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This past weekend, I was the keynote speaker at a large conference held in Chinatown. I said a few things which apparently offended some people, but I honestly don’t see what the fuss is all about. Am I missing something here?

I was preaching on world evangelism. This being Chinatown, there were thousands of Asian Americans in attendance; but what caught me by surprise was the large number of African Americans at the conference. I interrupted my own sermon to speak to this. In essence, I said that I was amazed by how many Africans (or did I say African-American? same difference, right?) were at the conference (this was Chinatown, after all).

Then I remarked that the black face was so different from mine. And that because the black face was “less hated around the world,” now was the God-ordained time for Africans (or did I say African-Americans?) to go back out into the world. I told them that while Asians have a tough time getting into certain countries, the black face, being less satanic and more angelic, would get them admittance.

Afterward, a few people confronted me about my statements. They accused me – me! – of being a racist. In short, they argued that:

  • to clump African-Americans with Africans betrayed ignorance;
  • to clump people together into roughshod categories based on the color of their skin was the beginnings of racism;
  • to claim that the black man or woman was not the target of racism but, rather, was “hated less around the world” was plain stupidity; and inter alia
  • my insinuation about the black face was offensive and reeked of racist stereotyping.

Personally, I don’t see how they could accuse me of being racist. After all, I have an adopted Latino boy.

Did this really happen?No and (sadly) yes.
No: I made up the above account.
But yes: at the recent Resolved Conference, John Piper made similar remarks, not about African Americans, but Asian Americans. While I was not there, reports are recounting what he said.

According to people who were there, Piper stated (inter alia):

After all, the Asian face is hated less around the world. God in His unusual providence in the Muslim world, for example, has arranged that the Western face is satanic while the Asian face is not yet as satanic.

Thus, in John Piper’s eyes, I am no longer the satanic Fu Manchu (“he had menace in every twitch of his finger, a threat in every twitch of his eyebrow, terror in each split-second of his slanted eyes”).

Instead, I am the passive, good-boy Charlie Chan, a refined, intellectual of Christian wisdom, on the side of law and virtue, beloved by the whole world, an amorphous mass of goodwill with a beautific face.

Me so loved by world. Yay.


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