Eugene Cho

why i choose, at times, to be an angry asian man

laundryWe often speak of ‘loving our neighbors’ but it’s really hard when we don’t even know our neighbors. I see this to be a growing problem – not just in the [C]hurch but our larger society. Why is it so hard to meet and grow with our neighbors?

And how about those who are the “others” in our society? When we’re unable to learn and hear (even for a glimpse) the stories of others who are suffering or enduring through some form of injustice, they only become issues, statistics, and whatever other words we tend to use.

I share this not to incite empathy for issues of racialization but in order to come to a deeper understanding, we really need to hear one another’s stories and collectively, sing the song that God showers over us: “You are created in the image of God”

Watch this clip from last Sunday’s sermon. Two important points & stories: one of a humbling chat with a “I’m a dark skinned African-American brother…”and why I choose to be at times, ‘an angry Asian man’.”

“Two Wongs Make it White”…still ain’t funny.

For those are viewing this via RSS, click here.  To see the full sermon: here.

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13 Responses

  1. Joy says:

    Thought I would give your readers a chance to take action. The Onion is selling a shirt with this on the front “My friend went to Thailand and all I got was this lousy prostitute.” I would just encourage everyone out there to email the Onion and let them know of your outrage. It’s not okay to de-humanize those who can’t even speak up for themselves.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. […] Eugene Cho, angry Asian man Go read/watch/listen to Eugene Cho’s latest, please. […]

  3. […] Angry Asian man Go read/watch/listen to Eugene Cho’s latest, please. […]

  4. LK says:

    Joy–that is downright cruel. thanks so much for the heads up.

  5. Craig says:

    That bus seat story used to happen to me every day in Japan. Sometimes pre-socialization-aged kids would sit down next to me and their mothers would tell them (in Japanese, assuming I didn’t understand) to get up and not sit next to me because I was dangerous or strange or foreign.

  6. Tony says:

    I was actually confused a bit on Sunday when you told the bus story. I thought you were talking about me since I have experienced that exact thing probably hundreds of times (I’ve been catching the city bus since 6th grade). But I didn’t remember ever telling you about my experience. But when you described the way that the guy told you about his story, I knew it wasn’t me.

    I bet if you got a room full of black men who catch the bus regularly and asked them if they can relate to that story (or similar stories, such as being followed around in stores) I bet almost every single one could relate. Even in “progressive” Seattle.

    @Joy: wow, really?!? The Onion is usually so sharp! This sounds like a huge misstep.

  7. Wayne Park says:

    firstly congrats on launching ODW PE…

    second – being an “angry asian man” is that thing which offsets stereotypes of compliant passive asian men.

    Thank God for your example to me and others to be righteously – yet peaceably – angry.

  8. This is nothing new. In the years approx. 1978 to 1981, Christian singer Keith Green would ask his audiences how many could name the people who live on either side of their house or apartment.

    Very, very few. Can we really love our neighbors if we don’t know them; or don’t even know who they are?

  9. gar says:

    Speaking of things that make me an AngryAsianMan… Halloween is right around the corner:

    http://www.angryasianman.com/2009/10/bad-halloween-costumes-2009.html

    aiyah. (or for my Korean homies… aigoo).

  10. Julie says:

    The bus I understand. That’s the way America has always been – and most “progressives” are still the same way.

    The Church is what gets me though. When the bench near you in church is always empty. Or people bound up to similar-skinned visitors and yet somehow “don’t notice” you.

  11. seonghuhn says:

    I hate that t-shirt.
    Thanks for speaking out, enjoyed the sermon clip.

  12. […] we don’t shout and at times, be an angry asian man…who will? Remember the Abercrombie & Fitch campaign featuring the infamous Two Wongs can […]

  13. […] we don’t shout and at times, be an angry asian man, who will? Remember the Abercrombie & Fitch campaign featuring the infamous Two Wongs can make […]

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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