I’ve been thinking a lot lately (again!) about the context of my being Asian American and how that relates to any ministry I may involve myself in. In particular, this is in response to the blog series Why We Need Asian Americans to be Asian American by DJ Chuang. DJ makes some solid points in his blog series, but I still feel like so many Asian Americans have varied perspectives.
I am immediately drawn to the mindset of society during my youth when I heard things from Black Americans that called out those Black citizens that chose to speak fluently and work (and live) in a predominantly White society. They were deemed to be too White or not Black enough. At the time, the majority of White America was a huge majority, so unless one intentionally segregated themselves amongst only Blacks, there was no choice except to be in a mostly White America. Do Asian Americans feel a similar conflict?
As Asians in America, do we have a responsibility to uphold our heritage and cultural norms for the sake of other Asian Americans? If not, have we disappointed and shamed other Asian Americans? Should there be such a thing as Asian pride?
I guess my main question is aside from the exclusively Asian churches–such as Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. where English is in reality a second language–should there be a distinction between those Asian Americans that minister to mostly Asian Americans versus those that minister in diverse or predominantly White contexts? Must we choose?