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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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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