Over the years, KoreAm has documented the impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots on ours and other communities, and urged an understanding of lessons learned. As we count down to the 20th anniversary next year, iamKoreAm.com will be running a riot article, image or testimonial in this space every week until April 29, 2012. Some will be taken from our pages, while others will be excavated from our own personal archives.
We welcome your submissions—first-person memories (no word limit), pictures, poems and (photographed/scanned) artifacts—for this project, too. Please email them to email@example.com with the subject line ‘Riots Spot’. Many of us were mere children in 1992, but 19 years later, we have voices. We can speak now.
“we are our first and last line of defense. me. you.”
~ k.w. lee
koreans mark disaster
with numbers – 4-29 – Sa-I-Gu.
no police. no help.
fire. if I touch
the screen my fingers
will singe or sing.
raw hands rip nikes
out of boxes, break glass
into white cobwebs.
my mother presses her hand
to her ruined lips.
we see grainy reels of a black
fish flopping on concrete
arched, kicked, nightsticked,
flopping not fish but black man –
here I rub my own tender
wrists, ask unanswerable questions –
why are the cops doing this?
my mother will answer simply,
wisely, because they are bad.
of the looters, because they are mad.
and why hurt us – she chokes
because we are close enough.
I moan, slip under the fold
of her. she strokes my hair
and keeps me protected
as I must one day protect her.
Continue Reading »
The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) will be hosting a seminar on July 21 to discuss the inner workings of the Hollywood system. The leading Korean Americans currently working in the entertainment industry will be on hand to provide first-hand accounts of what it’s like in today’s Tinseltown.
This event is free and open to the public but due to high demand potential audience members will need to fill out a registration form available here. (If the file does not download automatically, right-click the link and select “save as” to download the file). Please apply by July 18. There is a limited amount of space available so only those selected to be in the audience will be contacted.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Thursday, July 21, 2011
Time: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Location: CGV Cinemas, 621 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
See the program lineup after the jump:
A Korean American lawyer from Chicago has been recommended to be a federal judge in Illinois, according to the Korea Herald.
John Z. Lee, 44, was recommended for one of three vacant slots in Chicago federal court by Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin. If selected for nomination by President Obama, Lee would then need full Senate confirmation.
Born in Germany, Lee was raised in Chicago and finished his degree at Harvard Law School. Graduating cum laude in 1992, he studied close to the same time as U.S. President Barack Obama, who graduated in 1991.
In addition, Lee previously served as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice and is currently a partner at commercial law firm Freeborn & Peters.
The candidate is also working for two non-profit organizations, namely Asian Human Services of Chicago and CARPLS (Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services).
If Lee is confirmed, he will be just the third Korean American federal judge. Herbert Choy of Hawaii was the first in 1971 followed by Lucy Koh, who was confirmed by the Senate in June 2010.
‘Hangover II’ Star Ken Jeong Becomes a Billion-Dollar Star
The Hollywood Reporter
“The times, they are a-changin’,” says Ken Jeong, the unlikely star whose movies Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Hangover Part II collectively broke the billion-dollar mark this week in global grosses. His new comedy Zookeeper is expected to add another $20 million domestically when it opens this weekend.
“Ken is one of the most fearless comic actors I’ve ever worked with,” Hangover director Todd Phillips tells The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s such a danger to him. Anything can happen when you see him in a movie, and audiences feel that. I’d envisioned Mr. Chow as an older character, but I saw a YouTube video Ken made and said, ‘We’ve got to see this guy.’ In the script, we had him in slacks with no shoes or shirt. Ken said, ‘Y’know, maybe it would be funny if I did it naked.’ We slipped a nudity waiver under his door, ‘cause we were shooting it the next day. Ken will do anything. It’s one of the all-time great comic entrances.”
5 Amazing LA Korean Spots and What to Order
Here are five Korean restaurants in Los Angeles that “Kimchi Chronicles” host Marja Vongerichten recommends.
Saving his best for laughs
Los Angeles Times
No joke: American stand-up comic Joe Wong used to be Xi Huang, a Chinese biochemist. He decided he’d rather tickle funny bones than decode genes.
FIFA bans two North Korean women for failing dope test
World football’s governing body FIFA announced Thursday that two players from the North Korea side have been provisionally suspended from the Women’s World Cup after failing dope tests.
Haute Korean Moves Into Chanterelle Space This Fall
New York Magazine’s GrubStreet
Jung Sik Yim is the chef behind Jung Sik Dang, a Seoul restaurant known for “unusual flavor combinations, high-end ingredients, and a white-tablecloth mind-set.”
Now reps for Yim have confirmed that the 55-seat outpost planned for Tribeca — to be called Jung Sik — will be a similar experience, and will open in the fall.
Starving North Korea faces suspicious donors
Los Angeles Times
Humanitarian groups warn that about 6 million North Koreans face severe food shortages but international donors say they want better oversight before giving more, alleging that most aid is diverted by the regime.
Couple arrested on suspicion of extorting Chinese immigrants
Los Angeles Times
A Hacienda Heights man who operated an illegal nightclub and allegedly extorted members of the San Gabriel Valley’s Chinese community has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty, child endangerment and drug and illegal weapons possession, authorities said Friday.
Sheng Hui Chen, 38, and his wife, Yulan Hu, 31, of Hacienda Heights, both Chinese nationals who entered the United States on tourist visas, were arrested and charged after an investigation that began with allegations of extortion and illegal weapon possession, said Sgt. Steve Kim of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
South Koreans Balk at Saturdays Without School
Chung Eunjung, a mother of two sons in Seoul, says South Korea’s plan to give children extra playtime by ending Saturday classes means only one thing: more private tutoring.
On June 14, President Lee Myung Bak’s government announced it would recommend that Korea’s schools end the Saturday classes, a feature of school life since the 1950s. Most schools now hold classes for four hours on two Saturdays a month. President Lee wants Koreans to consume more, and he hopes to wean the school system off its obsession with standardized tests. He figures giving kids and families the weekend off would help achieve both goals.
Judging penis size by comparing index, ring fingers
Los Angeles Times
A new South Korean urology study found a correlation between index finger to ring finger ratio and penis size.
Penis length cannot be determined by how big his hands or feet are — those and other supposed indicators have been widely discredited for years. But now a team of Korean researchers has produced what may be a more reliable guide: the ratio of the length of his index finger to that of his ring finger. The lower that ratio, the longer the penis may be, the researchers wrote Monday in the Asian Journal of Andrology.
Check out the new video for David Choi’s “By My Side” after the jump: Continue Reading »
When journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling were arrested by North Korean authorities for illegally entering the isolated country in March 2009, many wondered who betrayed them and how had they been caught so easily.
A recent report from the Chosun Ilbo revealed that it was a carefully orchestrated operation masterminded by North Korea’s State Security Department deputy chief Ryu Kyong.
Using a well-established network of China-based operatives, Ryu obtained intelligence that Ling and Lee, journalists working for Current TV, were doing a story on North Korean refugees and planned to make a trip to the China-North Korea border.
Ryu then instructed his spies to bribe a Korean-Chinese guide to lead the two women into a trap on the banks of the Tumen River, where they were caught by North Korean guards. The Chosun Ilbo reported that Ryu was then “hailed as a national hero” for prompting former President Bill Clinton to make a face-losing diplomatic trip to secure the release of Ling and Lee.
The celebration apparently didn’t last long, however, as Ryu was reportedly executed earlier this year in what is being deemed by North Korea experts as a Pyongyang power struggle. Some have speculated that Ryu was getting too powerful, while others suspected him of being a double agent for South Korea, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
This article appeared in the July 2011 issue of KoreAm.