Written November 17, 2011 for my New Testament Studies class at Fuller Theological Seminary
Written May 2009 as my final thesis for my Bachelors of Arts in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.
I wrote this article in July 2011 for GVBC’s bi-weekly Spirit newsletter, when I was on Gardena Valley Baptist Church staff as pastoral intern of neighborhood impact. It was an attempt to help our church members begin the process of looking inward at our isms, beliefs, and values which may restrict our openness toward those who are different. Gardena has seen an influx of immigrant and working class communities of color in the past few decades, which has created new challenges and questions to the cultural and community identity of GVBC. Our church’s historically Japanese American evangelical identity must learn how to be neighbors to its increasingly diverse neighborhood, just as Jesus admonished the Jewish lawyer to be a neighbor to the culturally foreign (and despised) Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. For in the words of Latino theologian Justo Gonzalez, the Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us “to go and be a neighbor to those in need, no matter how alien they may be.”
I originally thought this scene from an X-Men comic (circa 1981) was a great example of the internal process a white person undergoes when realizing they benefit off of white privilege. But on second thought (and with some research), I no longer think it promotes racial justice.
Reposted at Racialicious.com and bytheirstrangefruit.blogspot.com.
Recently, while attending one of the most ethnically diverse evangelical seminaries in the nation, I found myself in an environment where I had to defend the argument that race still matters. Don’t get me wrong; students and faculty alike openly discussed ethnic and societal culture; and although all were unanimous that racial prejudice is wrong and diversity is good, when it came to America’s original (and continuing) sin of racism, there were choirs of crickets.
Yesterday evening, Monica and I were relaxing after a long day of new years family festivities. We sat lazily on our comfy and familiar couch, she crocheting, me reading. Our bellies had all but digested the traditional Japanese American cuisine we ate earlier. As often happens during these post-digestion lulls, I get hungry and search for snacks. Opening cupboard after cupboard, I was disappointed to find nothing that seemed particularly appetizing for my sugary mood.