Archive for the 'interracial' Category

05
Aug
08

On Interracial Churches and Rev. Rodney Woo

Rev. Rodney Woo

Rev. Rodney Woo

Interesting CNN cover story yesterday on interracial churches and “Why Many Americans Prefer Their Sundays Segregated.” Good read.

Some great highlights:
What was he was going to do if more of “them” tried to join their church?
The article cites Rev. Rodney Woo, who is partly Chinese, showing a very Third Culture approach on his part. There was fear that more Asians would flood the church because of his last name but according to the article it seems like that’s far from reality. I wonder if there are Asians in his church? My guess is that if they go or don’t go it probably has nothing to do with Woo’s last name. The reverend doesn’t look very Chinese to me. Not a knock on him but just a statement that perhaps the reason why people (Asians) go or don’t go has little to do with his last name but it may be an issue for non-Asians.

The Rev. Rodney Woo, senior pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, may be such a person. He leads a congregation of blacks, whites and Latinos. Like many leaders of interracial churches, he is driven in part by a personal awakening.

Woo’s mother is white, and his father is part Chinese. He attended an all-black high school growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, where he still remembers what it was like to be a minority.
“Everyone understands the rules, the lingo, the mind-set — except you,” he says. “It was invaluable, but I didn’t know it at the time.”

When he became pastor of Wilcrest in 1992, he was determined to shield his church members from such an experience. But an exodus of whites, commonly referred to as “white flight” was already taking place in the neighborhood and the church.

Membership fell to about 200 people. At least one church member suggested that Woo could change the church’s fortunes by adding a “d” to his last name.


“The fear there was people would think I was Chinese,” he says. “There would be a flood of all these Asians coming in, and what would we do then?”


Woo kept his last name and his vision. He made racial diversity part of the church’s mission statement. He preached it from the pulpit and lived it in his life. He says Wilcrest now has about 500 members, and is evenly divided among white, Latino and black members.

Woo doesn’t say his church has resolved all of its racial tensions. There are spats over music, length of service, even how to address Woo. Blacks prefer to address him more formally, while whites prefer to call him by his first name, (a sign of disrespect in black church culture), Woo says.
Woo tries to defuse the tension by offering something for everyone: gospel and traditional music, an integrated pastoral staff, “down-home” preaching and a more refined sermon at times.

But he knows it’s not enough. And he’s all right with that.

“If there’s not any tension, we probably haven’t done too well,” he says. “If one group feels too comfortable, we’ve probably neglected another group.”

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18
Jan
08

Missional Living. Earn 200k. Live on 38k. Part 2

My post about Tom Hsieh has gotten a lot of attention. I’m glad that Danny, the music director at NewPointe Community Church caught wind of my post. His team decided to do something creative with the story. Read the post on his blog.

This Sunday, NewPointe Community Church will be doing a live conference with Tom Hsieh for part of their worship service. Listen live from their website, www.newpointe.org.
It will feature towards the end of the message (around 9:45 or 11:45am).

Related
Missional Living. Earn 200k. Live on 38k.

11
Jan
08

Missional Living. Earn 200k. Live on 38k.

Tom Hsieh is my hero. Hands down.
As an Asian man. As a father. As an entrepreneur. As a follower of Christ.

I think this was a precious find in People magazine [ Thanks David (Next.Generasian Church) ] last month juxtaposed between pages of celebrities and whatever in the world they are up to. Plus isn’t it great to see yet another interracial couple with a cute baby to spoil on? No. Recent research shows that interracial couples spend more time and money on their kids than parents who are both of the same race. I’ll save that thought for another time. The Hsiehs are an image of a interracial couple that will give their bi-racial child a different story.

But the point I want to make in this post is that from a policy perspective this is how urban renewal is supposed to work but who’s willing? Move into a community with high crime and unemployment? What about safety? What about my family? What about my children’s future? How about, Is this not what those have been called by follow Christ supposed to do?

