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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Response to Alexandra Wallace Worth Watching

By now you have most likely heard about viral video posted by Alexandra Wallace. I hesitate to bring it up here because 1) I don't care to give the incident any more publicity and 2) know it has already been hashed out and analyzed all over the internet world, so it is no longer news. However, a friend recently brought a video response to my attention that I thought was particularly insightful and useful from a Christian perspective.

The video was posted by James Choung, the director of InterVarsity Asian Ministries.

He makes the great point that justice and reconciliation going hand-in-hand. Many of the dichotomies we experience during tough dialogs about race come down to emphasizing one over the other: too quick to condemn vs. too quick to see everything as blissful unity. James also addresses the tendency to justify and distance ourselves by saying "well at least i am not as bad as that other person," while forgetting that we all fall short and have racial baggage to work out in Christ. His insights are helpful and applicable to a wide range of situations.

Take a look:

UCLA Video Response from AAM InterVarsity on Vimeo.

For me, the biggest surprise about Wallace's video is how 'shocking' it has been to the general public--what a 'scandal' it has been (Tami has similar thoughts). The shock is an indication, I feel, of how unaware a lot of folk are of the pervasive layer of racial-sludge (or smog, to borrow from Beverly Tatum) that exists in modern culture. It shouldn't be a surprise, yet it still is to a lot of folk that want to believe we are in a 'post-racial' society.

There is also a lot of irony is in the viscous, often sexist/misogynistic responses to the video that have appeared all over the Internet. They take an eye for an eye, yet still fails to see that they perpetuate the 'otherization' and bigotry!

Finally, I leave you with another response that was particularly thoughtful:

For those that have had enough of this whole incident, sorry for bringing it up yet again. For those that have no idea what I am talking about, you can read about it here, but I don't particularly want to repost the original video.

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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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