On Reddit, a young woman who moved to the U.S. from South Korea when she was a little girl shared that she believes her boyfriend’s 13-year-old sister is racist for how she expresses her enjoyment of K-pop.
“My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6 months … His family however lives in another city so I haven’t had the chance to met them until now. His parents invited us to spend the weekend over at their house so they [could] meet me. Up until now I have only spoke[n] a few times on the phone with his parents but not with his siblings,” the woman began her Reddit post.
During their visit, things turned awkward when the woman met her boyfriend’s younger sister.
“The problem with his sister is that apparently she’s a K-pop fan. My boyfriend had already told me this prior to meeting her and he told me to get ‘ready.’ I thought that meant that she would ask me to say something in Korean or something like that (it has happened to me before even by strangers in the street, it’s annoying). Well, first things first she greeted me with ‘hello’ in Korean. I faked a laugh and greeted her too,” she shared.
The teen then began calling her “unnie” (which roughly means older sister in Korean) and even asked her if the woman calls her boyfriend “oppa” (which roughly refers to an older male or often romantic male partner in the context of relationships).
“She then started asking where did I live when I was in Korea, if I had met any idols, if I ever tried to be an idol myself, etc. She insisted on sitting next to me and she was taking photos of me eating because ‘I looked like an idol,” the woman continued, sharing that after dinner the girl asked her to “go dance some K-pop choreographies with her because you know, every Korean knows how to dance I guess.”
The girl’s behavior was nonstop, the woman wrote, and she admitted she was relieved when she and her boyfriend finally left after the weekend. “You were not kidding, your sister is worse than I imagined … So she’s always this racist, huh?” she recalled asking her boyfriend on the drive home.
Her boyfriend became upset and told her that “his sister wasn’t racist at all” and that she was only excited to meet his girlfriend.
“I said that all she did during our visit was make assumptions about me and talk to me in a racist way. Now he’s mad at me [and] I am mad at him too for not understanding my side,” she concluded.
Reddit users backed the woman up in the comments section.
“Honestly I think a lot of white people associate racism with intent and not impact. Her intent was not to be racist, but her actions were racist, and [people of color] shouldn’t be persecuted for pointing out those patterns,” one user wrote.
“The biggest thing that concerns me is that they aren’t trying to correct her on certain things and to help her understand what behavior is okay and what isn’t. She is the way she is because her family isn’t trying to help her appreciate the culture and learn that she can ask questions and be interested without offending others,” another commented.
“Her behavior was racist, but many people don’t have a proper understanding of what racism is to appreciate that,” someone else weighed in.
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