Gwen Berry, a U.S. Olympic hammer thrower, faces mounting backlash for turning away during the national anthem after the Olympic track and field trials. Critics are taking shots at the “activist athlete,” saying she is representing the country, not just herself and questioning why she would want to represent a country she believes is racist.
“If she did the exact same thing at this very moment, if she was North Korean, not only herself will be executed, [also] eight generations of her family can be sent to political prison camp and execution.”
“If you know your history, you know the full song of the national anthem, the third paragraph speaks to slaves in America, our blood being slain…all over the floor,” Berry said. “It’s disrespectful and it does not speak for Black Americans. It’s obvious. There’s no question.”
Park hit back at Berry’s comments.
“I was a slave,” Park said. “I was sold in China in 2007 as a child at 13 years old. The people actually called slavery under Chinese Communist Party in North Korea. There is actual injustice.”
“And the fact that she’s complaining about this country, the most tolerant country, she doesn’t really understand history.”
Park noted the ongoing differences in oppression in America compared to North Korea and called Berry “spoiled” for the freedom she experiences.
“In North Korea, people who are actually oppressed don’t even know they’re oppressed. The fact that she’s complaining about oppression and systemic racism – she does not understand that she’s so privileged.”
“There are people dying to come to America at this very moment,” Park said. “I just hope they go to North Korea, China and see how humans are being oppressed. And they will truly understand how valuable the freedom that we have is.”