Growing up as a "minority" in the St. Paul, I've heard many questions on issues dealing with "minorities" and Christianity.
When my parents had me attend a traditional church, I started to have mixed feelings on christianity and minorities. When I went to church, I grew puzzled with the pictures of "white" Jesus pictures hanging around. I then wondered if christianity was a "white" religion.
I came to know Jesus in a personal relational way in 1996-my first year at UMM. As I grew in the knowledge of the Bible, God began to open my eyes to the Truth.
Now I'm on a mission to help others, especially "minorities', know the truth and love of Jesus Christ-a God of many "nations"-NOT just for "whites" or "western" nations.
I decided to come up with this website (9.29.03) to help distinguish facts and myths (stereotypes-sometimes negative) on "minorities" and "Christianity"
I personally encourage you all to personally "ask" God yourself any of these questions or others you may have. He's the main source to many of our answers. For example, look at Job, Habukkuk, Moses (Exodus), etc...
Q: What is like to be a "minority"?
A: First of all, I don't like the term "minority" at first because it's a very oppressive term. I don't let words bother me in the first place as God's Word is above words from "man". Minorities are actually the majority in the world (see "Did You Know?-demographic stats of racial groups in world).
Where are you from?
This is probably the most commonly asked questions I get from the people in Morris. It used to bother me, but now I understand why people were are and still are asking me this question. This is a town/small city where it's predominately Caucasian-White (Norwegian, Scandinavian, German, or mixed European background). When they meet someone "other" than this, they are just curious who "us" minorities are and what we are doing here. Just like today (11.16.03), I was at a community gathering, and some of the people there started asking if I was a college student (a compliment)? Their eyes widened when I said I graduated at UMM 4 years ago. They then asked me what am I doing now, which I tell them I work at a group home. From this answer, they then just go on with questions about my job or the people I work with. I remember when one place in town, someone asked me....
What country are you from?
I too got disturbed by this question when I was asked this many times when I was in Morris as a student. Then after living in-town, I grew accustom to this question by understanding why they asked this question (like above). I automatically answer that, my parents come from the Philippines, but I was born-raised in St. Paul. Some ethnic-first/second generation Americans sometimes feel like they don't belong here or consider themselves "American" because they get "turned-off" or get "offended" right away by comments or questions like these. America is basically a melting-pot of many ethnic groups that many immigrated here for economical-social-political-religious (e.g. refugees) freedom.
Why do Native American Indians or Minorities get Scholarships?
First of all, there are tons of scholarships for everybody (race, class, educational background, extra-curricular activities, etc...) and not just for "minorities". This was a question or topic I would try to avoid in any conversation during my years at UMM. I just didn't want to get into anyone's face-especially my Caucasian peers/friends. When this topic came up, I would "shy" away and kept quiet. Now I've graduated and honestly-proudly tell people that I went to UMM on a full-ride "Minoirty Educational Program" (Twin Cities based) Scholarship. Usually this comes up when people asked me if I have any student-loans to pay off. After gaining knowledge of this "issue", I just tell them there are scholarship for everybody (including "Caucasian-Whites"-see down below), like Polish and Irish ethnic background students.
*NOTE: I believe God blesses each of us in different ways. Instead of questioning one another in jealousy or anger-ignorantly (devils way of getting us to get into each other's throats), questions the "man upstairs"-God Himself...
"1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."-James 4
Christianity is a White Religion, which they are all racist?
Look where Christianity came from-the Middle East. Here is a good resource if you are interested in "racism"
Christians are hypocrites!
Who isn't! No one is perfect, except God-Himself-Jesus! It's really sad that there are Christians who are racist and ignorant, like the KKK (Protestant Christian background), Sexually Abused Priest (Catholic background), Money-Greedy Evangelist (Evangelical background), and the list goes on (e.g. Truth in History-example of false information out there that is hurting the Christian faith!). We got to know personally the main source of Christianity-Jesus Christ.
Q: Christian "Caucasian" White Colonization
Christian Missionaries "converting"
Christiany Charity to the Arab World?
