The Common Good
May-June 1996

Beyond Black & White

by David Yoo | May-June 1996

THE JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1996 issue on race in America ("Can
We Talk?") sparked me to write.

THE JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1996 issue on race in America ("Can We Talk?") sparked me to write. While I found the article insightful, I was troubled by what I have seen as a consistent trend over the past 10 years, in which I have read almost every issue of Sojourners. Namely, race is nearly always depicted in black-white terms. There has been some coverage of Latinos and American Indians and racial issues internationally (especially South Africa).

My concern is that Asian Americans have rarely ever received attention. From my vantage point in California, the black-white racial dyad is eclipsed by a confluence of multiple racial-ethnic groups who not only have to deal with white America, but also with each other. Although LA is perhaps like no other city in the United States, it does serve as a reminder that a multiracial, multicultural reality has been true in America since at least the 17th century. The absence of Asian Americans is a glaring omission in an ongoing discussion of faith, politics, and culture in America.

My comments are intended as constructive criticism. They come from someone who sees himself as a partner of Sojourners. When people ask me about my faith, I usually point them to Sojourners and tell them, "That's the kind of Christian I am."

David Yoo
Claremont, California

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