A woman who defected with her mother from North Korea at age 13 has described her experience at an American Ivy League university as “chaos” and “regression” as bad or worse than the regime she left in North Korea, Fox News reported.
Yeonmi Park said she saw many similarities between Columbia University and the North Korean regime, and that she fears the future in America may be “as bleak as North Korea” after her experience.
Park came to Columbia in 2016 and was immediately called out for saying she loved classic American literature like Jane Austen books.
Her professor said, “Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you,” she remembered during a Fox News interview.
“They are forcing you to think the way they want you to think”
“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,” Park said.
Park noticed anti-Western sentiment, collective guilt and suffocating political correctness during her time at the university.
She also had to adapt to calling people by their preferred pronouns, which was difficult since she only learned English as an adult. “It was chaos,” said Park. “It felt like the regression in civilization.”
She eventually stopped arguing with her professors and just did what she had to do to get good grades, she said. “North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”
They think they’re oppressed
“These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free,” she said, noting that she had been sold into slavery after crossing into China. “I literally crossed through the middle of the Gobi Desert to be free.” Park added that many others went through even worse than she did.
“The people here are just dying to give their rights and power to the government. That is what scares me the most,” she said of Americans.
She said the lack of critical thinking is particularly troublesome because Americans have access to information she never had, but they don’t use it.
“North Koreans, we don’t have Internet, we don’t have access to any of these great thinkers, we don’t know anything. But here, while having everything, people choose to be brainwashed. And they deny it,” she said.