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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago