I am reminded that community is found when we take risks and share authentically about our own culture, ethnic heritage, history, and stories. And as we share our stories, others are able to join us in community as well.
So much of the language we have around activism is militaristic, but if our struggle is going to last, it must center the relational ties that have sustained our communities from the very beginning.
These over-the-top acts of neighboring in Seoul, by people who would be strangers in any other context, weren’t driven by any utilitarian or ideological function. They didn’t demand that I somehow prove my belonging first before intruding into my life in ways usually reserved for intimate relationships.
Did my ancestors ever think of Oakland that way: as a place Native Americans once called their own? Perhaps they saw a wooden Indian in front of a cigar store, or a poster for a Wild West show, and somebody explained to them that those were the people who were here first.
Chinese grandmas, like mine, actually do have lighter carbon footprints than the average American. Those in San Francisco Chinatown, for instance, use half as much energy as other city residents. We can learn from their ways, both in their lifestyle and in their care.
Reading the plaques that detailed their stories of reclaiming tribal land and lifeways was both empowering and humbling. The connections between colonization and national parks became increasingly clear.
We share stories to stretch our collective imagination of what being a neighbor looks like in our cities, our nation, our world.
Sometimes, the way power is negotiated in social justice spaces looks like this: those with more societal power need to relinquish power, and those with less seek to gain more. The misconception is that there is a limited amount of power to share, and so it pits groups against one another. This leads to an endless cycle of bitterness and resentment.
Mourning practices are generations-old traditions of solidarity, honoring other family members, carrying out closely-held duties, and caring for our own spiritual wellness. If our instinct is to reject the practices so important to our neighbors, we will leave unaddressed pain to fester, decomposing our interdependence and trust.
This novel coronavirus and the continuing acts of racism don’t mark the first time nor the last time that our facade of flourishing will be disrupted by the reality of creation’s disintegration.
While I hope for the pandemic to end and for less lives to be put in danger, I also hope that the experience of quarantine, which has forcibly and suddenly shrunken our individual and collective freedoms and capacities, can be an opportunity for able-bodied folks to think about how this is, has always been, and will always be the “normal” that people with disabilities must live with.
COVID-19 patients are dying alone. They may die before their family members have had a chance to phone in or visit them. Families are no longer permitted to stay inside the room to watch over them or stay overnight with them, being physically present as they transition out of this life.
The time is now. We cannot be caught sitting on the sidelines. Solidarity statements, while symbolically valuable, ultimately miss the point. The Black struggle is our struggle. Everything we have collectively learned about race and capitalism tells us our struggles are inextricably connected.
The point of a public health crisis is that, like the wound of history, we are forced to pay attention to our bodies and what they feel. Doing so may save our lives as well as those around us.
I am reminded that a world anew, already in motion, is not a one-time transformation, but rather, enacted by living into an ethics that ... is part of an ongoing struggle for liberation, healing, and right relationship across ecosystems and injustices.
What tempts Christians to offer platitudes or unfounded reassurances? It is the same temptation that the loud, white, male pastors we see in the media are currently succumbing to during the coronavirus pandemic. It is the temptation to avoid the reality of suffering. And it stems from a gross misunderstanding of what faith in Jesus actually means.
While the media reports on and profits from interpersonal racist incidents that result from exogenous shocks, minor feelings and racial melancholia encompass the daily, interminable despondence of racism.
During this global pandemic, we’ve all had to bear overwhelming stress and devastating losses while also being cut off from the people, activities, and places that bring us joy and help us cope with distress in the day to day.
As the job losses mounted, the number of tithes and offerings coming in each week dropped precipitously. Church budgets bled red ink and congregations began laying off staff and selling property in order to keep the lights on. But that was back in 2008 during the Great Recession.
These days, I say The Lord’s Prayer with more urgency and more confusion than before. “On earth as it is in heaven” feels unimaginable, a single-minded plea in a maelstrom of distress.
I fear for my mother’s health every day that she goes to work. U.S. Postal Service workers like my mom and her 600,000 plus colleagues are in need of protection on the job, now more than ever. Despite precautions, almost 900 postal employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 44 have died during the pandemic.
About three weeks ago, churches across America began to close their doors. In an unprecedented act, many pastors took the courageous stance to support national and local healthcare guidelines that encouraged physical social distancing, as the novel coronavirus began to spread widely across the United States.
I live a 15 minute drive from Life Care Center in Kirkland, WA, a nursing home where 81 of its 120 residents tested positive for COVID-19 and 35 people died.
Memories. Voices. Accusations. Family traumas tailed my life, casting shadows of pain and shame. I felt it when my mom raged. I felt it in her gaze of melancholy.
It’s Thanksgiving evening. I’m in the kitchen with my A-ma (grandma), standing over a pot of simmering Taiwanese braised pork belly while also preparing a batch of creamy mashed potatoes, my two identities melding togethe