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Being Asian…

Some thoughts that have been percolating on being Asian…

I’m Chinese. I don’t think I realized it till about grade three.

I have faint memories of myself squeezing my nose in the mirror in hopes that it wasn’t so flat.

Race itself can be a type of poverty

Is the asian model minority myth, a myth?

In Dreams of my Father, Barack Obama talks about not wanting to associate with the one other black classmate because it would only remind them further of their isolation. I feel that way sometimes when I’m surrounded by Asians.

Asians are rarely included in the black-white race discussions

I’ve heard people say where black and white are on the extremes, yellow and brown are ‘just right’.

Along with the color remarks, I’ve heard people use the term ‘banana’ for Asians that act white. I’ve always wondered if there was something similar for Asians acting ‘black’. Beef patty is the closest thing I can think of, yellow pastry on the outside, dark on the inside?

Labels are rarely helpful, but where else would we start?

When Asians are mentioned in conversations on reconciliation it seems to be merely for the sake of inclusion, not that there might be some form of weight behind it.

Being Asian typically carries more stereotypes behind it than an actual narrative

Many of the circles I travel in, from old-school pastoral gatherings to emergent networks, I’m the only Asian dude.

I wonder if I help validate the movement of Christ to all people when I show up.

Truth is, I long for a truly multi-cultural church as well

At my wife’s school, there’s typically only one token white kid in her classroom.

Statistics say that within a decade the majority of Christians in America will be non-white. What does that mean about our future leadership?

With the Chinese ethnic church booming over the past decade, black and white pastors have asked me, when will the Chinese church begin reaching back out to them?

We as a church need to have a better theology of the human person and of diversity.

God’s not colorblind, and when we avoid the discussions as we do in Canada, we’re negating a part of who God created us to be.

Is there affirmative action happening in our churches? Is that a good thing?

John Piper thinks that Asians might be the next great movement of missionaries

I wonder how China being an emerging superpower relates to the church of the future?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Jake Belder February 4, 2009, 11:30 pm

    Lon, great post. The stuff at the end is key, I think. I’m not sure it registers with anybody around here especially how huge of an impact the Church in China will have in coming decades. I think it’s going to be huge. I mean really, really huge.

    I’ll make a confession. I could be included with those who don’t really talk about race and diversity because I’m not really sure how to do it. It’s not that I don’t want to, because I’d love to talk about it, about the beauty of diversity. Maybe it’s the dominating influence of white culture on me, but I worry about being offensive when I think about talking with someone from another race.

    Honestly, I’d love to sit down with you and say, “Lon, tell me about being Asian.” And I’d love it for you to just start talking and telling me what it’s all about so I could try to get a glimpse inside that and start to figure it out. I have a good Hispanic friend down here who’d I love to do the same thing with.

    But yeah, maybe it’s just the cultural baggage I inadvertently carry with me that tells me it’s inappropriate to do so.

    If it’s cool, I want to know. I can’t learn this stuff from books.

  • Danielle Leung February 5, 2009, 12:14 am

    Hey Lon! You might want to check out Beau Sia, an Asian-American spoken word artist. Just an example: http://youtube.com/watch?v=C40EUMU3pFc

  • Lon February 5, 2009, 3:45 pm

    Hey Jake, thanks for the comment. I totally understand the awkwardness, ethnicity is one thing, and you’ve already taken more than the first step following along with me here on my blog and being engaged.

    race discussions shouldn’t be the ‘white man’s burden’ either… we’re all responsible for listening and valuing one another wholly. Thanks for reaching out bro…

    Danielle – I had no idea you followed my blog, i’ll definitely check’em out!

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