While Occupy Wall Street people occupy themselves with a cause that mostly like is not about injustice (for it is when you defend something other than yourself that a true act of justice is performed), there has been a surge of activism in the South Korean peninsula which seems to be more fitting with what one may call a ‘just endeavor’ (btw, an interesting read on Occupy: “Brick by Brick“). The film Dogani (도가니) has raised so much awareness (4.4 million people according to NYT) of unjust laws protecting teachers who commit sex crimes. Here is the trailer of the film:
An article from The Economist points out that in a report given by the education ministry “in September 2010, the punishment for teachers who commit sex crimes is usually nothing more than a salary cut or a short-term suspension. It is typical for other categories of convicted sex criminals to be sentenced either to suspended sentences, fines or probation.”
Other such injustices that point to the weakness or failure of the rule of law are incidents such as the following that a New York Times article points out, the article titled, “Film Underscores Koreans’ Growing Anger Over Sex Crimes“:
Last year, for example, Chey Cheol-won, 41, a trucking company owner and cousin of one of the country’s richest men, was convicted of hitting a 52-year-old former union activist 13 times with an aluminum baseball bat while his executives watched. He then wrote out a 20 million won check on a company account and threw it in the victim’s face. Mr. Chey received a suspended sentence.
The rise in awareness has, in the case of South Korea, moved politicians to slowly change laws and pass bills that strengthen laws that have often been so inept to protect the weak, poor and disabled. Once again, this political stir in the far east guides my attention to the people who think they are the 99% of this world, toward the people who think they are the oppressed. Yes, maybe relatively speaking, they are economically oppressed. Yes, there may be a point in saying that America doesn’t struggle with such issues as the rule of law. Yes, the heart of the Occupy movement may even source itself from a noble cause, but quite frankly, it most likely will not escape the label of a temper tantrum. What the Occupy people need (wait, they don’t even know what they are asking for…) is a dose of realism, to use the English idiom, to understand that there are bigger fish to fry. To get out of that small pond of ethnocentrism, of individualism. To get out into an ocean of bigger perspectives. To learn the world.