Diversity is the New Normal

By Eugene Cho 06-04-2010

100604_eugenecho_eyesOne of my readers sent me a video a couple months ago because, well, I somehow mysteriously got on this video.

Truth be told, I've always wanted to create a viral video and tried with this one, but no luck. But God answered my prayers (sarcasm here) and somehow, Kim Jong-Il (the notorious North Korean dictator) and I star in the same video that has been viewed at least 3 million times (and that's just on YouTube).

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure how or what to feel about the video initially because I was shell-shocked. The video was created as a parody to basically make fun of Asian and Korean culture. You can bing the creator of the video, Rucka Rucka Ali, if you want as I'm in no mood to send any traffic to his site. Yes, I admit that I chuckled once but then realized this was basically a video getting people to laugh at your expense. [Anyone remember that scene in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story where BL is on a date watching Breakfast at Tiffany's?]

It's discouraging and makes me angry.

First of all, how in the world did I get on this video?

It was because of this blog entry, My Slanted Eyes are Beautiful, and yes, I got plenty of angry emails for that post.

But I'm not backing down. They are beautiful.

"But why discouraging and angry?"

Some folks will think this is funny or good comedy, and even scarier, some may think this is a quasi-reflection of Asian culture. It feeds the machine of stereotypes, prejudice, racism, and blah blah blah.

Heck, 3 million+ views just on YouTube.

"Grow a backbone and thicker skin."

Yes, that's what I heard from several during the Deadly Vipers fiasco. I suppose there's some legit truth there, but when Asians generally feel there's a limited exposure to Asian culture and expression and it's hawked in videos like this and other stereotypes, we can't help but try to defend our culture, expressions, and people.

And I would throw this back at others as well: "You get thicker skin." Don't be so used to the stereotype of Asians being passive and believing in the model minority myth. We get angry, too -- especially at injustice and prejudice.

"But our ultimate identity is in Christ."

For sure.

But for us to deny the uniqueness of our identities including our ethnicity would be deny the sovereignty of God's creation. God -- with purpose -- created me to be Korean with a Korean-American experience. This doesn't supersede my identity as a child of God -- created in His image // lost, wicked, and depraved // but redeemed by the grace and beauty of God. But it is nevertheless an important part of my identity

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