Not surprisingly, people are not interested in fighting for others’ rights and they would stay indifferent as long as they are not involved in it. Yes, some of those not involved may seem interested but usually end up with “True, but it is not the time for the society to be ready for such a change yet.”
When writing a Special c o v e r a g e o n m o v e m e n t s t o e m p o w e r t h e L G B T community in Korea, I had a chance to conduct an interview with Byunnal, a Ewha student club that advocates LGBT rights.
During the interview, a member of Byunnal referred to historical minority movements when asked about the opinions that state it is not yet time for Korea to legalize marriage of LGBT couples- all throughout history, minorities were always told that it was just not the right time to reform the social norms.
Unfortunately, what people have been struggling for centuries still seems to be far from resolution and Korea is no exception. R e c e n t l y, t h e r e w a s a proposal on Environment and Labor Committee of the National assembly to establish different minimum wage for foreign workers. Controversies continued as oppositions denounced that the proposal to pay immigrants differently is a racist request.
Having the government contemplate over setting a different minimum wage de on race in the twenty-first century is a shame. Attempt in discrimination of working conditions upon the worker’s race was evidently what was going on at the National Assembly.
With criticisms stirring, the chairman of the National Assembly stated that such request is an “inevitable”, “rational” decision. His logic flows like this; first of all, with the rise in minimum wage, the agriculture industries are struggling from financial burdens so we should arrange the minimum wage of foreigners as to reduce to expense in the agriculture industry. Thus states that the proposal they have accepted can also be a way to protect the realistic minimum wage of immigrant workers.
Having to hear the people in the position to arrange the laws trying to fit their racist logic into rationality hit me hard again of how the minorities are the only ones who can fix things right.
I agree that the rise in minimum wage can be a great burden to agriculture industries in which labor cost takes a huge part of the total production cost. However, there could have been many other ways to adopt the new minimum wage system.
It is the employers who are doing wrong when they pay less than the minimum wage. The law should not be shifting to fit the wrongdoings into the legalized area. We should alter the wrong into the right. People are not interested in fighting for others’ rights. It may be a tough road to get things right but often times, especially for the minorities; the battle is something more than merely what the result entails. It may all go in vain, but nevertheless, the fight for minorities should continue - because being treated fairly is clearly a matter of right or wrong.
Ewha Voice firstname.lastname@example.org