3 speeches, 2 countries, 3 cities, 6 days

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Upcoming events
* Casey Lartigue at TNKR Fundraiser hosted by the North Korea Network (DC, 5/26/15))
* TNKR TBA (6/15)
Here’s recent media in English
Here’s recent media in Korean.
 Korea University Casey Cherie May 30 final  TNKR

Get your own column (The Korea Times, 2015-05-20)

One reason I am suspicious of job references and calling someone’s previous employers: Who checks the references of those giving references?

If supervisors and colleagues I have worked with ever had a meeting, expect a chaotic scene demonstrating the difference between a job and a career. Some would give such loving testimonials that I would know what pancakes must feel like when syrup gets poured on top: So sweet!

But that love fest would get interrupted by others rudely saying: “Wait, I thought we were here to talk about Casey Lartigue, Jr. That’s the laziest man I’ve ever hired.”

I’ve had jobs where I warned colleagues not to be standing near the door the moment I was no longer obligated to be at the office. “Don’t make me knock you down at quitting time,” I would say, with the mindset of a bruising football player about to score a game-winning touchdown. On the other hand, I have worked so late at the office that I have gotten locked in the building by security guards.

What gives? I think it is the often-stated difference between a job and a career. When people ask me what is my job, these days I say: “My work is freedom.”

I thought about this back in 2007 when I was co-host of “The Casey Lartigue Show” on The Power, a black political talk network on XM Radio. “Drive-by callers” often wanted to tell me how to run my show. Then I heard the perfect response one day by another host in response to his own drive-by callers: “Get your own damned show.”

As he would tell such callers, in essence: “This is my show, my work for three decades, I decide the content. If you don’t like it, you should go through the process of setting up your own show, convince someone to take a risk on you, and attract an audience.”

Harsh, but I reflected on the difference between jobs, careers, and “my work.” I am now getting prepared to speak at Harvard University (May 24) and Korea University (May 30). It will be my third speech at Harvard University, but this time is special because it is based on my own “work.”

In March 2003, I spoke at the first “Alumni of Color” conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. My topic was the Washington D.C. voucher program that I was a leading advocate of and activist for during 2002-04. I wasn’t the main person, but I had a key role as a researcher carrying both a briefcase and a protest sign, combining my research expertise with my activism. It was the beginning of my career, but it didn’t yet feel like my “work.”

My speech in April 2003 at Harvard University Law School was about the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. I was pleased to speak at Harvard for a second time, but I had no connection with NCLB. It felt like winning an Employee of the Month award at a job that I didn’t care about.

My third speech at Harvard, four days from now, will be at an “Innovation Symposium” being hosted by the Harvard University Extension School Alumni Association. I will be discussing my project connecting North Korean refugees with volunteer English tutors.

It is, as that talk show host might have said, my own “work.” It feels like a step beyond a career. We didn’t benchmark other projects, we created it based on what we heard from North Korean refugees as well as our own observations. No one knows more about it than my co-director and I do. I have gone through the process of creating my own project, convinced people to take a risk on me, and attracted allies.

I still have “drive-by experts” who want me to do what they want. I recently received a Facebook message from a black American advising me to return to America to help black Americans, rather than helping North Korean refugees. He didn’t specify the “work” he was doing that might attract me.

I blocked his account. Even obsessed critics have suggestions, but that’s like searching for a $20 bill you dropped in a sewer. Neither is worth the time, effort or drama.

My “work” is not for everyone, and that’s fine. The same with my column. Many columnists resemble radio callers pontificating with simple solutions about things they have no control over, such as advising the U.S. to pull troops out of South Korea or to sign a peace treaty with North Korea immediately. I often like to talk about “my work” in this column.

When I get comments from drive-by readers, I tell them: “Write a letter to the editor.” When they persist, I tell them, “Get your own damned column.”

The writer is the Director for International Relations at Freedom Factory Co.in Seoul and the Asia Outreach Fellow with the Atlas Network in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at: CJL@post.harvard.edu

Original Korea Times link

2015-05-20 Get your own column upload

Casey Lartigue speaking at Korea University conference (2015-05-30)

Casey Lartigue Jr., co-founder of the Teach North Korean Refugees project, will be one of the speakers at the “Building Global Learning Community through Communication, Trust and Networking” conference on May 30th 2015, at Korea University in Seoul, Korea. 30,000 won for adults, 20,000 won for students.