I’m thrilled that Tom gives to Servant Partners, a ministry that I’m in love with. Their mission is consistent with the life demonstrated through the Hsiehs – living among the poor in community, leading humbly in the spirit of a servant, evangelizing boldly in faith beyond race, beyond class. Sounds like Jesus eh?

Tom Hsieh, People Magazine

Tom Hsieh could be living the American dream. An immigrant from Taiwan, he worked hard in school, got into a good college and today heads an L.A.- based telecommunications consulting firm. His annual pay: $2OO,OOO.
So where’s the big house and fancy car? “We could have that lifestyle,” Hsieh says. “But it’s not real.” What’s real, for Hsieh, is his deep faith and desire to help others. So Hsieh, 36, wife Bree, 31, and 13-month-old daughter Kadence live on a modest $38,000 a year.

The rest of Tom’s income goes to charity, including Servant Partners, a Christian group he and Bree belong to that sends young adults into urban areas to spread Christ’s teachings and practice community activism.

The family lives in a two-bedroom duplex in South Pomona, a community battered by crime and unemployment. There, Hsieh and his wife talk to young people about getting on a better path, and lead efforts to make the streets safer. Santos Ramos, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Pomona, says the Hsiehs have the community respect. “Politicians come and go, but when educated people live next door, there’s hope.”

Still, it’s not exactly an immigrant parent’s dream. Some years ago, Hsieh told his parents, “I’ll always make sure there’s a roof over your head, but I won’t be the successful Chinese son who buys you a BMW.” His daughter won’t need such explanations. “She’s growing up,” he says, “knowing there more to life than possessions.” – People Magazine, Dec 24, 2007

Updated
Using my uncanny stalker skills I was able to find Tom Hsieh’s personal profile on boldergiving.org. . .
Sounds familiar. . . like Mark 10?

30
Nov
07

Interracial Dating – It’s tough to be Asian

Earlier this month there was a study published written by Columbia Business School professor Ray Fisman on theories of dating or choice-making based on data collected from speed-dating experiments in Chicago. Part of the study looked at interracial dating preferences. As you may know I have a major interest in this area. Looking through some articles and the Fisman study there are upsides and downsides.

I guess the good news for some would be that people generally choose to marry within their own race. It is perceived widely in Asian American culture that Asian women increasingly tend to outmarry. I think this study does offer some practical and logical insight. For starters, the study notes that Asian women exhibit a strong same race preference than their male counterparts. There is no evidence of the stereotype of a White male preference. But throw in that attractiveness factor and Asian men fall last.

“For male partners, our main finding is that Asians generally receive lower ratings than men of other races. In fact, when we run the regressions separately for each race, we find that even Asian women find white, black, and Hispanic men to be more attractive than Asian men. “

Ouch. That hurts a bit.

If the controlling factor is preference based on attractiveness…then Asian men are the least desirable. If you’re a good looking Asian dude. . . you’re to be envied.

However, the bias runs both ways…
female Asian partners are consistently rated as less attractive, though we also find that black females receive significantly lower ratings relative to whites. As above, we find that when these regressions are run separately for each race, even Asian men find white, black, and Hispanic women to be more attractive than Asian women.

Asians received low marks on attractiveness from all races including Asians themselves.
*sigh*
For a long time many Asian men and bloggers have wondered why it appears that more Asian women out-marry. Is it really true? Does this study prove that there is a preference or none at all?

One conclusion about preference that the study demonstrates is simply this, who you spend the most time with you end up choosing. Our choices are really more rational than anything. Lawyers with lawyers. Doctors with doctors. These are the people you meet on a daily basis and spend the most time around. Perhaps the factors are more geographic/social integration rather than specific racial preferences. What choices do you have? This tendency goes for race and religion as well. The bloggers at Poplicks summarizes these findings well.

