“It’s time to put our lightstick down and raise our flag.”
US-based Filipino TikTok star, Bella Poarch faced backlash a few days ago when Netizens noticed her arm bears the outdated Rising Sun flag of Japan as it is still considered in Korea to this day.
The Rising Sun flag was a prominent symbol of Japanese Imperialism extending to World War II. It’s still considered an offensive symbol for the Koreans who got the worst end of the empire’s violent rule.
So when they spotted the said flag tattooed across the forearm of the influencer, a wave of Korean netizens flocked to her profile to educate her on the historical implications of her seemingly innocent body art.
While some Korean netizens evidently only wanted to educate, others took a very offensive stance and started firing racial slurs using very degrading language, not only to Proach but to the Filipino race in general.
The star has yet to defend her Filipino heritage but did release a TikTok video showing the full width of her tattoo apologizing for the offense she has caused and claiming her boundless love for Korea.
Later that day, she commented on her post asking people to “educate instead and stop arguing” also explaining that she had already covered up the tattoo’s center with a heart and is scheduled to have the red rays surgically removed.
The argument between the two races migrated from TikTok to Twitter where #CancelKorea along with #ApologizeKorea spread like wildfire. Deviating beyond the initial tattoo issue, Filipinos are now directly responding to the racial slurs, taking offense at the ill-advised and loosely-concluded generalizations about the entire race calling on to fellow Filipinos and patriots of Korea to #CancelKorea
Seeing comments against Filipinos by Korean keyboard warriors, talking about how they are “Ugly and miseducated” as well as “short and dark-skinned” coerced Filipinos to tweet about beautiful and smart Filipinas for their appreciation. #ProudMorena
Some korean saying that FILIPINO ARE UGLY
— 🦋 (@Dynamite08211) September 9, 2020
Other Filipinos took to History and educated the Koreans in turn about the Korean war that they called upon in the tattoo issue, reminding Koreans that the Philippines was the first to send aid sending Filipino soldiers to Korea just like this guy’s wonderful lolo.
This is my Lolo, a Korean war veteran. He was so happy when he visited South Korea again last year and got chance to offer flowers to our fallen heroes. Filipino soldiers died for your country. REMEMBER THAT. 💯 #cancelkorea pic.twitter.com/C55pxWyQxH
— AK (@akitabaquero) September 8, 2020
Filipinos are known to be one of, if not the, largest consumers of Korean products. From K-dramas to K-pop to food that came with the rise of Samgyupsal joints, Korea would probably be the last country you’d see Filipinos fight but this proves us wrong.
I may like your songs, your cultures, and I even wanted to study in Korea but I love my country.🇵🇭I’m gonna put my lighstick down and proudly raise my flag!💛💙❤🤍
— snoopy정우 (@snoopy76779019) September 9, 2020
Filipino k-pop fans even twisted the narrative of the ‘lightstick’ which k-pop fans use to show united support for their idols during concerts, saying they’d put their respective fandoms’ lightsticks down in the name of raising our flag instead.
— Ciri (@artbyciri) September 9, 2020
With that being said, the issue of whose race is better or pointing fingers at whose is worse is irrelevant and therefore counter-productive to the bottom line of controversies such as this which is to #CancelRacism. So go defend your country, educate foreigners about your race, and embody the love for your heritage which is completely possible even without the demise of another race.
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