Tuesday, October 03, 2006


When Hines Ward was named Superbowl MVP and won the attention of the nation in which he was born, I was happy. As the father of a bi-racial daughter born in Korea, that's natural, I think. And despite my misgivings regarding his immediate acceptance by a country that still has a long way to go in terms of racial tolerance, I still believe it a positive development.

I like Hines Ward. He's a great football player, but more importantly he's a genuinely nice guy; and that's a rare trait, in and outside of the sports world.

And while I patiently await the day mixed-blood -- god, how I hate that term and its negative connotation; it's a hair's breadth away from "half-breed" -- Koreans are acclaimed for achievements outside of sports and entertainment (doctors, scientists, politicians etc.), at this point I'll take what I can get.

Which leads me to the subject of Karen O, the half-Korean, half-American lead singer of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Undoubtedly the best female voice in current rock-and-roll, I find it a profound shame that Ms. O isn't championed by the Korean populace as much as Mr. Ward.

Look, I realize that most Koreans wouldn't recognize good music if it bit them on the 엉덩이, but American football isn't exactly catching mad ratings, either, yet Hines Ward managed to become a national hero.

I of course have a vested interest in this: my daughter is a bi-racial Korean and I dig Karen O like coal miners. I'd like Koreans to embrace them and every other mixed-race Korean -- embrace everyone, in fact -- equally. Is that bias negative? No way. Neither is it a far-out, radical concept, rather common sense. Ironic, however, that while postitive strides have been made over the past few decades, common sense vis a vis race in Korea is still largely uncommon.

Do I expect a paradigm shift? Yes; although realistically I don't anticipate a sea change to occur overnight. Like Bill Murray in What About Bob?, baby steps.

One baby step would be appreciating the magnificence of one Karen O, the auditory equivalent of an orgasm.


Jay Lee said...

김디에나 is quiet popular in Korea..

Mr. T said...

She's mine anyway. Why bother discussing her?