“Korean Responses” to the War on Young Black Men


(Cont’d from my previous post) Immediately after the Zimmerman verdict, I began to flood my social media with the laments of many of my African-American colleagues (pastors). I wanted to expose as much as possible, to those in my sphere of influence – largely 2nd gen Korean-Americans – and particularly my own faith community here in Houston – the reality of race problems in America. I know what is said behind closed doors in both 1st gen and 2nd gen homes. I know what many Korean-Americans really think about blacks. And now we think this is their problem, not ours. But for those of us who are Christians and beholden to the 2nd greatest command – it is and will be our problem – if we refuse to face our own prejudices and refuse to engage.

It echoes concerns I posted first a year ago when the trial began:

At the risk of airing our own dirty laundry, Koreans are notorious for profiling and stereotyping. We gather in our enclaves and say things that don’t bear repeating here. But I want to move beyond this… this… suspicion. This fear. I want to know. Understand. Love. Care. I hope there will never be another Trayvon Martin. Not in my community. No; I want to bridge the communities.

One way to approach this problem? Know every child in your neighborhood – black or white or yellow or brown – and treat them as your own.

My hope is that I can shepherd my own small corner of America into a compassionate and listening posture, and a willingness to engage; I know there are those who disagree with me but understand: I am not focused on the details or the outcome of the verdict, but the fact that this is a generations-long festering wound in our country that will not go away by pretending it doesn’t exist. No. Job’s accusers were wrong for placing the blame back on him. Could they have listened?

Can we in the Korean-American community fare better than Job’s accusers?

Listen in:

TD Jakes on Trayvon

Another Korean-American pastor shepherding a multiethnic community in Seattle pleading for compassionate listening

“The Whole System Failed” (NYTimes Op-ed)

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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