Rule Five Matter of Perspective Friday

When she was thirteen, Yeonmi Park fled North Korea with her mother.  The two escaped into China, where they were sold into slavery by human traffickers, then managed to escape again into Mongolia and then to South Korea.  Now she’s a student at Columbia University and has a dire warning for all of us.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

A woman who fled North Korea when she was a teenager and is now attending Columbia University said she is seeing a lot of similarities between the totalitarian regime she grew up in and the education she is now receiving in the United States.

Yeonmi Park and her mother fled North Korea to China over the frozen Yalu River in 2007, when she was just 13, and the two were sold into slavery by human traffickers. 

They were ultimately able to flee to Mongolia with the help of Christian missionaries and trekked across the Gobi Desert to eventually find refuge in South Korea, where Park, now 27, attended college before transferring to Columbia in 2016.

‘I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free,’ she said. 

Certainly not on the campus of Columbia, you’re not.  The modern U.S. college campus is one of the most restrictive places in the Western world – so far.  “Free speech zones,” for example.  What horseshit.  My reaction to that kind of thing is simply, “I live in a free speech zone, assholes; it’s called the United States of America.”

She explained that when she started school at Columbia, she was excited to learn more about history, a subject she said was discouraged in her homeland. 

But when her teacher, discussing Western Civilization, asked if students had an issue with the name of the class topic, most did, saying there was a ‘colonial’ slant.

‘Every problem, they explained us, is because of white men,’ she said, reminding her of her home country where people were categorized based on their ancestors, according to the Post.

During her orientation, a professor asked who the class who liked classical books, like Jane Austen.

‘I said, ‘I love those books,’ Park said in an interview with FOX News. ‘I thought it was a good thing.’ 

‘Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’

Oh, the irony!  A professor makes a blatantly, inexcusably racist comment about Jane Austen’s books, then accuses Jane Austen of racism?  That’s rich.

‘Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,’ Park said, adding that she saw people dying of starvation by the time she was 13.

‘These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced,’ Park said of her fellow students. ‘They don’t know how hard it is to be free.’

‘I literally crossed through the middle of the Gobi Desert to be free,’ she continued, ‘but what I did was nothing – so many people fought harder than me and didn’t make it.’ 

But, she said, here in America people ‘are just dying to give their rights and power to the government.

‘That is what scares me the most,’ she said, adding: ‘Power can corrupt, that’s just the nature of power.’

Read the whole article.  This is a young woman who has seen real, no-shit oppression.  She lived her early years in a brutally repressive Stalinist shithole where much of the population is literally eating grass to stay alive while their “Dear Leader,” a stunted little gargoyle with bad hair from a line of stunted little gargoyles with bad hair, enjoys the finest cuisine money can buy.

And now she’s surrounded by malcontents, ne’er-do-wells, mendicants and nincompoops who think ‘oppression’ is not being given things for free, or hearing someone say something that they dislike, or (heaven forbid) having a President who sends mean tweets.

More people should be listening to Miss Park.  She has a perspective that most folks here could benefit from trying to understand.  However, unfortunately, like so many other folks with similar perspectives, the people who could profit most from her message will ignore her.