This is the story of Lou Jing, a 20-year old contestant on Go! Oriental Angel (wtf?), the Shanghai version of American Idol. The reason for all of the buzz last year is because she is Black and Chinese. Her mother is from China and her dad, who she never met, is African American.
I felt like I was in a hot seat during my Comparative Race Analysis class today even though the conversation was not directed at me. I think for my Chinese (American) friends, we are aware of how racist Chinese people are towards Black people (tell your family that you want to marry a Black person) but it was still a shock to hear some of the explicit comments that Chinese people made towards Lou Jing. Actually, I take that back, the comments are worst for Lou Jing’s mother. The idea of intercourse with a person of a darker skin is almost unthinkable and “unclean.” I think on the show, they actually called Lou Jing “the black pearl” and “chocolate angel.” China is perhaps so homogenous that they don’t realize that these comments are discriminatory. The communist government has banned racial discrimination but ironically declares that racism is a “Western indulgence” and sees China as “the leader for victimized colored people.” (Dikotter, 1990)
There is an article from the Washington Post (pay to post) that also brings attention to the increasing racial tensions in China. China is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in Africa, resulting in a new migration pattern where African men moving to cities like Guangzhou. There is an area in Guangzhou called “Chocolate City.” (Try saying that in Chinese in your head)
During class, I really wanted to alienate from the Chinese part of myself but at the same time, I wanted to marry a Black guy and go to China (or my family) and be like “now what!” I married what you call a “black ghost!” (And that doesn’t even make sense because ghosts are transparent)
“The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.”
From The Elders website.
The group formed in 2007 and I don’t know why I haven’t heard about them until now; it’s probably because of my ignorance. Their mission is lofty but their efforts are encouraging for many. One of their goals is to fight for equality for women and girls in the context of religion and traditional practices.
Watching the video gave me some chills. More information on the members.
Time put out a list of top ten seriously stupid things that “Christian” televangelist, Pat Robertson, has said.
Karate Demons, “took ghetto kids and made them fine citizens,” “inhaling some demon spirits!”
“That guy was a homo!”
Two years are up. New free phones, renewed contract.
Samsung Intensity Flamingo Red. Cost: free.
Please do not grow numb to the pictures and news stories. Donations and prayers are two easy ways to act. Another way is to stay up to date with the news about rescue efforts and death tolls.
Photo courtesy of N.Y. Times.
List of Donors. Pictures.
If there is anything I learned from Urbana, it is the continuing conviction to be involved with justice issues at home and abroad. I often feel quite cynical about raising awareness for causes because many times my efforts seem to fall on deaf ears. People seem too concerned with their daily activities to really care about overused and generalized words such as human slavery or poverty. My cynicism has immobilized me in the past semester at school and it was very hard for me to “do anything.” Cynicism has also instilled a sense of despair even though I believe in a God of hope. So much for my faith. But I thank God for His grace that it is not by my strength that rescue is brought to the orphaned and widowed and voice is given to the voiceless. He has broken in me once again the paralyzing grip of despair that I can be used as an agent of love and healing. I really need to stop believing that those words are for the foolish and “rosy minded” people and start believing that they are divine Truths to act upon.
Anyway, I have been following Eugene Cho via twitter, his blog, and the organization he and his wife started: One Day’s Wages.
I finished reading Gary Haugen’s Good News about Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World. Gary Haugen is the CEO of International Justice Mission. I am not going to lie but I want to work for them. I said “I’m not going to lie” because I always feel like there are people who laugh at me for dreaming. Maybe the people I imagine to be laughing at me is myself. Another lie.
The other organization I have been following is Sojourners, a ministry that responds to the Biblical calling of social justice. Their blog is a collaborative effort of diverse writers who blog about faith, politics, and culture.
My final thought about justice and faith is that evangelism is proclaiming the good news that God deeply desires to free the oppressed, redeem the oppressors, feed the hunger, and clothe the naked. It is not to convert people into Biblical rules and laws. I am saddened when I encounter “Christians” who do not embody the God of justice in their faith (myself included). They (I am) are seriously leading impoverished and empty lives.