“I am used to people looking down on Indonesians."
An Indonesian woman has claimed that she was beaten up by a racist Korean bouncer due to her nationality.
The Korea Herald reports that Jessica Seita who was studying in Korea for two years suffered a 0.5 cm deep wound on her lips and a bruise on her chin after a male bouncer fought with her.
The incident occurred at a club in Busan on Friday. Seita claimed the Korean bouncer was “being so racist to us without any reason.”
Although Seita admits to pushing the bouncer, she claims that she only did so because the bouncer had pushed her friend, Gabrielle, who is also Indonesian.
Seita was then punched in the mouth until her lips were torn and bleeding. She required eight stitches to her lips when taken to hospital.
Gabrielle said the incident was typical of their experience of being Indonesia in Korea.
“I am used to people looking down on Indonesians. I thought that he did not like foreigners so he might have been rude to us especially because we were not white Caucasians,” she said. “When we got upset and showed it to him, I think it made him angry.”
In a statement to the Korea Herald, the club said it held no discriminatory policy and expressed regret over the criticism. It also described Seita’s argument as “one-sided”.
“Our club checks identities of all customers, regardless of their ethnicities, through the same procedure. There is no racial discrimination at all,” the club said in a statement.
The club said Seita had cursed the bouncer and shook her fist at him first before the bouncer took action to defend himself.
An investigation was on the way according to the Busan Seomyeon Police Station.
“The man argues that it was a two-way assault. Due to the fight, the left side of his cheek became swollen, according to our investigation. We are going to further investigate the case on Monday,” said a police officer from the team in charge.
Posting on Facebook on Saturday, Seita received over 1,000 likes, 650 shares and 200 comments as of Sunday afternoon.
Some comments made by foreign residents in Korea sympathised with Seita reports Korea Herald.
A commenter by the name of Irwin said the incident is a result of the false belief that men are superior to women.
“This idea is endemic in many societies (especially in Korea). This altercation happened because within this way of thinking, if woman doesn’t follow protocols and by doing so disrespects a man then she needs to be checked and punished,” he said.
“Furthermore, being a white foreigner is unquestionably more influential than being a foreigner who doesn’t look white or is from another Asian country,” he added. “Had it been a Korean woman, or a white woman, or a male then I am sure this would not have escalated as quickly as it had.”
American citizen Amanda Bastos who had lived in Korea for seven years said, “most likely, it happened because she was a foreigner and he knew that no one would do anything about it. Also, I think there is very little accountability when violence happens towards foreigners.”