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.

1 comment:

btstormb2006 said...


I see that my recent comment has brought you out of blogger limbo.

Your comment about Nice Koreans....Is this your opinion or did you obtain this from a reputable source?

“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”

I agree the beliefs that Koreans have about family lineage and the value of women in their society are shameful. As you mentioned, your blog is devoted to the GOOD that the American GIs did and my comment to you does not excuse the Korean people for their contributions, but I still believe today, that in order to take credit for the GOOD, you must acknowledge the wrong doings as well. You didn’t hold back from unveiling the dishonesty of Hess and I would think you would appreciate another insight to your piece.

I do not speak for Koreans as I am now an American....a Korean adoptee brought to the United States. I do not know my lineage - full, half, mixed, 20-80, 80-20...40 weight...who knows? It matters not to me as I consider Korea as my birth country and the United States as my home.

I do ask that because you are not an adoptee, please do not categorize all adoptees feelings into a handful of adoptees you have had the honor of meeting. Additionally I tire easily by those who feel Korean adoptees should count our blessings, because we were chosen to be adopted. This is such antiquated thought and very belittling. I do not ask my children to thank me for giving birth to them as I was the adult who chose to have them. As adoptees, why must we thankful for our adoption? As a person of compassion as you claim in your profile, I had hoped that you would see that your myopic perspective of the GOOD that American GIs could be extremely offensive to some Korean adoptees and you would not so harshly judge my comment.

Regarding your comment about killing 2 girls......My opinion is that any death during any war is tragic. Furthermore, good acts do not excuse the bad acts.

“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.”

It would have been suffice for you to acknowledge that American GIs did irresponsibly father Korean war orphans and abandoned them and the women they impregnated. Your in depth explanation and rant about Nice Koreans and their beliefs seem to have put you on the defensive side, rather than an acknowledging and compassionate one.