Friday, April 20, 2012

National Amnesia


The Korean people suppress inconvenient & embarrassing facts, "forgetting" conditions or events seemingly in the blink of an eye. The ability is shared by those from other nations, and maybe not to a lesser degree. I've always been astounded that Americans in the 1970s so quickly migrated from war opposition to ignoring their genocide in Southeast Asia. The massacres of American Indian peoples in earlier decades remains conveniently forgotten by those who displaced & butchered their territories' prior inhabitants. Surely the imagery of Columbus "discovering" America is characteristic of this syndrome.

Perhaps a global truth-finding panel could root out such anomalies. Some myths cause huge harm, but are conveniently ignored by proud national populations, corrupt leaders and feeble media. Dangerous harm too easily recurs, again & again.

Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik condemned multi-culturalism at his trial this week and praised "racially pure" Korea & Japan... Breivik proudly "supports the model in South Korea and Japan". Not nice. Multiple views and opinions are inefficient, but it's safest to involve women & minorities in the decision-making process. Peace grows from pluralistic involvement, by all generations. Too narrow a viewpoint leads to foolishness and widespread perilous exposure.

In such regard, let's not forget the nearly mythical case of Korean Hwang Woo-Suk, "Supreme Scientist" (황우석, "최고과학자"); Great Hero until exposed for fraudulent cloning data & ethics violations. Koreans wish it never happened, and suppress their memories. It thus can occur easily again!  

Hero of the Nation became someone to forget 

As stories unraveled, Prof. Hwang collapsed to hospital