I am disturbed and saddened by the recent proliferation of Anti-Asian prejudice and violence. I wrote an article last June, soon after the killing of Mr. George Floyd, about the biblical mandate of justice and equality. We needed to speak up against racial discrimination when other minority groups were treated unjustly. And at this time we need to speak up against the prejudice and violence on Asian Americans.
In the past months, there were many reports about Asians in America being verbally and physically abused just because of their race or color of their skin. But behind the reported cases, for years there have been many unreported incidents of Asians being the victims of discrimination and attack. Even people of Asian heritage who were born in this country were told to “go back to your country.” I was the recipient of racial slurs myself. During the Covid pandemic, derogatory names like “Kung-flu” and “Coronavirus” have been directed to Asian Americans by strangers. The sad thing is, sometimes such discrimination happens between minority groups.
Many people forgot that America is an immigrant country. Immigrants made this country strong in the past, and immigrants will continue to make this country strong in the coming years. Descendents of early immigrants cannot claim privileges because their ancestors arrived before others. No racial group should harbor a sense of superiority over others.
Many Asian immigrants tolerated discrimination as a price to pay for moving to a free and democratic country like America. But now is the time to stand up and work with other people groups to condemn and eliminate racial discrimination. We may have noticed that many African, Hispanic and White Americans have spoken on our behalf against the recent attacks on Asians. This country is now seeking to build a racially fair and equal culture. We should join this effort, not because we are the focus at this time, but because we are an integral part of the American society.
I found some of the comments in my earlier article are still relevant. So I am reposting a few sentences below.
“The biblical principle on human equality is clear. We are all equal under God because we are all created in His image. Prophet Isaiah tells us that seeking justice, encouraging the oppressed, and defending the fatherless are more pleasing to God than performing religious acts (Is. 1:11-17). Prophet Amos basically says the same thing (Amos 5:21-24). In the New Testament, equality in Christ is affirmed in Galatians 3:26-28.”
While seeking justice and condemning injustice, we should also examine ourselves. Are we racist? Do we think we are superior to others because of our culture or achievement? The fact that we call people who are different from us derogatory names reveals our hidden prejudice and even discrimination. As Christians who believes in prayers, let us pray for the people and leaders of America as the country reflects on the issue of discrimination. Let us also exhibit the passion of Christ to people of other cultures and races. In addition, we can also participate in the dialogue for racial equality with other people groups, sharing our struggles, and actively reporting cases of discrimination.