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La Riots The Korean American Perspective Vs. The African American Perspective

1380 words - 6 pages

The Korean American Perspective vs. the African American Perspective

-On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was arrested for reckless driving and was beaten brutally by three police officers as their supervisor watched (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2004). Two weeks later, a Korean shop owner, Ms. Du, shot and killed Latasha Harlins for attempting to steal a bottle of orange juice (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2004). On April 29, 1992, the four officers involved with the beating of Rodney King were acquitted (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2004). These three events affected the Korean Americans and African Americans a great deal. The African Americans caused a riot to vent their anger and frustration on what they felt was injustice towards the acquittal and the small punishment Ms. Du received for shooting Latasha Harlins. The Korean Americans' shops and dreams were destroyed because of the riots.

-Many Korean immigrants came to America because they wanted to give their children a better future and because of the American Dream. They worked hard to achieve that dream; working hard everyday, and saving up every penny (Sa-I-Gu: From Korean Women's Perspectives, 1993). As immigrants, they were only able to get very low paying jobs and made very little. The only property they could afford to buy was in South Central Los Angeles. The property there was cheap because many people/companies didn't want to run a business there because it was in such a bad neighborhood (Sa-I-Gu: From Korean Women's Perspectives, 1993). The Korean immigrants knew how to run a successful business. They worked long and hard hours, and had family members work instead of employing people from the neighborhood. This way, they were able to cut labor costs and were able to survive and thrive in the business (Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots, 1997). -There are many reasons as to why the African Americans targeted the Korean immigrants. Reasons such as the beating of Rodney King, the acquittal, and the unjust punishment for the killing of Latasha Harlins was. Other reasons were because of the excessive police brutality specifically towards African Americans, the high unemployment rates, poverty, and lack of community development that had plagued South Central Los Angeles for decades ("Impact of the LA Riots on the Korean Community", 2002). Many African Americans felt that Korean immigrants had taken over their community and were pushing them out with their businesses. They felt that where they had failed in attaining the American dream, the Koreans had succeeded. This brought on feelings of resentment or jealously because the Korean immigrants had succeeded in areas they had failed. Immigrants with poor English were doing better then them in their own neighborhood. Causing a riot was used as a way to vent their frustrations and anger (Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots, 1997). -The African Americans treated Koreans the way they treated them, rude and...

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