A video of a young SEVENTEEN Vernon talking about the discrimination he faced due to his race resurfaced among the Korean community.
The video was taken when Vernon was in elementary school.
In the video, he reveals that he is called a “halfer” because of his mixed race.
“I learned that I’m considered a ‘halfer’ because my dad is Korean and my mom is American.” — Vernon
Because of his unique features, he would often face discrimination in public.
“I look more western than Korean because of my lighter skin, hair, and eyes. So In Korea, when I travel in public, people always stare at me. I hate when that happens!” — Vernon
Although he grew up in Korea, he felt like an outsider in his own home country.
“I feel like we’re all the same people, but they fix their eyes on me as if I’m an outsider.” — Vernon
He even revealed that his mixed-race friends with darker skin were treated even worse.
“One of my friends are ‘halfers’ too. My friend Danielle is half Korean and half Iranian. My friend Habibi is half Korean and half Pakistani. People tend to treat them badly because of their darker skin.” — Vernon
Vernon understood the importance of acceptance and respect at such a young age.
“I think people should give other people more respect, and they shouldn’t judge them by their appearance.” — Vernon
And even now, he still holds those values true to his heart. When his member Hoshi revealed that he was self-conscious of his small eyes, Vernon disagreed and said, “Don’t let the beauty standards of another person become your own.”
When a fan asked him what he wanted as a superpower, Vernon replied, ‘To heal’. When asked why, he responded that it’s the most needed power in this world.
Vernon is truly an inspiration and a role model to people around the world.
Watch Vernon speak about the discriminations he faced: