Eugene Cho

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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we’re a culture, not a costume?

Let’s be honest.

We love dressing up…or down. And most of us love dressing up in our costumes for Halloween. Heck, we actually spend $310 million dollars/year on costumes…for our pets. Wow.

In total, Americans spend between $6.5 – $6.86 billion dollars on all things Halloween: costumes, candy, and decoration. Wowzers.

The average consumer is projected to spend $26.52 on costumes. The holiday will see Americans spend $1 billion on children’s costumes, up from $840 million last year, and $1.21 billion on adult costumes, up from $990 million last year. Additionally, pet owners will shell out $310 million on costumes for their four-legged friends.

And while I don’t personally go ga-ga over my costumes, I love seeing the creativity at costume parties. But several years ago, the laughing kinda stopped because at nearly every single party (even at church parties), I’d see a costume or two that were either borderline or straight up racist.

Perhaps, you’ve seen them, too. Perhaps, you thought they weren’t a big deal. Perhaps, you thought they were funny. Perhaps, like me, you were offended.

What I try to convey to people is that despite their “best intentions,” these costumes really are not funny. It’s like this: You might think it’s funny, but my slanted Asian eyes are beautiful – not to be mocked.

I recently began seeing these posters as part of a campaign started by students and advisors from Ohio University and I was immensely encouraged by the message and the manners in which in they were trying to convey the message:

“We’re a culture, not a costume.”

While it’s clear to me that it’s offensive and in some situations, racist, the topic is difficult for many to broach for several reasons because the responses fall in one of these categories: Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

Recently, I had a chance to speak at an event in Washington DC and it was particularly special because my 80-year-young father was able to travel with me. 
My Dad had especially wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial with his own eyes. The weather was perfect and while it wasn't part of the plans, we ended up walking 8 miles that day and eventually culminating on the final stretch through the National Mall towards the Lincoln Memorial. But as we made this walk, I had forgotten the presence of the Korean War Memorial that was just a few yards away from the Lincoln Memorial.

I had seen it several times before but I didn't anticipate the impact that it would have on my father. When he realized what it was, he just stood there and I could tell he was deep in thought and memories. Eventually, he began to share some of those memories and stories. My Dad was born in what is now called North Korea and fled south with the rise of dictatorial powers. He was 14 years old when the Korean War broke out. He shared stories of how the bridges connecting Seoul were destroyed and thousands upon thousands of people were stranded. He shared stories of poverty, suffering, and even death.

And then, he just stared at the memorial. And I could tell he was fighting back some tears. He went on to say how grateful he was for the American soldiers who fought another country's war: "I'm here because of them. We're here because of them." He was actually so moved by the memorial that he walked towards the "Park Ranger" on site and kept profusely saying, "Thank you so much for helping us." If you know anything about me, you know that I take seriously the biblical invitation to justice, peacemaking, and reconciliation. So, I'm not here to glorify war or the military. War is utterly brutal & horrible...on everybody. In an ideal world, we would have no need for wars and militaries but unfortunately, we don't live in that world. And so, I continue to do my part to sow peace...but also pause, to also express my deep gratitude to those that have given their service and even their lives for the sake of freedom - even for those they didn't know. I am a recipient of that sacrifice.

Thank you. Say hello to our mesmerizing moon. Recently met an astronomer who had his big toy telescope that allowed us to take photos using the smartphone. Desert hiking. Made it. Barely. But worth it. Such are many of life's challenges. Sabbath. Soaking in a desert sunset. A new experience and interestingly, very spiritual. Happy Earth Day. Enjoyed this epic hike through the woods last weekend with my family. "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” - Isaiah 55:12 Soaking in this view and taking a moment to pray for our nation.

my tweets

  • My intent is not to glorify war or the military but to simply join my Dad to express thanks: goo.gl/cwtyl3 https://t.co/RhYBDu7UaD || 18 hours ago
  • Seasons change. Winds blow. Chaos ensues. Yet, Christ is our anchor. Fix your eyes. Keep working for God's Kingdom-on earth as it is heaven. || 2 days ago
  • Everyone take a breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Whoever becomes president, Jesus will still remain King. || 2 days ago
  • Wow. Recap: Foul on Waiters. Foul on Green. Horrible pass from Green. Manu should have shot the ball. Airball by Mills. Webber goes crazy. || 3 days ago
  • Let's be honest: No single one of us can change the world. The thought, in itself, is ridiculous. But... https://t.co/ZzxDEZeedb || 1 week ago
  • Thrilled to be part of @SEAJusticeMove - a youth driven justice movement in Seattle. HS/College students, check it: seajusticemove.org || 1 week ago

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