This is a post I wrote a few months ago but never got around to publishing. Here’s some reasons why I don’t desire to live long-term in the United States, my birth country.
Racial Injustice– The number one reason why I can’t see myself living in the U.S. anymore is because I am seeing just how much my being is not welcome. I feel less judged and targeted by racism in the homogeneous society of South Korea than I did living in south Georgia, USA. That’s not to say that Korea doesn’t have its own issues–it does (blackface, general xenophobia) but it’s different from the history of the U.S. Korea can be forgiven because of ignorance. The U.S. has been multiracial and multicultural for centuries and the ignorance is increasing rapidly. The U.S. cannot be excused. This is something that is part of its structure and has become necessary for its “success” and I don’t see it ever changing.
Education– In my opinion the biggest disappointment in America is the state of our k-12 Education. I want to be a teacher, but I would not want to teach in the American public school system. I don’t feel that the U.S. will ever prioritize public education in the place that it needs to be–which is first. If I have children, I would not want them educated in that system. It is a system which has devalued teachers, and done a disservice to the children. My chosen profession isn’t even respected in our society. That’s discouraging. When Education has more funding than warfare maaaaybe I’ll feel like it’s taken seriously. Right now, it feels like there’s no real care there. We need incentives to have great minds working on new ways of running things.Of course, I don’t have solutions. However, I have been looking into studying educational policy and leadership, but that would require me to go back to University–leading to my next point…
Universities and Tuition– Again, I want to live in a place that puts Education first. One of the ways you show that is by giving your people access to that higher education without piling on crippling amounts of debt in the process. I want to pursue a higher degree, but I’m really not sure if I can do that in the U.S. I’m paying off my debts from undergrad currently, and it’s really a pain. How can we expect our young people to start off on the right foot when we smack them with huge debt payments practically as soon as they put away their caps and gowns?
Violence- The U.S. is known for its violence. I have received so many questions asking me what it’s like to live in such a scary and violent country. We are a country that is more comfortable with images of shootings, street brawls, and war than with images of an expression of love between consenting adults. This warped American mindset really doesn’t mesh well with my type of lifestyle. I hate guns, but I feel like if I lived in America I would want to learn how to use one and have one in my home. Just in case shit pop off, because you never know in the U.S. when something will go down.
I do plan to go back to the America after I finish my contract here in Korea, but just to take care of my business and get out of there quickly. I want to continue living abroad for an indefinite amount of time. For now, my mind is set on places far beyond the United States. Maybe that will change–eh, probably not.