Confession of a 1st gen Asian church leader

This video clip from March 2008 (affectionately titled “The Moment“) at the South East Asian Leadership Summit captured a heart-felt faith-filled confession from a 1st generation Vietnamese immigrant church leader, and it demonstrates a more empowering way of ministering by and for the next generation of Asian Americans. Perhaps this can inform and expand our vision for the future of ethnic Asian churches.

Transcript of what Elder Chiv Taing said, as translated by Pastor Amra Phou:

On behalf of the first generation . . .
We do have that dream
Of coming to the land of opportunity
And, you see, we came from a war-torn country
And we came here
And we tend to have that protectiveness,
Not allow the second generation
Not allow, our children
To be led by the Lord
We tend to be too protective
And we failed to recognize the leading of God
To move to the next generation

And on behalf of the first generation
I would like to apologize for that

Let you go, let you go . . .

I would like to seek forgiveness from all of you,
On behalf of the first generation
I should have recognized the power of God
And allowed God’s work within the church
To prepare the church, to build a bridge
For the next generation
And from this conference I will go back
And educate my people
And let them realize that we need to let go of the next generation
Allow God to work
To build a bridge to bless throughout generations
Not just words, but I’m going to go back, and commit to pray to the God of Jacob
To lead you guys in the way of the Lord

You guys, its O.K.
God bless you guys from now on
And be strong

And I would like to bless you
And encourage all of you to continue to be the light of the world
And the way you continue to serve each other,
The first and second generations
And allow God to lead all of us
Thank you.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

A Nightmare Can Become A Dream

thanks @johnlambjr for passing this link our way.

JuHong “was brought to this country from South Korea in 2001; he was twelve years old at the time. Since arriving in the U.S., he has excelled in his studies and is currently the student body president at a community college in the San Francisco Bay area.”

Check out his website: and help his voice be heard. He represents almost a quarter million undocumented Korean Americans living in the US. I have no idea why Korean churches are so silent on this issue, but it’s time their sons and daughters began to hear these stories and stand up for them. Juhong should not stand alone when people like me who have less to lose can speak for him.


Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email

Not Post-Racial Yet Or Are We?

Last night I had a great conversation with my mother-in-law (wow, how many times have you ever heard that in your life?) and we talked about some of the dynamics of racism, poverty, and power. Her assumptions as an Indian immigrant were that poor, uneducated people were simply plagued by a mentality where they simply settled for what they had, didn’t value education, and didn’t want to save money, to push themselves. She reminded me that her husband came to this country with only $6 in his pocket, but my wife and I reminded her that he was in a PhD program. It’s slightly easier to starve today if you know have the intellectual assets and opportunities for a payoff tomorrow.

And while something of a “mentality” issue might be there, we had to get the conversation to a point that despite the laws that made us equal, the playing field was not. Furthermore, the people in power haven’t changed much, so poor neighborhoods stay poor, the worse schools stay the worse schools, and the low-paying jobs don’t help people gain useful job skills nor does it allow them to save or invest. In essence, while the system pats itself for being fair and just, it is clear that some people do not have a fair shake or that it is much, much, much harder for certain people based on race and class.

But a huge contingency of people think that these are issues in the past and that the cream of any crop – white, black, or other – are rising to the top. And when the real color is green (as in money), that may well appear to be the case, but categorically speaking, when we assume individualism as the lens for this discussion, we fail to understand how the system as a whole has inequalities in it. To prove the point, my in-laws, while financially secure, do suspect that they never got credit for the amount of work they did, especially when my father-in-law has over two dozen patents to his name. He was passed up for promotions and never got his due. Maybe it was “a mentality” or maybe it was a race thing. It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? We can always rationalize it when there are a few exceptions to the rule, but it really begs the question of whether or not we are post racial.

A great site for all things racial is Racialicious, where I found this post asking the question “How Post Racial Are We?” And it’s clear that while we would like to think that racism is a thing of the past or at least a settled matter, it is clear that it is not. And so the writer, Latoya Peterson finds answers from our society.

Apparently, so post-racial that the Feds just interrupted an assassination plot that would have eventually targeted Barack Obama.

Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

In all, the two men whom officials describe as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people — 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, “shooting at him from the windows,” the court documents show.

“Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt,” the court complaint states. “Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt.”

This follows the attempted assassination plot back in August at the Democratic National Convention.

So post-racial that vandals tore down a memorial sign to Emmitt Till:

A sign marking the site where Emmett Till’s battered body was pulled from a river in 1955 has been ripped down by vandals, authorities said.

The sign posted on a road near the Tallahatchie River was among eight that were erected after the county adopted a resolution last year apologizing to Till’s family because an all-white jury acquitted two white men of murdering Till for whistling at a white woman. […]

“We’re not going to tolerate them tearing down anything that’s marking Emmett Till’s murder,” Board of Supervisors President Jerome G. Little said Monday. “I want to send a message: Every time they take it down, we’re going to put it back up.” […]

This isn’t the first time vandals have targeted Till memorials. Last year, a roadside marker on U.S. 49 in Greenwood in Leflore County was stolen. It was replaced with another sign. And, another sign in Tallahatchie County was damaged earlier this year, commission members said.

So post racial, that we seem to be repeating history:

Jacquline McClelland poses with a photo of her son Brandon McClelland, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008, in Paris, Texas. Brandon, a black man, was on a late-night beer run across state lines to Oklahoma with two white friends last month and ended up dead on a rural Texas road. Authorities say he was run over by a pickup and then dragged as far as 70 feet beneath the truck. Two white men have been charged with murder in the case.

So what do you think?

Race: Much Ado About Nothing? or Let’s move on?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Email