May 30 conference

2015 ACE of Korea International Conference FINAL

file-page1 file-page2


FINAL FLYR KOrea university

2015-05-06 What to do about Baltimore? (The Korea Times)


What to do about Baltimore?




By Casey Lartigue, Jr.

During the summer of 2002, I was a frequent attendee of a month-long boycott of a Chinese food takeout by black residents in Washington, D.C. No kidding, the protest began after a local activist accused a cook at Kenny’s Carryout of attempting to cook a piece of chicken he had dropped on the floor and kicked around like a soccer ball. By my unofficial count, there were about 100 protesters marching and chanting some days, but one key person was missing: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.

The protest leaders contacted Jackson, but joy turned to rage when he told them he was heading to Los Angeles instead, to protest the beating of a black man by police. One of the protestors told me: “See! Jesse ain’t out for nobody but Jesse. They already got cameras there.”

I asked protestors why they were targeting a small Chinese takeout rather than lousy public schools nearby. At that time, about 37 percent of D.C. adults read at about the third grade elementary school level.

A conservative friend of mine who declined my invitation to observe the protest told me it was another example of black spokesmen and their constituents ignoring serious problems. Not exactly, I told him.

They have led demonstrations, delivered speeches, and rhymed many a time in denouncing black-on-black crime and encouraging black youth to study harder. As far back as 1984, the Associated Press (“Jackson calls for end to black-on-black crime”) quoted Jackson as saying: “I want blacks who kill and maim other blacks to go to jail. The blood keeps flowing.” He was alluding to another spate of gang-related killings, one of which ended in the death of Chicago high school basketball star Ben Wilson (Jackson delivered the eulogy at Wilson’s funeral).

Much of it may be street theater. While people have many hobbies, number one in history has probably been blaming others for problems. The problem in inner-cities runs deeper than black spokesmen ignoring problems.

In short: They don’t know what to do. Fifty years after rioters torched many inner-cities, a new generation of politicians, activists, intellectuals, journalists, black spokesmen, and the current U.S. President don’t know what to do about black-on-black crime, illegitimacy, joblessness, Baltimore, Ferguson, or Chicago’s South Side.

Sure, the leaders and talkers talk, even after their policies clearly are harmful, unless or ineffective. They talk about afterschool programs, fully funding No Child Left Behind, black role models, diversity, multiculturalism, black history taught year around, community policing, affirmative action, ending police brutality and racial profiling, increasing the minimum wage, etc.

In his 1980 book Knowledge and Decisions, economist Thomas Sowell wrote (paraphrased with my added spin): If you are a farmer who can milk a cow, that means you can go to a barn with a bucket and come back with some milk from a cow. On the other hand, if you are an expert on crime, you can go to Philadelphia, but we can’t expect you to come back with less crime.

Several years ago, fast-talking black intellectual Michael Eric Dyson led a march against violence in Philadelphia. Before the weekend was over, four more people had been killed, including a five-year-old black girl sitting in her mother’s car. Dyson can talk and march against black-on-black crime, but he can’t come back with less crime in Philadelphia.

There’s a difference between expertise in doing something and expertise in talking eloquently. I’m not surprised politicians go for Daily Show type chuckles. The person who would get booed at an important speech would be the person interrupting to say, “Enough with the jokes, Mr. President. What can you do about it, and when?” I would boo you, too. How dare you interrupt the President’s punchline?

In the late 1980s, Obama was a community organizer in Chicago’s troubled South Side and he later represented the area as state senator. Jackson has been based in Chicago for more than four decades. They have national plans, but I’ve heard that Chicago’s South Side is still a dangerous place to be. Now it is Baltimore’s turn in the headlines. The President did suggest that if his policies were implemented that things would be better. If he could clean up (pick one) Baltimore, Ferguson or Chicago’s South Side, he’d deserve his Nobel Peace Prize.

I recently read that the Obama Presidential Library will be housed at the University of Chicago. If there is ever a dispute with a Chinese takeout or riots on the South Side, assuming he isn’t globe-trotting, at cocktail parties in D.C., or hanging out at his library in Chicago, Obama may be able to join after he becomes a civilian again. He and Jackson may not be able to return with less crime, but I hope at least they can come back with more chicken.

The writer is the Director for International Relations at Freedom Factory Co.in Seoul and the Asia Outreach Fellow with the Atlas Network in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at: CJL@post.harvard.edu

2015-05-06 Baltimore final scan