I am Chinese American, immigrated at 4 years old. I identify very much as an American and while I want China to do well in competition, I will generally root for the USA over China head to head. A Korean American friend of mine shared this article, which I thought was very interesting. It advocates that Korean immigrants, as immigrants and people assimilating into American culture, have an obligation to not root against their new home country. What do you think?
Given the recent duel between Team Seoul and Team Chicago in the Little League Word Series, TK figured this would be a good topic to address. As immigrants, where should our sports loyalty lie?
The article that John L. shared outlines a common perspective. An excerpt:
|Give it up for the good-lookin' World Champions.|
Undoubtedly, many people take this view, as many people take sports quite seriously--as does TK. So what does he think about this case of "divided loyalty"?When we as Korean Americans don Korea shirts and wave Korean flags during Korea-USA games, we are not choosing a team, we are choosing a nation. We are very deliberately and purposely choosing to support a foreign nation against the one we call our home and protector. It’s true that issues of identity are more complex – many of us feel just as much at home in Seoul as we do in San Diego or Daegu as in Dallas, but there are times when we cannot conveniently declare that we are “citizens of the world”, or “both Korean and American.” There are hard choices to be made.
It is ironic and inconsistent for us to complain of being seen as “perpetual foreigners” and having to struggle to be accepted as Americans, and then turn and root against America when the choice comes. And we cannot be truthful to ourselves and say that Korea’s games against the US are only sport when we consider Korea’s games against Japan as so much more. Culture plays an enormous role in setting the framework for people’s understanding of the world around them.
During World War II Asian Americans proudly and publicly made efforts to support America, despite the outrageous Executive Order 9066. Many, facing discrimination, wore buttons that read: “I am an American.” Still others, like Colonel Young Oak Kim, wore America’s uniform and served abroad. The Asian American 442nd Infantry continues to be the most highly-decorated military unit in the history of the American armed forces.
(More after the jump)
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