The Korean American Experience Essay

The Korean American ExperienceIntroduction     For many in the Korean-American community, the 1992 Los Angeles riots are often considered a `turning point`. In the aftermath of the riots, many Korean-Americans thought that Korean-Americans should make more efforts to participate in American life through voting and other means.  In this paper, the question of whether this means there is a split in the solidarity of the Korean-American community or whether this is a transition to a more Americanized Korean-American community, keeping in mind that in either case, it is highly likely that immigration from Korea may well continue.

Korean-Americans as Social Citizens     Answering the main question of this research, whether there is a split in the Korean-American community or if there is a transition underway toward an Americanized Korean-American community first requires that the status of Korean-Americans as social citizens first be discussed.  For whatever reason, evidence does suggest that an abnormally high number of Korean-American businesses were looted and burned during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which would certainly anger any groups of people to the point where they would want to locate elsewhere or to become anonymous and detach them from the whole of society.  However, Korean-Americans in Los Angeles simply were not like this.  After 1992, Korean-Americans rebuilt their businesses bigger and better than ever, most cases in the same locations as before, showing that these people would certainly want to continue to be a part of the community, thereby increasing their roles as social citizens (Ilyong).Korean-Americans Move Forward     When the smoke cleared from the 1992 riots, Korean-Americans were faced with an important choice- to maintain their share of the American dream, or to become alienated from American society or to leave America altogether in an effort to try to find better opportunities elsewhere.

  Impressively, most of the Korean-Americans who lived through the riots committed themselves not only to bouncing back after the riots, but to also come back better than before.  This resulted in a massive rebuilding of the destroyed property, and along with it, a mission on the part of these people to become more prosperous, better rooted in the American culture, and to show everyone that not only could the Korean-Americans come back after being discriminated against and deprived of their private property, but that they would actually be able to come through all of these troubles in a better situation than before (Ilyong).Conclusion     As the research has shown, moving forward after the injustices suffered in the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Korean-Americans only came back stronger in regard to their status as social citizens.  This makes it possible for all Korean-Americans to take a look forward to all of the great possibilities that lie ahead for them and the next generation.

  Therefore, what should be taken away from this paper is the fact that although Korean-Americans were down after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, they were far from out, and have remained the same way up to the present day.ReferencesIlyong, I Kim, ed. Korean Americans: Past, Present, and Future.

Holly International, 2004.