Please do not dress up for Halloween as blackface, brownface, or yellowface. Don’t be stupid.

Americans love Halloween. In fact, maybe it’s fair to say we go crazy about Halloween. How crazy?

Americans spend $350 million dollars/year on costumes…for our pets. Wow. [link]

In total, Americans spend between $6.9 billion dollars on all things Halloween: costumes, candy, and decoration (2015).

  • That 6.9 billion dollars includes 2 billion dollars for Halloween candy and 350 million dollars for pet Halloween costumes.
  • Yes, you read that correctly.  We are collectively going to spend 350 million dollars on Halloween costumes for our cats and dogs.
  • Overall, spending on Halloween has risen by more than 55 percent since 2005.  It just seems like Americans can’t get enough of this particular holiday.

More wowzers. And it’s no longer Americans…many in the global community are adopting the zanyness of Halloween.

So, as the average American consumer spends about $27 on costumes (as of 2012) and $79.03 on all things Halloween (2013), I thought it’s never too early to encourage folks to be careful how they dress up for Halloween…even if it’s “all in the spirit of fun.”

Listen, before you go crazy and call me crazy, a hater, a lunatic, an angry Asian man, or an angry Christian Asian pastor man…I like fun, too. I do. I really do. And while my social life is nearly zilch, I like fun parties but it’s all fun and games until someone shows up at a costume party or…err…at your front door trick-or-treating…in a borderline racist costume. Continue reading “Please do not dress up for Halloween as blackface, brownface, or yellowface. Don’t be stupid.”

i am more than a stereotype

asian american stereotypesWelcome to the month of June.  Did you know that May is considered Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Don’t worry: most folks don’t know or care either. Honestly, I don’t like the idea of designating a month but I understand the motivation behind the month of May since it has historical important to Asian American history.  I wasn’t going to share anything until I saw these two commercials in less than 10 minutes this weekend and I nearly puked. My point:

I am more than a stereotype.

To begin with, there aren’t that many healthy images of Asians on visible expressions of culture including TV and Hollywood. But why do folks have to keep perpetuating these stereotypes?  I’m tempted to swear but I’ve already met my quota for the year.

Don’t understand where I’m coming from? Watch these three videos. They are only 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 2:27 minutes.  Prejudice and stereotypes are everywhere.  And Asians aren’t the only ones and I may be biased but seriously?

#1 – Wendy’s Commerical.  The bowlcut? Huh? What is the point? Continue reading “i am more than a stereotype”

racism and reconciliation: why is it so hard?

end_racism_design

Last week, I shared a post entitled “a nation of cowards” and asked if we’re indeed cowards when it comes to the conversation of racism and the continuous work towards reconciliation.

One thing that is clear to me is that the [C]hurch is quite silent.  We talk often of reconciliation that’s necessary between God and humanity but need to do keep pushing forward about how our faith informs and transforms our relationship with one another.

In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. [Galatians 3.28/the message]

Why is racism such a difficult topic and issue – including for Christians?  Well, here are some of my reasons:

  1. It’s hard work.  And people can be lazy.  And talking about racism is an exhausting conversation because it brings up some deep questions. Reconciliation is hard work.  The need for reconcilation assumes that something is broken; something is not as it was intended to be. Continue reading “racism and reconciliation: why is it so hard?”

my slanted eyes are beautiful

Update:  Miley Cyrus [Hannah Montana] is still very young.  No need to slam her for her slanted eyes photos but we should slam the slanted eyes gestures.  Why?  Because we don’t want 50 million teens around the world to think that slanting your eyes is affectionate.  Nothing is more scary that a Hannah Montana with 16,000 fans slitting their eyes.  Right?

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I’ve received several emails this past week asking why I was making such a big deal in an earlier post of the photos of the Spanish Men’s AND Women’s Olympic Basketball Teams.  I suppose we have to agree to disagree.

I’m in no position to judge any of the individuals or players involved as racists.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I certainly do in this situation; Truthfully, I also really like Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon as NBA players…I intend to draft both of them for my fantasy basketball teams in the upcoming season.  But having said that, I have no problems with calling the ACT racist.  While the intent may have been to demonstrate an “affectionate gesture,” let’s make this very clear: slitting or slanting your eyes is NOT an affectionate gesture.  You don’t mock physical appearance because you think it’s affectionate.

For example, when was the last time you saw someone do this as an “affectionate gesture?” Continue reading “my slanted eyes are beautiful”