A Parable from DPNK

You may have missed it with everything going on in the news, but things are getting pretty bad in the Democratic People's Nation of Korea (DPNK). As you know, they have an authoritarian leader who incites violence against any who would oppose him. Most of the population get their news only from sources that amplify that leader's message, so they are in the dark with much of what's going on in the world and in their own nation.

One thing you might not know about the DPNK is that there is one particular race of people, the Maengasoung, who have been historically abused by the rest of the population. Because of both historical and current prejudices, as well as deeply-entrenched ways that their society has been setup, the Maengasoung are incarcerated at 5x the rate as the majority demographic. A leading cause of death among Maengasoung young men is by being shot by police.

In a country that already struggles to find full employment for its population, Maengasoung are the least likely to ever be employed. Even when they are, they receive just 2/3rds the amount of pay as their majority-culture peers. This means, in a country that has already has a high poverty-rate, they are 3x more likely to be impoverished. Maengasoung, despite being 12% of the population, hold just 4% of DPNK's wealth.

This, of course, is connected to the educational opportunities Maengasoung are (not) afforded. Their schools receive less funding per student than the rest of the DPNK's. Maengasoung are most likely to be denied loans to buy homes and least likely to own a home. While health care in the DPNK already ranks low compared to the rest of the world, Maengasoung are least likely to have access to it.

Occasionally, Maengasoung will attempt to protest their deeply unequal treatment and circumstances. These protests are met with deep suspicion or hatred by the majority culture. The majority race will call upon the police forces (who, remember, already jail the Maengasoung at 5x the rate) to stop the protests. The police will use their government-given authority to physically attack protestors—using vehicles to drive them over, chemical irritants to disperse them, weapons to injure them, etc. Thanks to a steady increase in access to smartphones, there are now thousands of videos of the DPNK police attacking peaceful protestors. However, the police are legally immune from prosecution by those whom they attack.

Unsurprisingly, a small minority Maengasoung, pushed to the brink by their society, will engage in rioting, looting, and other forms of violent protest in order to amplify their mostly-ignored voices. Despite their small number, these violent protests are used as propaganda to characterize all Maengasoung protests. It's used to justify-in-reverse why Maengasoung are jailed and discriminated against.

Majority-culture folks are highly pressured into denouncing Maengasoung protests. In fact, denouncing their protests is seen as a litmus test for one's loyalty to the "democratic principles" of the DPNK. If someone does not denounce the Maengasoung-protests, they are marked as being unpatriotic and sympathizing with "violent rioters." Even though the majority culture's treatment of Maengasoung has led to thousands of their deaths, the Maengasoung are always seen to be the ones to blame for violence.

Now read the above again. There is no DPNK. The Maengasoung don't exist. It's the U.S.A. and the Black race in America.

Anthony Parrott

Anthony Parrott

Washington, DC