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Photo by David Geitgey Sierralupe

By Diana Kim

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Elijah McClain, Eric Garner, Philando Castile

I have found myself sick to my stomach, seeing the list of the victims of unnecessary violence — through racial profiling, police brutality, systemic racism, injustice towards people of color — continue to grow. Add to that the spurring by racist vocabulary and phrases that ultimately permit violence, and we have America as it is today: a land that perpetuates violence against people of color.

While America is currently wrestling with its identity and its stance on racism and how it values non-white lives, we are still enduring COVID-19. As Trump blames China for the spread of the virus, he has adopted the racial slang “kung flu” to name the virus, opening up verbal and physical attacks on Asians and Asian Americans, who are scapegoated as the cause for the virus. The multiple accounts of Trump’s blatant racism towards Asians and Asian Americans (remember when he told the Asian American journalist to “ask China” about COVID-19 instead of asking him?) has caused outrage and frustration at the unapologetic bigotry the leader of the free world displays. The ongoing racism our eyes are now constantly being opened to against blacks and the racism towards Asian and Asian Americans brought about by the pandemic reveal the perpetual violence against colored bodies.

Considering the slurs that we hear being thrown around to perpetuate racism, I’ve been thinking about the source of racist words and phrases: is it racism that shapes language (racial slurs) or is it language that shapes racism? Is calling a black woman the n-word what makes you racist or do you call her the n-word because you are racist? It’s not just the use of certain words that are so abhorrent, but what the words convey and permit: racist vocabulary permits violence. Vocabulary that defines others as less than human, evil, and a source of destruction allows for those who are defined to be treated as such. It is ultimately people of color who are negatively defined, mistreated, and even murdered. We condone language that condones violence.

Botham Jean, Terrence Crutcher, Keith Scott, Michael Brown, Vincent Chin

Violence against people of color is the result of valuing them less than white people, the failure to recognize the imago Dei within them. If we truly recognized all people as those who bear the image of God, would we be able to inflict violence upon them? If we truly obeyed the command to love our neighbor as ourselves, would we allow the endless murder and physical assaults on colored bodies? If we truly saw one another as children of God, would we be able to value their life less than the life of another? The fact that racial injustice continues to this day is a testament that we as a nation fail to do so.

Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling

We have heard the common tropes being thrown around to describe some of these victims: he’s a thug, he committed a crime, he had a shady past, they should have known better, they should have done as they were told, etc. But what about the fact that, besides mistakes he had made in his youth, he is still a human being that deserves the right to live? What about the fact that some of these tropes turned out to be false allegations to justify the assault or murder? What about the fact that some of these people did nothing wrong and the only trigger was the color of their skin? What about the fact that the choice of words used to describe colored bodies will always carry negative tones?
How long will colored bodies be subjected to unnecessary and unjust violence?

Diana Kim is a pastor of a local Korean church in Torrance, CA. Her primary goals in serving are to teach and equip the next generation to be passionate for Jesus and to live out His passion and care for the world. Diana is currently a PhD student at Fuller Theological Seminary and is majoring in Christian Ethics. Her current research area of interest is Asian American feminist ethics.

Photo by Jason Jacobs

By Wendy Choy-Chan

Madame Secretary (the TV show) – A hacker got hold of some sensitive pictures of Stevie (Madame Secretary’s daughter) and her boyfriend (who happened to be the President’s son). Good ending – The hacker got caught, the White House did damage control, Madame Secretary and the family were sympathetic towards Stevie. The last scene – Stevie met the hacker, told him that she wanted to spend a few minutes getting to know him, because she did not want to hate him for the thing that he did, but to try to forgive him for the person he was. Continue Reading »

The following statement was issued by Young Lee Hertig, the founder of AAWOL (Asian American Women On Leadership) as well as the current executive director of ISAAC (The Innovative Space for Asian American Christianity):

“Our only hope for our collective liberation is a politics of
deep solidarity rooted in love. In recent days, we’ve seen
what it looks like when people of all races, ethnicities,
genders and backgrounds rise up together, standing in
solidarity for justice, protesting, marching and singing
together, even as SWAT teams and tanks roll in.”

–Michelle Alexander

2020 has confronted us with compounding pandemics that includes not only COVID19, but the systemic racism evidenced by police officer Derek Chauvin’s brutal murder of George Floyd. Haunting many Asian Americans was the fact that an Asian American officer callously overlooked his colleague’s murder of George Floyd who pleaded for life. It was a 17-year-old girl’s bravery that caught the horrifying video. The video sent out entire shock waves to the world and protesters decided systemic racism was more dangerous than COVID-19. Continue Reading »

By Lauri Heikkinen

By Tina Teng-Henson

I wrote the bulk of this piece on April 14th, almost 2 months before both the violence and the peaceful protesting that have recently arisen on account of George Floyd’s brutal death. At the time, I didn’t think I’d have much to say about violence; we were all just trying to cope with Sheltering in Place on account of the Coronavirus. Continue Reading »

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By Emi Iwanaga

 This gospel unveils a continual revelation of God’s righteousness—a perfect righteousness given to us when we believe. And it moves us from receiving life through faith, to the power of living by faith.  This is what the Scripture means when it says:

“We are right with God through life-giving faith!”

Romans 1:17 (TPT)

JUSTICE TODAY

Today the world is just not getting what it wants.
It doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t seem right.
A loved one passes without my hand to hold
A grandson graduates without my watching him walk.
A husband of 50 years denied that trip to celebrate our union. Continue Reading »

By oatsy40

By Joy Wong

For most of my life, anger was something I wanted to avoid — whether in others, or in myself. I loathed angry outbursts, hurtful words or threats, slamming doors, etc. It all seemed scary and destructive to me, so I never wanted the same things to happen in myself. If ever I did get angry, I’d do my best to keep it inside; at most, I would cry.

As a hospital chaplaincy intern, seeing anger in patients or my fellow chaplains instinctually made me want to run and hide. Continue Reading »

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By Jerrica KF Ching

I believe that it goes without saying that many of us are experiencing anger, and have been processing our feelings towards the current state of the world in the midst of this global pandemic. As a mental health professional, I am finding it hard at times to manage my own emotions, as it is very difficult to feel that I am being effective for clients via telehealth services versus face-to-face interaction. Continue Reading »

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By Melanie Mar Chow

It is a proven fact that opposites attract. It’s also proven that when opposites marry, life can be challenging. Staying safe at home” as a married couple can be oxymoronic. Work and life under quarantine have tested my marital safety the past six weeks. Continue Reading »

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker

By April Yamasaki

At the end of March, I wrote “Naming Anti-Asian Racism” for the Redbud Writers’ blog on Patheos.com. I started my article with a personal story, then went on to express my dismay over the increasing anti-Asian racism during this coronavirus pandemic.  I introduced a response composed by a collection of Asian American Christian leaders in the United States, and ended with the full text of their “Official Statement on Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID-19.” Continue Reading »

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By Diana Gee

A few months ago, I was in conflict with my credit card company. I was taken by a fraudulent website masquerading as a well-known brand. Even though I immediately reported the mistake my credit card company still requested absurd documentation before they would reverse the charges. After several email chains and months of going back and forth, I had enough. I finally demanded my credit card company reconcile my credit otherwise I will close my account and take my business elsewhere. Continue Reading »

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