My name is Daniel Kim, but given our increasing numbers and to avoid confusion, I also go by D.L.
I was born in Maryland (for one year), moved to Ohio (a few years), and now reside in Southern California (since 1992). When I was about five or six, I insisted to my father that I was “American-Korean” because I was born American. Strange for a toddler to say such a cute, acute thing.
Currently, I’m writing, drawing comics, and doing standup as to expand my creative horizons in hopes of displaying that Korean Americans can be known more than K-pop and K-drama.
On my blog, I have written the following that reflects my view on my ethnic identity:
As a Korean American, it is my responsibility to not neglect one of my cultural identities in favor of the other, but rather to apply them when necessary.
As a Korean, I am thankful for my elders and cultural traditions because I have learned the importance of respecting authority and rules for the greater good of the community, but as an American, I must challenge them when I find something to be incorrect or outdated. Not to do so in a reactionary matter in the form of bigoted banners and signposts, but rather in thoughtful discourse and thought-provoking artwork.
As an American, I appreciate the diversity of ideas and narratives ranging from blogs and tweets to the bestsellers and blockbusters because I value the importance of being able to express one’s opinions and identity freely, but as a Korean, I must challenge them when I find them to be unnecessarily risqué or inappropriate that can become harmful to the community in the future. To do so in a way that allows me to voice my opinion clearly regardless of the popularity or opposition it may bring.
Both of these goals aspire to get people thinking about the matter at hand and not to appeal only to their feelings.
Of course, I admit what has been written is a tall order to myself and to those who share a similar background or sentiment. I do also admit that it may seem like I am breaking my own rules, but what one idea offends one person may enlighten another. It is impossible to please everyone without compromising your good conscience.
To know more, visit me at http://danleekim.wordpress.com
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