A new recent issue is christian charity work in the Arab world-Afghanistan and Iraq-after the war. My personal opinion is there is nothing wrong about this as long christian charities are doing it for the "right-reason". They are not "converting" anyone-that is between God and "them". God does the changing, which He uses Christians to show the "acts of kindness through love", which is the teachings of Jesus. Christians are taught to do not only just kindness acts, but teach them "how to fish that it'll last them for a lifetime-instead of giving them a fish that will last only for a day".
Below is excerptes of a recent article on this issue...
"....The new arrivals mean well: in addition to the Christian Gospel, which they consider their most precious gift, they have channeled millions of dollars in aid and put in countless hours of charitable work. But some fieldworkers for more liberal Christian organizations claim that some of the more aggressive evangelical tactics can put all religious charities at risk, as when the Taliban, angered by missionary activities two years ago, shut down every Christian aid group in Kabul...." more...FROM THE JUNE 30, 2003 ISSUE OF TIME MAGAZINE; POSTED SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2003
Immigrants in "White" America
My parents immigrated to this country in 1972 for "a better life" from the Philippines. Many people from the Philippines have to leave their families to find jobs overseas because of the poor economny. With the "better life" come sacrifices in America with its' racism. I remember when I was a little kid (still happens today), my mom or dad would share the unfair treatment they received from work. They would get teased because of their poor English.
As I help reach out to international students for my local church, I hear countless stories of racism that many have grown weary and tired. I encourage them of my personal testimony of battling racsim through God's love. Since 9/11, the discrimination towards immigrants has grown as the economy in the U.S. decreases. With this, I decided to come up with some answers to help educate people with this current issues.
Another fact is the positive contributions "minorities" has made to make what America is today. A friend of mine emphasized to me that Native American Indians were the real settlers, which many of us sometimes forget. "We" came here "uninvited" and "took over" what they all own. Please respect this group of people because of this! Also, the African-Americans that worked their backs as "slaves" to help during the Agricultual Revolution. The Chinese, who helped build the railroads that links our nation coast to coast. There are many others that I don't know of that I don't want to forget about them too.
Military, we have a high number of "minorities" that serve this country through this means too:
Lately (April 2006), the "immigration" (particularly migrant workers) issue has came up, so I decided to some more re"search"...
Last December, the House of Representatives passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437). Many of the provisions of this punitive and enforcement-focused bill are patently hostile to the alien among us. On March 27, however, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an improved bill. The measure, passed 12-6, contains many provisions supported by the faith community and other advocates: It provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the country; establishes a guest worker program that can lead to citizenship; and establishes a new temporary work program for undocumented agricultural workers. In addition, the committee's bill differs from H.R. 4437 in that it would not establish penalties for humanitarian and church groups helping undocumented immigrants or criminalize undocumented immigrants for being in the U.S. The Judiciary Committee bill is a step forward in the debate.
As discussion of immigration reform moves to the full Senate, we urge lawmakers to oppose punitive, enforcement-only measures like those in H.R. 4437. Such measures not only run contrary to the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger among us; they are chillingly anti-work, anti-family, and anti-community, and they will only exacerbate the problems of our fractured immigration system. The Senate Judiciary Committee's bill has a better approach than H.R. 4437.
Let's help, not hurt, our neighbors who are pursuing the American dream of security, freedom, and opportunity. Send an e-mail urging your senators to promote just and compassionate immigration reform.
Desert Invasion - U.S. Background - immigration and overpopulation
"80% of cocaine and 50% of heroin in the U.S. is smuggled across the border by Mexican nationals. Drug cartels spend a half-billion dollars per year bribing Mexico's corrupt generals and police officials, and armed confrontations between the Mexican army and U.S. Border Patrol agents are a real threat. There have been 118 documented incursions by the Mexican military over the last five years. Describe how the invention of the super lab changed the meth industry. PBS
"We originally used to purchase a lot of heroin, cocaine from many of the Mexican drug cartels. And then when they started getting into methamphetamine, they started saturating their own market with methamphetamine." MORE THAN 100 ARRESTED IN NATIONWIDE METHAMPHETAMINE INVESTIGATION
Q: Why do you try to convert others (Muslims, Bhuddists, Hindus, etc...) to your Christian relgion?
