Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dialog on Korean Orphans

DRAKE RESPONSE (see viewer post at end of this response) ;

At the end of the war, in about March of 1954, the Korean government took a census of the 54,000 children in government supported orphanages and noted that about 200 were considered mixed blood. An American missionary working with orphanages suggested that perhaps as many as 1,000 could be mixed blood. That is still less than 2% of all orphans. The Koreans (nice ones, ones with their lineage papers intact) who abhor tainting 'pure' Korean blood with foreign blood and who judge everyone based on their lineage treated all orphans with contempt and even disgust because, as a vice-consul of Korea in Seattle told me when asked why this prejudice toward orphans "you don't know who their parents are!" Nice Koreans want the world to think that the 200,000 children that they have shipped out of their country since 1950 are all products of wanton GIs. Not so. This is merely a form of Korean 'ethnic cleansing', getting rid of children whose ancestry (albeit of two Korean parents) is suspect or unknown.

On the other hand I agree that the GIs did father many Korean children but before looking to the GI as the culprit take a look at the Korean culture. The war produced hundreds of thousands of widows, women without a male support. Given the Korean culture such women were 'used goods' and had little chance of remarriage. Without a social support system they sought a way to live and took advantage of the testosterone loaded young GIs to earn a living. Those women had a right to survive and did what they had to to earn the money for their next meal. "Nice Koreans" probably think those women should have just starved to death to save the honor of Korean culture. I have had mixed blood Korean adoptees tell me that they were raised in a loving home with mother and grandmother but the neighbors forced the mother to give up the child for adoption. In the Korean orphanage they were taken to the staff and visitors would spit on them, pull their hair and treat them as scum of the earth. Such were (and still are) the social values of many traditional Koreans.

When GIs commit an 'inappropriate act' such will be reported world wide....such is the nature of "news." When they do good the reporters yawn and ask "What is the story line?" When GIs tragically killed two girls about six years ago in Korea almost 100,000 Koreans marched and yelled protests against American presence in Korea. Tell them we GIs saved the lives of over 10,000 children and the response is literally "so what, they were orphans."

I have many stories of the misdeeds of GIs but I leave it to the traditional press to pursue and publish those. The traditional press is not interested in the good our GIs do and fail to report it. Have you ever before heard the statistic that we who fought in Korea saved the lives of over 10,000 children? I am sure you have not since I am the person who did the research and can substantiate that statistic. My goal is to ensure that the GOOD that our GIs did in the Korean War is also made a part of the history of that war.

If you are a mixed blood Korean adoptee count your blessings that you have been adopted by a family outside of Korea as orphans in Korea are still treated with utmost contempt and considered an underclass. One woman who met me in Seoul said that I had saved her life as a little orphan. She wanted to thank me but begged me not to mention her name or show her picture on my web site as both of her sons had studied in the USA and were professionals. She told me that if anyone knew that their mother was a Korean War orphan their professional career would be seriously damaged.

Don't be too quick to judge but rather try to understand.

Regards, and a happy life to you,

George F. Drake

Posting repeated:

btstormb2006 has left a new comment on your post "Korean Orphans":


While I can appreciate that you documented that the American GIs saved over 10,000 Korean war orphans, I am curious to know if you included in your documentation how many of those Korean war orphans had American GIs for fathers and their GIs fathers knew of their existence, but abandoned them and the Korean women they impregnated. As a Korean adoptee myself, I find it somewhat repugnant to not mention within your blog the irresponsibility of these GIs, while taking credit for saving the lives of these war orphans.

I do not intend to sound disrespectful, but if you reread your piece and try to understand from a Korean adoptee's perspective how you come across, I would hope that you could empathize and consider editing your Korean Orphans section.