Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 18
May 3, 2021
Violence Against Asians
For months now I have been hearing media stories of “Asian bias” and “Asian Violence.” The stories certainly had me disturbed. I was raised with the American ideal that people are to be treated equally. I was also raised with the Christian belief that we are to love one another. I was disturbed by such stories but I heard them in the abstract. I was disturbed on the surface, not at a deep level until I heard the story of “Inyoung.”
Inyoung is a therapist at the Hudson River Care and Counselling Center. She is also a devout Christian. Before the Corona crisis, she was one of the people who joined us in distributing lunches to the day-laborers in Bergenfield. She is good-hearted and a credit to our nation. I was told that she is frightened about the growing violence against Asians.
Although she lives in her New Jersey, Inyoung regularly goes to her mother’s house in Queens, NY to check on her. Her mother is quite elderly and is showing signs of confusion. A language barrier further complicates the Mother’s confusion. These visits, of course, are heart-breaking for Inyoung. I know from experience how difficult it is to watch a mother decline. Inyoung was saddened by these trips but lately she has been frightened.
Lately she is discovering hostility from people she sees on the streets of Queens, NY. They look at her, notice her Asian featured and often give her threatening looks. I am grateful that she has not been the victim of violence, but with the hostile looks it is a fear that she carries with her.
On one occasion she and her sister were walking outside in the evening and a group of girls were walking by she and her sister. The group was not wearing masks. The girls were laughing and simulating coughing as she walked. Perhaps this was a reference to Covid-19 having origins in China and these girls being unable to distinguish Chinese folks from Korean people. How Korean immigrants to our nation should be held responsible for a virus from China I will never know. It reflects badly on the intelligence, wisdom, and manners of some native-born people.
Now it is time for those of us who wish for justice and righteousness to step up. We, who wish for our neighbors to live in safety and security need to speak out and speak up on behalf of our Asian brothers and sisters.
If we are Christian, we are called to stand next to all oppressed people, especially brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you are not Christian, simply an American who believes in justice, you should be equally offended.
Violence and hostility is not acceptable. I call on all of us to stand with Asians and stand against those would be hostile and violent.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/