Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots by Nancy Abelmann

By Nancy Abelmann

Not anyone will quickly fail to remember the picture, blazed around the airwaves, of armed Korean americans taking to the rooftops as their companies went up in flames throughout the l. a. riots. Why Korean americans? What stoked the wrath the riots unleashed opposed to them? Blue desires is the 1st booklet to make feel of those questions, to teach how Korean american citizens, variously depicted as immigrant seekers after the yank dream or as racist retailers exploiting African americans, emerged on the crossroads of conflicting social reflections within the aftermath of the 1992 riots. the location of Los Angeles's Korean american citizens touches on probably the most vexing matters dealing with American society at the present time: 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 while clarifies the historic, political, and fiscal 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 us? Why did they organize store in terrible inner-city neighborhoods? Are they in clash with African american citizens? those are one of several tough questions the authors solution as they probe the transnational roots and variety of Los Angeles's Korean american citizens. Their paintings eventually indicates us in sharp reduction and relocating aspect a group that, regardless of the blinding media concentration dropped at endure in the course of the riots, has still remained principally silent and successfully invisible. an incredible corrective to the formulaic money owed that experience pitted Korean americans opposed to African americans, Blue desires locations the Korean American tale squarely on the middle of nationwide debates over race, category, tradition, and group.

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Additional resources for Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots

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What are we going to do? Go and live in a United Korea? " He continued sarcastically: IILike we are going to have an impact on the reunification process. " Yet some Korean Americans see a strong link between local struggles and South Korean politics. Such visions are transnational, but different from the perspectives that sanctioned an appeal to the South Korean government for aid. S. office. From such a perspective, Hahm, who also came as a student immigrant, is hopeful about the consciousness inspired by the riots: IIKorean Americans will realize that the fate of their community is intimately tied to the fate of Korea, that if Korea isn't democratized this community will not be able to stand.

S. government holds no appeal for Yu, who has come to realize that it does "absolutely nothing for minorities": "Of course the Korean government should take care of this [the riot damage to Korean Americans] because most people are Korean citizens. I have absolutely no interest-even though I know I could-in getting an American citizenship because it doesn't mean a damn thing in the United States. " After her impassioned comments, a discussion ensued on the meaninglessness of American citizenship.

Because he knew that the blacks didn't feel very good toward the Koreans. I do believe there must have been some conscious politics, because [the police] just weren't there" (D. Kim and Yang 1992, p. 33). " A cartoon in Seoul's progressive daily, Han'gyore sinmun, portrays the deliberate abandonment of Koreatown.

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