Eugene Cho

The “Make Me Asian” app is proof why we sometimes need to get angry, turn tables, and confront people.

*[UPDATE] Well, lookie here. We did it.

As of January 17, 2012, the ‘Make Me Asian’ app is no longer available on the Google Play Store.  And thankfully, so are the other offensive apps created by the same person. According to the NPR blog:

“Make Me Asian,” a smartphone app that drew the ire of Asian-American activists for what they say are stereotypical depictions, is no longer available on the Google Play Store.

The “Make Me Asian” app let users alter photos to turn faces into stereotypical Asian caricatures —- think Fu Manchu-style mustaches and rice paddy hats. Its creator, “KimberyDeiss,” developed similar apps, like Make Me Indian, Make Me Russian, Make Me Frankenstein and Make Me Fat. Those apps are no longer available, either, and KimberyDeiss’s Google Play profile has been deleted.

I want to sincerely thank everyone who read my initial blog post, engaged it (whether you agreed with it or not), and chose to act by signing the petition on change.org. Special props to Peter Chin for bringing it to my attention and initiating the petition.

Again and again, people often respond with “Aren’t there more important things to fight for?”

Absolutely, there is. There are. Always. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pursue these convictions too.

Sincere thanks…

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Let me calm myself first. [Breathe in. Breathe out.]

There are a lot of other words I can say right now but let me refrain from the choice words and spell it out with other words.

What in the Hades is this? Have you heard about this “Make Me Asian” app on the Google Play Store?

  • Who in the hell made this?
  • Why did Google allow this to get through their application and filter process?

This is racist. Blatantly racist. Like crazy racist.

But then, why is this allowed to even happen? Again?

For a second, just imagine if this was a “Make Me Black” app? The world would go crazy as they should. That would be damn racist! But oh with Asians – hee hee. Those passive, quiet, and docile Asians…hee hee.

Or imagine if there was a “Make me Indian” app? Think I’m stretching too far here? Nope: the app is already there.

The Make me Asian app self-describes itself as: Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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pete hoekstra and cultural intelligence: why it matters to the church

Ugh.

Did you see Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra’s political campaign ad during the Super Bowl?

As you read in my previous post, I had some choice words about Go Daddy, Teleflora and other companies that continue to objectify and exploit women but I hadn’t seen Hoekstra’s ad.

Well, I just saw it…and I almost vomited in my mouth. Almost. Those chicken wings I consumed during the Super Bowl wanted to come back up. Check it out: Read the rest of this entry »

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“my name isn’t lady chinky eyes”

Did you see this?

Probably not  because who cares about receipts from fast foot joints like Papa John’s? But if you look carefully, you’ll notice that an employee tried to be “funny” and wrote in “lady chinky eyes” to identify the Asian customer.

Here’s 6 things you should know:

1. Umm, don’t hate. My slanted eyes are beautiful.

2. The customer’s name was 24-year-old Minhee Cho – the exact same name as my wife. Some of you asked and emailed me. Unless my wife has a private jet, she was not in New York this past weekend. She was home in Seattle so this was a different Minhee Cho. Read the rest of this entry »

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why president obama is and isn’t american

What is the deal with President Barack Obama? Or maybe we should re-frame the question:

What is wrong with America?

Why is it that we have such a hard time

His presidency is historical for obvious reasons and everyone knew that he was going to experience an uphill journey but the questions he’s had to endure are ridiculous: Read the rest of this entry »

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sexism? stereotypes? guilty as charged.

As most of my readers know, I wrote as post regarding Ann Rice’s simple but dramatic departure from organized Christianity entitled, “Why I’m Not Quitting Christianity.”

I was encouraged by how it was generally received. It was crossed posted on numerous places including Huffington Post.

But shortly afterwards, I asked for some honest and gentle feedback about one little line I inserted – not necessarily intentionally but because I’m a wanna be funny guy. It was my attempt to use humor to diffuse a tense subject:

First of all, I am a fan of Anne Rice. In fact, I don’t know of many people that dislike her. She’s a phenomenal writer and additionally, she’s gotta have some Asian genes in her. She’s 68 and ages like no other.

But I received several emails and notes about the possible racial or sexist undertones. Some of these came from absolute strangers or stalkers and couple came from folks I know.

Was that statement racist? Read the rest of this entry »

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diversity is the new normal

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One of my readers sent me this video couple months ago because well, I somehow and mysteriously got on this video.

Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to create a viral video and tried with this one but no luck. But God answered my prayers (sarcasm here) and somehow, Kim Jong-Il (the notorious North Korean dictator) and I star in the same video that has been viewed at least 3 million times (and that’s just on YouTube). Read the rest of this entry »

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this is america. learn it or leave.

We live in a world and society of different worldviews. We all know this so then, the issue is how do we learn to co-exist as neighbors and with some common goals in mind.

While I’ll wait till tomorrow or this weekend (I’m currently speaking and working with some national Hispanic leaders) about the Arizona immigration bill, I want to show a video with you of Tim James (aspiring Alabama governor) that blows my mind. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s a view (since I hear this sentiment here and there) but that it’s part of a platform of a leader & politician seeking to be elected for governor. To be fair to Tim James, I know that there’s other things that constitute his “platform” but…

This is what I hear: Read the rest of this entry »

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jimmy carter, barack obama, wilson, racism, “you lie” and the perpetual elephant in the room

Anyone that says that racism doesn’t exist or that racism no longer exists is living on Jupiter. But with some talking about visions of a Post-Racial world, you wonder how you exactly go about doing that in a world that is so racialized… Or in other words, how do we move deeper towards Reconciliation?

Some of my readers know that I have immense respect for former President Jimmy Carter. Let’s be honest: He was an average President at best but his post-presidential work, voice, and advocacy in so many various venues have been very inspiring – including his decision to leave the Baptist denomination over his support for the equality of women.

And while I admire his courage and boldness in speaking about racism recently, addressing the perpetual elephant about racism and the possibility for some [and reality of others] of the “fear” of a black President, I found some of his comments disturbing: Read the rest of this entry »

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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? Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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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. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

my tweets

  • The Gospel, not social justice, is our identity as believers but the Gospel compels us to love God/love people incl. work 4 the common good. || 1 day ago
  • Folks often ask me, "What is social justice?" "Social justice" are fancier words for "Give a Damn". || 1 day ago
  • RT @EugeneCho: Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to f… || 1 day ago
  • Thank you @fullerfyi @KPowellFYI for this important resource about listening, engaging, and discipling young people: churchesgrowingyoung.com || 1 day ago
  • Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to follow Christ. || 2 days ago
  • RT @jennysimmons: Hard to convey the profound impact @EugeneCho has had on me. His endorsement of #MadeWellBook means a great deal. https:/… || 2 days ago

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