In a recent discussion with an African-American friend, he made the comment that contrary to common understanding, black people have a great deal of ethnic diversity within them. Many American black people have Native American, Hispanic and white blood in them, but that phenotypically (to borrow a word from 7th grade biology), they are still black. They are still treated black and accepted into black culture, well, because they look black.
Are children of Asians mixed with other races still considered Asian?
In my experience, the answer in the immigrant church is “no”. The homogenity of the motherland causes a great number of immigrants to consciously or unconsciously discount their inheritance besides physical ethnic features. Children to “army wives” are simply left to figure it out themselves in terms of who they are, but in reality, they take the form of who many 2nd generation feel as though we are inside. My only advantage (or perhaps, disadvantage) — I still look Korean.
The problem bothers me more when I realize that my own child (none yet, negotiations are heating up however) will not be of full Korean descent nor of full South Indian descent. While my wife and I have had conversations that perhaps the mixing of our genes will result in hybrid vigor, the biological phenomenon that the mixing of our genes might strengthen our own weaknesses, we worry about what our child may miss out on. Instead of inheriting the best of both worlds, we are afraid that our child might miss out on both.
It saddens me that ethnic church would persist without addressing the fact that we have something to contribute to those who have lost that sense of identity, that sense of motherland, as opposed to mother’s land. In the many ethnic churches I have grown up in, these hybrids, do not return to ethnic church, they aren’t welcome and they don’t need to return. They are strangers often in their own homes, where they neither fit in quite comfortably with one parent or the other, that is unless they are black of course. Because black is black, but Asian, well, I’m still wondering what Asian is and is to be.