirls, the reaction of my family and relatives was overwhelming fear for their own lives, and their self-protective response, in turn, was to threaten me. So counter-information is vital, but ... https://twitter.com/AskAKorean/status/1282674768060329984
it also seems essential to address the collective trauma of what happened when Korea's progressive left actually did speak up for decades (death, torture, imprisonment, blacklisting entire families), and the legacy of red-baiting that labels all progressive views as pro-North.
I know many Korean Americans who have had years of painful conversations with their families about politics, but correcting the record would also require: changing how Korean American newspapers and media function here, changing KA community power structures, and so much more.
After sharing movies, links, articles, and weathering years of stormy arguments with family where I'm accused of being brainwashed and 'used,' the role that fear and historical memory seems more powerful than an appeal to reason and fact.
But for Korean Americans who didn't directly experience dictatorship trauma, who may have secondary trauma and silence in their stead (like me), good history books and resources are like water in the desert.
Have to shout out the No-gun-ri massacre journalists and the random Korean doctoral student who led a seminar in college about modern Korean history, where we dug into Korean history 1945-onward, which basically... changed my life. And there's still so much to learn and uncover.
In any case, deep empathy for anyone watching family go down far-right YouTube holes, because I'm observing the same thing on my relatives' group chat - a dynamic mix of Moon Jae-in bashing (the NK agent conspiracy) and flower photos.
You can follow @hongriver.
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