Eugene Cho

angry emails

I enjoy blogging.  It’s therapeutic; allows me to be creative; and there are other various reasons why I blog.

The world wide web is a cool thing but every now and then, it gets a little weird.  For example, I get my share of random digital holy rebukes from strangers about all kinds of stuff including my least favorite “Just stick to Jesus” emails.  While I enjoy hosting dialogues on this blog, I do not enjoy receiving personal angry emails and borderline hate email.  Nope.  Not at all.   And every now and then, we get rocks thrown through our windows that may or may have nothing to do with me.  I hope not.

I received some intense emails this week because of my beautiful slanted eyes.  And enough over the past year or so that I had to remove all pictures and names of our kids from the blog, the church website, and even disconnect our home phone.  Sucks.

But interestingly, I get more angry emails from random web surfers over this post – which also happens to be the most viewed entry on my blog [30k+].  

What are they angry about?  A film called “My Sassy Girl.”  Those SG fans drive me nuts.

Filed under: religion, technology, ,

16 Responses

  1. Trust me I know. I write stuff about the environment, parental alienation and just daily writing. I have my own family members attacking me in email at times. Sometimes I privatize the blog entries but that’s a shame because some people need to hear stuff and that is the hardest thing sometimes.

  2. chrismarlow says:

    I’m also dealing with these issues. More from philosophical disagreements and all. Kinda of scary!!!

  3. Maybe you should drop blogging and just stick to Jesus 🙂

    Seriously, I really appreciate your blog and your willingness to share from your heart and not shy away from difficult topics.

    I’ve learned alot from your “slanted eyes” post and the comments. As a white guy, my first thought when I heard the story of the Spanish team was that it was stupid and childish. I had a sense that this was insensitive, but didn’t realize how offensive this act could be, however. Hearing your stories, and those of others who’ve been on the receiving end of this has helped open my eyes (no pun intended).

    I think some of the “it’s not that big a deal” pushback may come from those, like me, who have no desire to be “racist” — but may be in danger of doing something racist out of sheer ignorance. That’s why this type of dialogue is great — it’s a real iron sharpening iron situation.

    I’m reminded of the quote — “it’s not a shame to be ignorant, but it’s a shame to stay that way.” Thank you for helping me be less ignorant.

  4. Whew-eeee have I ever been there. I’ve been threatened by other local pastors before via email. I’ve had “Chrisitan” friends read posts and email me that they “now know who I really am” and how our friendship was a “lie.” I got those two because I used the word “suck” in a post.

    It’s not just blogging though. I once wrote a letter to the editor in our local newspaper that had a guy calling my house every day until I threatened to call the police.

    Keep on bloggin’ Eugere!

  5. Jenny says:

    I also enjoy reading all of your blogs.

    Your “slanted eyes” blog has been the subject of a couple very good conversations with friends. It has also been a good reminder to all of us that our words and actions effect other people, sometimes even when we don’t mean for them to.

    I just got an e-mail from my local library that “Sassy Girl” is ready for me to pick up. I ordered it (and some others) after reading your aforementioned list. Don’t worry, even if I don’t like it I won’t send hate mail.

    I, for one, am learning from you (through your blog) and appreciate that very much.

  6. Wow.

    I was going to comment that you must be writing something worthwhile to get so many emails. But *that* post? Your movie list didn’t even MENTION “The Host” which is absolutely, without a doubt, the only Korean movie I can remember off the top of my head. (It’s also in my top 3 all time favorite films)

  7. Tyler says:

    What I’ll never understand is what those who write hate mail think their hate is going to accomplish.

  8. Jesus says:

    Repent, Eugene, repent.

  9. warfront says:

    not a bad idea
    wwwspywareremedy.wordpress.com

  10. jimfox says:

    no on reads my blog, so I am safe.

    What kind of hate mail are you getting about Sassy Girl?!?!

  11. jimfox says:

    and, who is this Jesus you keep talking about? Could you tell me about him?

  12. eugenecho says:

    @jim: it’s kinda funny. hate mail because I have sassy girl only ranked #9 on my list instead of #1.

  13. Aaron says:

    I find it humerous (and sad at the same time) that you would get hate mail about your slanted eyes post. Seems to me like you have the right to express your opinion when you feel hurt, bothered, antagonized, etc. from something that has happened… that if your goal is to say something like “hey… this is not right… this bothers me” then there is nothing harmful in that.

    For me, I realized from reading your blog I personally become very critical of some of the people/events that you write about…. so I have to be a little careful when reading some of your posts to respond with love. My initial response is often to lash out with criticism (either in written responses or in internal thoughts)… but I have a fat plank stuck in my eye and I can not seem to get it out.

  14. olivia says:

    hm..i think one reason for all the “hate” may have to do with the fact that there’s a lot of truth being spoken here. i find that haters of truth tend to retaliate in that way, just as many hated on jesus for telling it like it is. not to say that all criticism/questioning is bad, but hopefully the Lord will grant you the wisdom to discern between what is constructive/beneficial and what is straight up nonsense (i.e. rock-throwing…seriously, what is wrong with ppl??).

    btw – i thoroughly enjoyed ur previous post. it’s funny bc my initial response to the picture was “who cares..what’s the big deal?” i guess growing up being on the receiving end of such mockery has caused me to become somewhat accepting of racist gestures/comments that aren’t outright hateful, but your post reminded me that ignorance is not as innocuous as it seems…it can be quite dangerous actually =T

    keep speaking truth in love PE 🙂

    ps – i think my sassy girl is so overrated. i had to watch it like 3 times bc i kept falling asleep during it. it wouldn’t even make my top 30.

  15. LA Girl says:

    Hi Pastor Eugene,

    I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU from LA for writing your thoughts on my beautiful slanted eyes. You articulated well what many Asian-Americans feel, but are very tired of explaining. You are a blessing!

  16. CC Farber says:

    wow…they’re just movies!!!!

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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