Paul Matsushima has a background in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State and theology from Fuller Seminary. In his work, he helps Japanese American young people connect with their ethnic community, culture, and history. He and his partner have a child named Marty.
In 2011, I found myself having to defend the argument that race still matters while attending one of the most ethnically diverse evangelical seminaries in the nation. Don’t get me wrong: Students and faculty alike openly discussed ethnic and cultural differences. And although all were unanimous that racism was bad and diversity was good, when it came to more explicit discussions of institutionalized racism or white supremacy, there tended to be choirs of crickets.
A FEW YEARS AGO, a couple of church friends and I visited Manzanar National Historic Site on the way to a fishing trip in Mammoth, California. It wasn't your typical detour — visiting an incarceration camp that imprisoned thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II.
SHORTLY AFTER the 2012 presidential elections, I discussed via email the role of evangelical faith in American politics with a few older people from my church. Those of us involved in the email thread were not out to advertise our own political agendas, nor did we see eye to eye with one another.