A North Korean defector said going to college here in the U.S made her realize America really isn't the country of free thought and speech she once thought.
After leaving North Korea, Yeonmi Park attended Columbia University and was shocked by the anti-Western ideologies and censoring she heard in the classroom, leaving her to think "even North Korea isn't this nuts."
"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 told Fox News, "I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying."
The twenty-seven-year-old said she couldn't believe she was asked to do "this much censoring of myself" here in the U.S.
"I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I'm not free, America's not free," she said.
Park fled North Korea back in 2007, at the age of thirteen, ending up in China and South Korea with her family before finally landing in New York where she went to school in 2016.
She shared that her professors gave students "trigger warnings," where students could opt out of reading or being present in class while learning about certain topics.
"Every problem, they explained to us, is because of white men."
Discussions of white privilege reminded her of the caste system back in Korea where people were categorized on who their ancestors were.
She shared that in class, professors would often ask students their preferred pronouns and that the increased use of "they" was worrying to her as she didn't want to be seen as lacking inclusivity in her vocabulary.
She also admitted she was looked down upon for saying she enjoyed reading Jane Austen.
"I said 'I love those books.' I thought it was a good thing! Then she said, 'Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.'"
Park then said in her home country, students were constantly told about the "American B*stard."
"I thought North Koreans were the only people who hated Americans but turns out there are a lot of people hating this country in this country."
Park said it seems as though Americans are willing to give their rights away and are being silenced by cancel culture for opposing views...
"Voluntarily, these people are censoring each other, silencing each other, no force behind it," she said.
"Other times (in history) there's a military coup d'etat, like a force comes in taking your rights away and silencing you. But this country is choosing to be silenced, choosing to give their rights away."
Park knows firsthand what it's like to have rights and discourse stripped away.
"North Korea was pretty insane," she said, "Like the first thing my mom taught me was don't even whisper, the birds and mice could hear me. She told me the most dangerous thing that I had in my body was my tongue," Park said. "So I knew how dangerous it was to say wrong things in a country."
She grew up and witnessed the Stalinist dictatorship where people were dying from starvation and said although Americans have not witnessed much oppression, they are obsessed with it.
"This a completely nuts, this is unbelievable. I don't know why people are collectively going crazy like this or together at the same time."
The young woman explained she had once thought dictator Kim Jong Un was "starving" and overworked, until escaping and being shown pictures of him that told a completely different story.
"That's what it does when you're brainwashed," she said, "In some ways, they (in the U.S) are brainwashed. Even though there's evidence so clearly in front of their eyes they can't see it."
What do you think about Park's views on the United States?