By Nancy Abelmann
Nobody will quickly overlook the picture, blazed around the airwaves, of armed Korean american citizens taking to the rooftops as their companies went up in flames through the la riots. Why Korean americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed opposed to them? Blue goals is the 1st ebook to make experience of those questions, to teach how Korean american citizens, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the yankee dream or as racist retailers exploiting African americans, emerged on the crossroads of conflicting social reflections within the aftermath of the 1992 riots. the placement of Los Angeles's Korean americans touches on the most vexing concerns dealing with American society this day: ethnic clash, city poverty, immigration, multiculturalism, and ideological polarization. Combining interviews and deft socio-historical research, Blue goals provides those difficulties a human face and whilst clarifies the historic, political, and financial components that render them so advanced. within the lives and voices of Korean american citizens, the authors find a profound problem to adored assumptions in regards to the usa and its minorities. Why did Koreans come to the U.S.? Why did they arrange store in bad inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in clash with African american citizens? those are among the tricky questions the authors solution as they probe the transnational roots and variety of Los Angeles's Korean american citizens. Their paintings eventually exhibits us in sharp aid and relocating element a group that, regardless of the blinding media concentration dropped at undergo throughout the riots, has still remained mostly silent and successfully invisible. an immense corrective to the formulaic bills that experience pitted Korean american citizens opposed to African american citizens, Blue desires areas the Korean American tale squarely on the heart of nationwide debates over race, classification, tradition, and group.
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Additional resources for Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots
A. riots present a rich play of national memory and ethnic identity. Korea's twentieth-century history offers a repository for reflection on the riots. The riots are rendered as but another chapter in age-old stories. In the process, ethnic or national portraiture is posited as a reflection of this past. " He complained that no one understood, that none of the depth had surfaced in any of the reporting he had read. " Until then, he had stressed the complexity of twenty or thirty years of Korean immigration; now the narrative stretched back to 1945, and he worried whether his account might throw us for a loop, whether we might have to entirely refashion our analysis.
They leave to show people, to show people that they can make it. That is the whole problem [in the riots]. ] society. They don't know anything about the United States and its problems. That is where you get these guys driving their Mercedes to South Central and infuriating the blacks.... Part of this whole problem is the [South] Korean government: it only praises immigrants who give money back to Korea. So there is no consciousness about what a good immigrant is-someone who contributes to American society.
I hope we clean up our own prejudices, biases, apathies, and insensitivities, even to the point of changing our own lifestyles. (pp. 82-83) Although Yung and Lee both make a Christian call to "love thy neighbor," Yung downplays difference, while Lee takes it up. " These voices represent divergent directions for Korean Americans and their symbolic community, Koreatown. The continuum between Koreatown as a South Korean colony ("our land") and Koreatown as an American minority or multiethnic space stretches across a broad field of ideological and political difference.