By: Konrad Holden
Yeonmi Park, a woman who grew up in North Korea, harshly criticized the growing “wokeness” of the United States, saying that it was reminiscent of what she experienced as a little girl under Communist rule. Park was shocked by the experience she had as a student at Columbia University where she was required to self-censor, forced to use politically-correct preferred pronouns, and was surrounded by a hatred for Western Civilization from professors and classmates. Park stated, “I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free.”
In 2007, at the age of 13, Yeonmi Park and her parents fled North Korea. They eventually made it to the United States, and Park enrolled at Columbia University. What she experienced there shocked her.
Park says that many things reminded her of her home country. Her teachers’ hatred of white men is similar to the North Korean caste system, which divides people based on their ancestors. Western Civilization as a whole is triggering to some students because it reeks of “colonialism,” she said.
In quite possibly the biggest blow, Park said that “I thought North Koreans were the only people who hated Americans, but turns out there are a lot of people hating this country in this country.”
Park grew up being taught that her tongue was the “most dangerous” part of her body because saying the wrong thing could get her in trouble. This is eerily similar to the way her classmates and teachers at Columbia tried to censor her using peer pressure: “In order to not be canceled, everyone had to echo whatever they were saying.”
Park says that many people are brainwashed, and could just look at history and see what their beliefs will produce, but refuse to see the truth.
“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think. I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.” - Yeonmi Park, North Korean defector