|Today's Lesson: Hate|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 26 June 2012 17:02|
A common joke in the media is that in North Korea, the people are taught to believe that things are going swell and everything is great in the communist country. In a line from the TV show “30 Rock,” a person who resembles the then-leader Kim Jong-il delivers the weather report saying, “North Korea, everything sunny all the time. Always good time, beach party.”
While that may or may not be true, one thing that the children of North Korea are learning is to hate Americans.
Recently journalists from the Associated Press were granted access into the country that restricts people from coming and going as they please. On this tour it was found that one of the stressed learning points in schools is for children to develop a hate for the United States.
They are taught that the United States is filled with imperialists, basically meaning that the United States is trying to gain control of other countries and people to build and extend its empire. The reason the United States is viewed as the enemy is because of the Korean War, where the United States aided South Korea as North Korea tried to invade — and for this, in the eyes of North Koreans, Americans are forever an enemy.
But just because two countries fought against each other does not mean they should forever hate each other. Japan, Germany, and even England are all countries that the United States was once at war with but have since repaired its amity.
The North Korean teachings are no different from European children during World War II being taught to hate Jews. It promotes hate, prejudice, segregation, and aims to point out the differences between people.
In true artistic propaganda fashion, drawings of Americans are grossly exaggerated with U.S. soldiers having long bent noses, their tongues hanging out the side of their mouths, and beady eyes.
The halls of North Korean schools are plastered with drawings of violence — an American soldier being hung by a noose with the tagline, “Let’s wipe out the U.S. imperialists.” Ignore the fact that a poster like this is putting American soldiers in a bad light, but what about the hint at promoting genocide against Americans? What about how violent the posters are that reside in a kindergarten classroom where there should be posters that encourage friendship or learning the colors of the rainbow instead?
While in the United States it might be embarrassing for a kid to be picked on and called a “loser” or a “dork,” in North Korea, the taunting name that causes the most shame is “miguk nom,” which translates to “American bastard.” That name is the standard for North Koreans of all ages when referring to people from the U.S.
Undeniably, the North Koreans have a different way of doing things and have different values from those in the U.S. All countries have their own values that they find important, but the hate that they brew and instill in their youth promotes regression among people when the world has made so much progress and has established tolerance within the last century or so.
Although there is no way to change the views of the people of North Korea, the best that we as citizens of the United States and as people who live on this Earth can hope for is that one day a peaceful resolution will come about and North Koreans will be able to learn through experience what people from the U.S. and the rest of the globe are like. If they judge some of us as bad people, that’s fine since not everyone is good — but getting the chance to make the decision themselves will be a huge stride.