living in different worlds

I don’t surf YouTube as much as some others. I did watch this entire 6-minute clip from The View. I get to watch The View maybe once a quarter, and like it for being a talk show that sometimes candidly addresses about the world we live in and its culture, especially allowing different opinions to be voiced without neatly tidying it up at the end.

Whoopi Goldberg and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were singled out on this one episode, for being the most vocal. The whole 5-women crew addressed the issue of Jesse Jackson using the “N” word. While it sounded like a double-standard for African-Americans to have the right to use the word in public and/or private, Caucasians didn’t have the right to use the word.

What caught my attention and prompted me to post, is the remarks that surfaced at the 3:45 mark. Whoppi explains how “… we live in different worlds!” while Elisabeth wants us to live as if we were in the same world.

To some degree, we all live in the same society and the same nation. BUT, there are differences for those who live in the world as a minority vs. one who lives as the majority ethnicity/race. It is this majority cultures’ insensitivity (aka “white privilege“) and lack of acknowledgement of these differences that is particularly troubling. Troubling to some, anyways. This blind spot spills over into the church and into how we do theology.

When my fellow Asian Americans don’t acknowledge the differences of being a minority in a majority culture, that disappoints me all the more.

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About djchuang

DJ Chuang is a social media strategist for churches and non-profit orgs, with a personal priority on next generation Asian Americans. He's a veteran blogger at djchuang.com and resides in Orange County, California

Comments

  1. Simba says:

    David, let us invite folks for a night and keep this dialog going. Please, we need it.

  2. Carl says:

    The thing is, each minority group lives in their own separate worlds as well.

    For example, use an racist Asian slur (e.g. McCain’s “gook” incident) isn’t that big a deal. But use the N-word and you’re in big trouble…

  3. Letitia says:

    Hello DJ!

    I just blogged about this same issue as well (read it at my blog). I guess it’s a good thing I wrote it without knowledge of your comments, because it seems we have something to talk about!

    The majority race in this country is not the only one to be insensitive to other racial groups. As much as the black community is the victim of much racial insensitivity, blacks have also dished out their fair share of it as well, a lot of it falling on Asians. (Recall a riot in L.A. where Asian shopowners in particular were the victims of shooting, looting and vandalism).

    Reading my post, you might get a sense that I am one of those fellow Asians that doesn’t acknowledge the cultural differences that come with being in a racial minority in America. I think those differences are impossible to ignore, so rest assured that at the very least I don’t ignore it.

    However, there quickly comes a point where talking about things like this out loud becomes little more than complaining and beating up on an entire class of fellow humans (a.k.a. those of “white priviledge”), most of which have been whipped by political correctness not to have a true dialogue about race at all but parrot PC language all day long. There also comes a point where I surmise some might resist making progress for fear of losing their power once forgiveness becomes incumbent upon them.

    The church is in the perfect spot to exemplify healing to the world. It is a testimony that–I agree with you–we are failing to accomplish. Theologically speaking, all races in question belong to the majority in mankind: Gentile. I believe that as Christians, this is where we need to begin. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has come to even us, as the Judaizers with Peter realized.

    “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as on us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, if God gave them the same gift that He also gave to us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?” When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, “So God has granted repentance resulting in life to even the Gentiles!” (Acts 11:16-18, emphasis mine)

    As a Christian, capitulating to the world’s fragmentation and double standards has never sat well with me. We can do better, much much better.

    *Letitia*

  4. mihee says:

    i find it very troubling when asian americans don’t speak out as well…especially in the church. i think the church has the potential to be a healing agent, but i think we’re still in the process of naming it. even if it sounds like “complaining” i think that’s better than not vocalizing anything at all. sometimes i think i still live in an area where even being pc is not on the radar. maybe the dialogue is going to require a different language, but nevetheless, it will still require us to speak up and out.

  5. I’d like to add to this discussion by pointing out that even Asian Americans live in different worlds. I grew up going to a mostly white elementary school, then attended a mostly Asian American high school. I went to a very white university, and then moved to Chinatown. Each world was different, and I had to re-learn culture each time and where I fit in. I do agree with mihee, the church can be healing agent but often we don’t take the opportunity.

Trackbacks

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