[LINKS]
The full study can be downloaded here in pdf form.
Other research by OSU’s Zhenchao Qian [pdf download].
Slate.com Article by Ray Fisman, An Economist Goes to the Bar, and solves the mysteries of dating

This reminds me of a story from pioneering pastor David Gibbons of NewSong who’s a Korean-White mix. He attended Bob Jones University south of the Mason-Dixon line at a time where he was one of a handful of Asian faces. He had to indicate what race he would date and so Dave thought his chances were higher if he would check off White. This was a very practical and logical decision not because he had a preference for White women. BJU didn’t look too favorably upon this but how could Gibbons decide? If you’ve seen David Gibbons in person, he don’t look very mixed at all. He looks very Korean.

Sorry Dave if I butchered your story. I love you man.
The school only lifted its ban on interracial dating in 2000.
So is it tough to be Asian? or not?

26
Oct
07

Racism on the Decline Evidenced by Rise in Interracial Marriages

Interracial Marriage Interracial Marriage Interracial Marriage

Here’s a tidbit from Paul Krugman, author of the new book, The Conscience of a Liberal, citing that we are becoming less white and less racist evidenced by our rising acceptance of interracial marriages

Beyond the blunt, crude fact that America is getting less white, there’s a more uplifting reason to believe that the political exploitation of race may be losing its force: As a nation we’ve become much less racist. The most dramatic evidence of diminishing racism is the way people respond to questions about a subject that once struck terror into white hearts: miscegenation.

In 1978, as the ascent of movement conservatism to power was just beginning, only 36 percent of Americans polled by Gallup approved of marriages between whites and blacks, while 54 percent disapproved. As late as 1991 only a plurality of 48 percent approved. By 2002, however, 65 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriages; by June 2007, that was up to 77 percent.

Is racism actually declining?
Perhaps a little.
But the system is still broke. Especially when you see life through non-White eyes.

Also See:
• How a New Generation Navigates Through Interracial Marriage from New American Media
Cornell Research Examines Interracial Marriage amongst Blacks
Recent Gallup Poll

Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” More Likely Intolerant and Racist

15
Aug
07

Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” more likely intolerant and racist

Interracial MarriageThe UK might start to believe that Asians are more racist and intolerant because of this article. The article cites that half of British Asians say according to a survey by ICM for the BBC Asian Network found that more than half of young Asians would not consider dating a black person. Additionally, almost half believe that homosexuality is immoral while just 8% of White Brits do.

Link to Asians Less Likely to Marry Out

Natuarlly, the article caught my eye as an Asian American then reading on and I found that when they say “Asian”, they mean people identifying themselves as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan. This is so misleading when we read a headline like that here in America – like my title for this post. It’s a little skewed.

I didn’t realize that Brits consider Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. to be East Asian. There I go again with my ethnocentricity. Does the UK categorization make things easier? Is it logical? A matter of timing? Or is it racist? How do they view Asians (in our sense of the categorization)?
Nevertheless, I wonder if the stats for East Asians are far off.

Stats between UK and US divided by gender
from Wiki and other sources.

According to 2005 stats, in the US:
– About 69 percent of married Asian women are married to Asian men, while 25 percent of married Asian women have white husbands.
– 7% of marriages of the 59 million married couples in 2005 were interracial, compared to less than 2 percent in 1970.
Still interracial marriages or relationships are on the rise with younger Asian Americans (2nd Gen) being most likely to marry out.

Read Asian-Nation on Interracial Dating and Marriage
Also found at IMDiversity

In a 2001 UK census, British Chinese women (30%) were twice as likely as their male counterparts (15%) to marry someone from a different ethnic group. Among British Asians (South Asians, not including Chinese), Pakistani and Bangladeshi males were twice as likely to to have an inter-ethnic marriage than their female counterparts, while Indian and “Other Asian” males were more likely to have an inter-ethnic marriage than their female counterparts by a smaller percentage.

Continue reading ‘Interracial Relationships: UK “Asians” more likely intolerant and racist’




abcpastor
[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
[i]
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
[ii]
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
[iii]
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.

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