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Video Of SEVENTEEN's Vernon Talking About Racial Discrimination Resurfaces Online

By Mickey Jamias | July 19, 2015 11:44 AM EDT


A video recorded by SEVENTEEN member Vernon seven years ago about his struggle with racial discrimination has been uploaded on YouTube.

In 2008 a very young Vernon sat in front of a camera and talked about how he had been made to feel different in both the United States and South Korea as a child of mixed ethnicity.

While living in the United States, Vernon said in the video that he had been called a "halfer" because his mom was American and his father was Korean.

He also faced scrutiny in South Korea because of his more Western features.

"I look more Western than Korean because of my lighter skin, hair and eyes. So, in Korea, when I travel in public, people always stare at me. I hate when that happens," confessed the young Vernon.

"I feel like we are all the same people but they fix their eyes on me as though I am an outsider."

Vernon also shares the discrimination directed towards his friends because of their mixed ethnicity and darker skin color.

"One of my friends is a halfer, too. My friend Daniel is half-Korean and half-Iranian. And my friend Habibi is half-Korean and half-Pakistani. People tend to treat them badly because of their darker skin.

"I think other people should give other people more respect and they shouldn't judge them by their appearance," Vernon ends the video.

Fans were touched by Vernon's care for his friends, and were impressed by his wisdom and awareness despite his young age. Others sympathized with his tough childhood experiences and praised his parents for bringing him up well.

"One of the reasons why I love Hansol," said one YouTube user, referring to Vernon's Korean name of Choi Hansol.

"He is so precious! It's quite sad that he had to face racism like that. I'm glad his parents raised him in a good way, so that he is open-minded to people of all races," said another YouTube user.

The issue of colorism in K-pop has also been gaining a lot of attention recently, especially after an alleged death threat against BTS rapper Rap Monster cut the group's New Yor City concert short this past week.


Mickey is a writer and digital content creator based in Manila. He is a co-founder of ZAVI App and editor of the small business blog IndieMickey. He has also been bitten by the K-pop fashion bug - follow him on Instagram @mickjami.

Articles by Mickey Jamias

Mickey is a writer and digital content creator based in Manila. He is a co-founder of ZAVI App. He has also been bitten by the K-Pop fashion bug - follow him on Instagram @mickjami.

Tagged :  Vernon, seventeen


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