We’ve jumped from one group to another… So here I am writing another post… except this time, I’m sort of angry.
I had no idea about this until it was brought to my attention that Rap Monster made what seemed like a racial joke, calling V and J-Hope ‘black’ in reference that when it was night out, he couldn’t find/see them.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I have the unlucky ability to understand BOTH sides of the story. So here’s my take on this.
– Korea is very ‘nghnn’ about people with darker colored skin. Hell, they’re not all that welcoming of their own people with darker color skin.
– Spoiler: GUESS WHAT? AMERICA’S THE SAME WAY WITHIN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN RACE THAT IF YOU’RE LIGHTER SKINNED, THEN YOU’LL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE AT MAKING IT IN THE WORLD.
Honestly, when it came to the question of, “What was your first impression of the members?” There’s 1001 other things Namjoon could have said instead of commenting on the color of their skin. I honestly don’t believe that he did it to hurt the members and/or call them ‘black’ ie. African American when they’re clearly not. The link that I watched was REALLY CHOPPY so for all that we know, it could have been edited to make him look bad, I don’t even know. And there’s the whole semi impression that the interview became awkward after that by reading into the members reactions. But with my Communication Studies degree that sits and collects dust, I’m not going to go there. (And even if I did, I lack information because again the editing was choppy and I wasn’t physically there.) I’m pretty sure he just meant that they were dark, but not alluding to the African American race. Poor choice of words? Yes, completely.
More importantly, he shouldn’t have said that to an international audience. Since race, especially African Americans, has been a sensitive subject for the past couple of years now, there’s more intent of his comment being taken the wrong way. And guess what? It was.
Being African American myself (granted mixed blood in my timeline, but this post isn’t about me), was I offended by his comment? No. I wasn’t. I feel like if had I grown up differently, I could have. But considering my upbringing PLUS understanding how Korea is when it comes to skin tones in general, I understand what he meant.
But this leads into why a color has to mean a race? I don’t use black to describe myself, I don’t use white to describe Caucasians, and I don’t use yellow to describe Asians or brown to describe Filipinos. I’ve always felt like using a color was always wrong. Well why does a color describes a race? I guess it’s just… something that has happened decades before our time and it just stuck. I’m sure people think it’s easier to call someone black than African American and white than Caucasian because it’s shorter, I’m sure. But because of this analogy, we see where we’ve ended up.
All in all, I don’t think RapMon meant any ill-will towards Hoseok and Taehyung. In Korea, no one would have taken offense to what he said and knew he meant dark-skinned. To an international audience, you have to chose your words carefully.
So, please calm down about this. Yes, he was wrong for what he said and should have been more careful but understand that he more than likely did not mean for it to allude to race. And if this part is true: don’t go around issuing threats or planning to do mean and harmful actions towards him during their concerts. Doing so won’t make you any better than him. And I’ve seen it going around on social media and I agree: instead of threats or ill-willed intentions, educate. It’s more powerful, I can assure you of that.