As some of you know, I posted the story yesterday about the unfathomable and tragic story of Dong Yun Yoon and his family [English name: Don Yoon] who were killed when an F/A-18 jet crashed into his home. Don, 37, was at work at his cafe when he heard the crash. His wife, two young babies [15 months and 2 months], and his mother-in-law were killed. Unfathomable.
But throughout the day yesterday, I kept wondering to myself why Don’s tragedy and story wasn’t picked up more by the media and the larger blogosphere - especially the Christian blogosphere. Now, I know that media outlets have covered the story but honestly, I was just surprised at the minimal coverage in light of the initial big news of the crash on Monday. From an “American” perspective, wasn’t his statement about the pilot as
“one of our treasures, for the country, and I … don’t blame him. I don’t have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could.”
an example of exemplary patriotism and courage? In a country divided over issues and politics, hasn’t Dong Yun Yoon exemplified something that all of us can regard with high respect?
Out of curiousity, I checked GoogleTrends to see where he registered in their top searches and I had to look over the list several times because I thought I missed his name. He didn’t even make GoogleTrends Top 100 searches yesterday while things like ‘KFC Bath’, ‘Raja Bell’, and ‘Snow in Houston’ were listed.
And here’s another thing that got me thinking. Dong Yun Yoon’s faith in Christ was very apparent even in the midst of this tragedy when he asked people to pray for the surviving pilot. He gathered with his family, some members of his church and small group, and his pastor at the site of the accident. They held hands, wept, and prayed. He spoke to the media and basically, gave a profound, genuine, and substantive witness to Christ. It was deeply powerful, emotional and authentic but in my guesstimation, there was hardly a whimper in the Christian blogosphere.
So, I have to ask: Why? I know. I know. I risk the provocation of emails and the dreadful label of “Eugene is just an angry Asian man.”
But seriously, Why? What do you think?
I have three guesses:
Celebrity Infatuation? He’s an average dude. Maybe Christians are like the larger culture and are predominantly drawn to celebrities and quasi-gossip surrounding the big figures of Western Christendom. When the tragic news of Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter hit the wire, the blogosphere went burning wild. Understandable and in my opinion, rightfully so, since he’s such a notable figure. So, while we share such stories, maybe we should be similarly drawn and elevating the faith stories of the “average person.”
He’s not American? His name doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue. Dong Yun Yoon is not your typical household name. In couple articles I glanced through yesterday, I was pretty discouraged by the tones of this accident being a deep tragedy in the Korean community. It’s certainly true since Dong Yun Yoon was born in Korea and in the States, the KA Community is a ‘small world’ but everyone listen carefully: Dong Yun Yoon is an AMERICAN CITIZEN. This is a tragedy for the entire city of San Diego and the larger country. An American fighter jet crashes into a home and kills an entire family spanning three generations – leaving Dong Yun Yoon alone.
He doesn’t look American? To be blunt, is it because he has slanted Asian eyes? He’s Asian which means he doens’t look like your prototypical male “American” man. He’s an immigrant . He spoke with an accent and with the occasional awkward syntax. The people standing around him all were Asian. When I glanced over the Christian blogosphere to see if folks were writing about this tragic but compelling story of faith, there wasn’t much outside Asian bloggers.
Perhaps there’s a fourth reason:
Maybe we just don’t care that much and I should just leave it at that.