“Colorblind is just another way to say we don’t care”

Rapper and pastor Jason Chu chimes in with a few thoughts about why being Asian American matters with regards to one’s Christian faith.
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Jason Chu will be rapping next Friday, November 30th, at Evergreen LA, for the “Much Love.” live concert – with friends & featured guests DANakaDAN of afterschoolspecial, Kevin Lien, Priska, The Fung Bros., The Jubilee Project, and KingdomCulture.

Jason first got my attention with this Spoken Word Video “Colorblind” in response to racism in film, media, and theater, in particular, in response to the La Jolla Playhouse casting only 2 Asian-Americans in a play set in ancient China – part of the trend known as “no Asian faces on TV”.

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cf. La Jolla’s ‘Nightingale’ Doesn’t Sing and Apology Doesn’t Sway Many APIAs; Dr. Monica Williams’ article – Colorblind Ideology is a Form of Racism: A colorblind approach allows us to deny uncomfortable cultural differences (Psychology Today, December 2011)

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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. Denny says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for this article. This post led me to few questions. Just as background, I am Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, so I am not white-guy with an ax to grind. I am asking these questions just to be contrary but really just wondering: In the Psychology Today article that multiculturalism is better than colorblindness it would seem to me that with multiculturalism we end up with endless struggle to be recognized? Should John Wayne be White/Black/Hispanic/Asian? If one race is chosen over others, shouldn’t the other feel slighted by that choice? I did not know about the La Jolla Playhouse thing and I assume that is just pretty stupid but as a larger principle, do we get into a counting game to make sure there are representation of every race in everything TV, movie, etc? And what is the Christian response to this? At the beginning of your interview with Chu, he said the system is broken and is hurting Asians, women, gays, etc. But he did not mentioned white/dominant culture, but sin and salvation distorts all culture, dominant and minority. We are all fallen in this side of eternity and in need of salvation. Does our race matter? I would say yes and does Jesus’ race matter, yes but I am not sure if it matters as much as he thinks.

  2. jason chu says:

    Hi Denny – thanks for your comments. Clearly you’ve been thinking a lot about these topics.

    As a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, you come from a place of dominance and power. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what effect being part of a majority culture (I’m assuming by “Chinese” you mean “Han”) has had on your theology, on how you relate to others?

    You are correct that “We are all fallen in this side of eternity and in need of salvation.” But the fact is that fallenness affects us all in different ways, and we must realize that. And yes, by the way: in America, the system is hurting Asians, women, gays, and many other minorities in ways that it does not hurt white people. Just as, while both are fallen, poor people ARE being hurt in ways that rich people are NOT (do we agree on that?). If poverty is an social ill that demands Christian response, so is discrimination.

    On the day of Pentecost, God did not miraculously make all people speak a single language in order for the Gospel to be proclaimed; rather, he had the apostles speak in all languages. Our God is a god who values and nurtures diversity, not homogeneity.

  3. Denny says:

    Hello Jason,
    Thanks for the response.

    First, I moved to the US when I was 11 so I never thought about majority/minority stuff when I was a kid. They all looked the same to me :-) With that said, as I am growing up, I would hear my mother talks badly about other Asians but to me and as a Christian, I see everyone in need of Christ. And again, you asked if I ever considered how being in the minority/majority has shaped my theology, I am really not sure at the age of 44.

    As for wealth, this is another one of those “it depends” answer. Are the wealthy people better off in term of standard of living, etc? Yes, that is not a doubt of that. But if you read the NT and how wealth corrupts, you would think that it maybe worse being wealthy in the Kingdom perspective? No?

    Finally as for homogeneity and diversity. Yes and no. In the sense that we are all individual and God gifted us each differently, yes, there is diversity in the Body of Christ. But that is not what this video was talking about. In the video the objection is not particularly “culturally diverse”, ie. looking at diversity from an Asian perspective. From my perspective the objection is very Western-European Postmodern Liberal (sorry had to use this word because I am not sure what else to use and it is not meant to be offensive in any way) from an Asian person. There maybe diversity in race but there is no diversity in culture, if that makes any sense. In Acts God did have the apostles speaks the all languages but with the same message, that everyone in all culture everywhere are fallen in need of repentance and grace. There is huge unity in the diversity.

    Thanks again for the response. May the Lord bless you in your ministry. Looking forward to your next response if you so incline.

    Denny

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