A: First of all, I believe Chrsitianity is more than a religion, but a personal loving relationship with our Creator, Heavenly Father, my Friend and Savior. I didn't get converted by anyone when I became a Christian, it was a heart loving personal change between me and God-Himself through Chrsitians He put in my life. We seem to be trying to "convert" others, but what we are actually doing is obedient by faith through His loving commandment (Bible-Book of Matthew 28:18-20). We "Christians" got changed by the "Good News", so we want to share it with others instead of keeping this awesome salvation gift to others-"every tribe, language, nation"-of the World. Many say we should leave other people's faith/religion alone. However, many don't understand many us Christians were in that same boat-in other religions that really didn't give us life-( please see personal testimony).
Q: Why is there so many refugees coming to Minnesota?
A: Churches has played a big part in sponsoring these refugees and because of the high quality of education and standard of living.
Q: Why should we learn about ethnic diversity?
A: It's sad to hear this, but I've heard this from people. "Why do we always have to learn about their culture, why don't they learn about us"-from the majority ethnic/racial group in communities. After attending the Morris Leadership Retreat, I was challenged to personally pursue a heart desired-goal on showing people "Why it's important to learn about ethnic diversity issues?":
The above speech is probably redundant throughout our nation's universities. I too came to UMM with a cultural shock experience of interacting with individuals from different backgrounds. This is one reason for learning one another's cultural background.
Above is another college related issue, which focuses on the importance of learning different cultures to avoid ethnic/racial conflict. We in American have (e.g. Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's), is (e.g. Hate towards Immigrants taking jobs) , and will (e.g. increase reported attacks of Muslims) continue to experience discrimination-unless "we do something about it" (first starting with our own selves-what is our personal prejudices?). I personally have experience some discrimination that could've led to some injuries (see personal story).
If you read my personal story, you can see why I'm doing this-I don't want others or even myself to experience any discrimination as I did and still continues to this day...Just yesterday (Thursday, October 21st of 2004), I talked with someone who knew some UMM students that experienced some hateful discrimination (regarding their Asian ethnic background) from the local youth in Morris. This individual that shared this unsuprising (also caught me offguard) disheartening story told me that the schools in the community should teach these individuals like them. I then shared, that I used to share my culture at the schools when I was a student at UMM. Then she told me that the kids then perceive us only "exotic". It took me awhile to digest the problems of this, which I found them at:
Also, this link above is a good source of information on the issues/topics we discussed about at the Safety & Security Focus Group Community Meeting (Thursday, October 14th) at the Otter Tail Bldg: Minnesota Room.
I hope to come back and share more of other UMM student's (e.g. Asian students recently) experiences. Tell then, check the other resource links in this site. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any other sources out there that I can linkp-up or any feedback. Thank You!
...cont......(later-read for continuous updates!)
Q: Why are ethnic minorities seem to "lean" more towards the Democratic party? (see politics)
Qb: Republican Party supporters are more labeled towards "moral values". Are ethnic minorities likely to be in this category too?
Q: Should we support Affirmative Action?
"Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that secures money and jobs for the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not. It divides us as a people, and draws attention away from the moral and family breakdown that is the chief cause of the despair and misery in which too many of our fellow citizens struggle to live decently"-Alan Keyes (check his link above)
Crimes by Race
Last night (Monday, April 10th of 2006), I was watching the news and this "person" made a statement that made me do some more re"search"-"These minorities are always committing crime, why can't they behave?"...
....more crime stats
Q: Should we support Affirmative Action?
Below is a "unofficial" record of ethnic or racial discrimination in Morris:
An Asian (Korean) American reported some "unfriendly" discriminatory facial response (made their eyes slant to steretype the "small Asian physical eye feature" when he and other international students walked into Old #1. They were hoping to have some fun by dancing as part of one of the group's student's birthday celebration. The dance was coming to an end, so the group left. That wasn't the end of it...As they were walking towards their parked car along W. 5th St. (by Media.com building), a group of young Caucasian adults started to be abnoxious (singling "God Bless American") to annoy the group.
Sometime around this year, a Cambodian American told me he was walking around town (along Atlantic Avenue) and some teenagers in a car started yelling profanity at him
Halloween Incident "acknowledging a mistake in race-relations which took place October 31, 1993 and has since been referred to as the "Halloween Incident".