Wounds are a prerequisite for healing
Kim Ki-don (Secretary General)
There are 1.25 million immigrants living in Korea.
And it is said that 800,000 of them are migrant workers and are working in Korea’s industrial sites. However, considering that all people make their living through labor, it can be said that all migrant workers, whether married migrants or workers working in industrial fields, are migrants.
More than 60,000 migrants live with us in Incheon. About 60,000 neighbors make up the new ‘us’.
However, as I said earlier, it seems that we have narrowly defined workers and neglected labor, which is the basis of our lives, even though we are workers ourselves. Even though our society is being hurt by the issue of equal work opportunity. As a result, interest in migrant workers who are ‘we’ outside of ‘us’ seems to be wandering on a more superficial level. However, migrant workers who visit Korea in search of new opportunities in life are one of the concrete aspects of our lives.
Just like us, migrant workers are hurt by their lives. And, as migrant workers are defined differently from ‘we’ in the field of life and work, the wounds are even greater. Because of different cultures and different skin colors, we all too easily define migrant workers as invaders outside of us.
And, people’s attitudes toward such intruders appear in two ways. One is to provide favors to migrant workers and to fix them as inferior to themselves. This removes the intruder’s sense of threat from his gaze. Another is to define migrant workers as beings or potential criminals that take away jobs from Koreans. By defining ‘difference’ as a concrete threat and excluding and excluding them, people are trying to preserve their own stability.
These two attitudes also provide some empirical evidence related to migrant workers. The image of a poor migrant worker who came to earn money from a poor country and a poor migrant worker who is enduring the exploitation of labor is the basis for a benevolent gaze. On the other hand, articles related to the crimes of so-called illegal immigrants (unregistered resident) who do not have a residence visa and mythical content that migrant workers take away Koreans’ jobs are grounds for excluding migrant workers.
However, these grounds are ‘fictional facts’. Those grounds that do not become concrete facts when they exist within us, but become concrete facts when they are outside us. In other words, since migrant workers are ‘outsiders’ outside of us, these grounds exert their power as facts.
These two attitudes and grounds exert the power to fix migrant workers outside of ‘us’. It is not giving up ‘we’ to migrant workers.
I hope that they will start thinking about accepting migrant workers as ‘we’ together. Wounds are a prerequisite for healing. Let’s work together for the healing of ‘our’ lives.