절망적인 순간을 수없이 겪으면서도 내가 염세적이 되거나 대인기피증이 되지 않고 견뎌 올 수 있었던 건, 그럴 때마다 잠시 숨을 고르고 있노라면 이런 선물이 슬그머니 주어지곤 했기 때문이라고 생각한다.
책을 낸 직후부터, 그러니까 고발 당하기 10달 전부터 나의 책에 호의적이었고, 고발이후에는 고발을 비판한 논설위원실장의 칼럼을 유일하게 싣기도 했던 한국일보가, 이번에도 가장 먼저 사태에 대해 객관적으로 보도한 기사를 써 주었고, 얼마전에 세종대총장에게 간곡한 탄원서를 써 주었던 페친 윤현국선생님이 이번엔 영어탄원서를 써 주셨다.
같은 시간, 일본에서의 성명서에 서명한 모든 이들에게, 서명자중의 한사람인 시인이자 학자선생님은, 나의 다른 책<내셔널 아이덴티티와 젠더> 이외 모든 책에 언급하면서 “일관된” 문제의식을 높이 평가하는 메일을 보내 주셨다. “성명발표 전날”을 기념한다면서.
내일의 성명발표를 앞두고, 그에 못지 않은 크고도 따뜻한 선물을 받았으니, 어찌 누구를 미워하거나 주저앉을 수 있을까.
내가 할수 있는게 거의 없다는 사실에 우울하다가..
거의 ‘휴지통’ 으로 갈게 99% 확실하다는 걸 알면서도, 한국에 관심을 보여준 바 있는 미국의 두명의 석학에게 이메일을 보냈다. 한명은 MIT 의 촘스키, 다른 한명은 시카고의 브루스 커밍스.
아래 이메일은, 너무 후다다닥 써서 (라고 방어망을 일단 치기로 한다. 창피하니까) 영어가 개판인걸 안다. 사실 갑자기 그 두사람에게 편지를 써야겠다 싶어서 후다닥 쓴거라 문제이긴 하지만, 그렇다고 하루, 이틀 넘게 걸려서 썼다고 해서 내 후진 영어실력으로 이거보다 별반 나아질 것도 없다고 본다.
그럼에도, 내 영어 실력이 들통나는 쪽팔림에도 무릅쓰고 이 이메일을 여기에 붙이는 이유는..
다른분들이 교정하고 덧붙이고 해서, 또 다른 석학들에게 보내는데 쓰시거나.. 또는 거꾸로 내게 교정해 주어서 촘스키와 브루스 커밍스 외에 다른 석학들에게 이메이리 보낼땐 좀 더 나은 문장으로 보내게끔 도움을 받고 싶어서이다.
문장 교정 대환영.
내 쪽팔림은 한순간.
Dear Professor Cumings;
I hope you have a chance to find this e-mail, with a probable thousands flooding e-mails and give your invaluable precious minutes to what is going on to Professor Yuha Park in South Korea, for her suffering by the government’s deliberate maneuvering people and journalism.
(My name is (Martin) Hyungook Yoon, a recent immigrant from South Korea to Australia, having studied and reseached Chemistry. I know that you have shown generous and kind concerns and in-depth valuable advises on and toward my home country, with your great books on Korean war history, and a recent statement with other professors on ‘comfort women’ I really appreciate your activity as one of Korean.)
A few years ago, Professor Yuha Park at Sejong University, South Korea published a book named ‘Comfort Women of the Empire’, published in Japanese and Korean language. I am pretty sure you have heard about this, since you co-signed to the ‘comfort women’ statement. This book is about the so-called ‘comfort women’ of Japanese military during the World War II, especially focusing on Korean women during the Japanese colonization period over Korean peninsula. The main focus of this book is condemnation of imperialism and how social and economical inequality affects the social weaknesses especially to women with in-depth social and historical scientific research methods. (I really want to introduce this book more in detail, but I regret that I cannot do that now for my limited English ability.) This book and herself has been received several awards including Ishibashi Tanjan award, Asian peace award by Mainichi daily, etc. Lots and lots of people who were known to be a ‘consciousness’ of Japan and Korea have praised this book and her devotion. Those people are usually positioned so called as ‘left side human right emphasizing people’ in Japan and Korea.
However, a few nationalistic people in my home country, South Korea accused her for the reason that she allegedly said ‘the comfort women were basically prostitutes’ or ‘the comfort women were comrade with the Japanese soldiers’. She never said that. In fact she mentioned that clause in the book to show that why those argument actually came from the ‘extreme rightest in Japan’, is wrong. The overall chapter is to prove why those extremism is still has mere power in Japan indeed.
The powerful nationalistic group in South Korea manipulated the government and mass media and the current South Korean government which has been suspected as Japan-Abe government friendly, by nationalistic people, (I know how it will sounds ridiculous to an American, but) and the current Korean government decided to make her as a scapegoat to show people that it is ‘against’ Abe-Japanese government. Now Professor Yuha Park was accused by the prosecutor. She is having a terrible moment these days because of the manipulated people’s angry phone calls, real threatening and handling endless legal procedure.
The reason why I would like to let you know this is, this is quite obvious invasion of academic freedom and current live evidence of a witch hunting. Professor Yuha Park has been devoted her entire research career for the social weaknesses right, women’s right, and peace between Japan and Korea, and now all of her devotion is in danger of demolition by the nationalistic people who believes someone is just a traitor if she/he is talking about reconciliation between Japan and Korea.
I would like to ask your generous concern on this problem. A lot of Japanese and Korean researchers, professors and publishers are expected to address a statement for her. I wonder if you could give a short concern on academic freedom and witch hunting in Korea. Also this is related with the statement concerning a nationalistic movement of Korea and China which has been addressed before.
Thank you very much.
(Martin) Hyungook Yoon.