discussion on Chinese culture

To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Study Supports AA Hiring
Date: 9/30/96 11:54 PM

FYI, Tim Tseng
Forwarded message:
From: newman@garnet.berkeley.edu (Nathan Newman)
Sender: AFFAM-L@CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU (Affam-L – News & Organizing Around
Affirmative Action)
Reply-to: AFFAM-L@CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU (Affam-L – News & Organizing Around
Affirmative Action)
To: AFFAM-L@CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list AFFAM-L)
Date: 96-09-30 11:06:06 EDT

Monday, September 30, 1996 7 Page E1 © 1996 San Francisco


Jonathan Marshall

If you believe the polls, Californians overwhelmingly support
Proposition 209, which would ban preferential treatment for minorities
or women in public programs, including university admissions.

Should the private sector follow suit, on grounds that hiring
preferences saddle employers with unqualified workers? Or should it
embrace affirmative action as a needed remedy against lingering

A new study by two Michigan State University economists — Harry
Holzer and David Neumark — sheds light on some of the economic
consequences of affirmative action, even if it doesn’t settle the
tough philosophical issues.

Their most significant finding: performance (measured by supervisors)
of most minorities and women at firms that practice affirmative action
is no worse, and sometimes better, than that of white men.

“The worst fears and strongest accusations against affirmative action
aren’t borne out,” said Neumark. “Affirmative action helps employers
seek out and find qualified minorities. We say quite strongly that
it’s hard to find (that) less qualified women and minorities (are)
being hired.”

How can a program that smacks of race preferences not undermine
standards? The answer, Neumark said, is that affirmative action simply
neutralizes continued discrimination. “Some qualified (women or
minority) applicants are being passed up; affirmative action says go
out and find them.”

Black men and women and white females hired under affirmative action
policies do tend to have less education than white males at the same
firms, supporting stereotypes about underqualified minorities.

But the same gap in education also exists at firms that don’t practice
affirmative action, the study found, suggesting that there’s a
widespread shortfall of schooling among some groups. The biggest
beneficiaries of affirmative action appear to be black men, who are 20
percent more likely to be hired at firms practicing affirmative action
than at other firms, and white females, who are 10 percent more likely
to be hired.

As some critics have alleged, affirmative action also appears to help
relatively more educated minorities. Thirty seven percent of people
hired by firms practicing affirmative action had college or graduate
degrees, compared with 25 percent of people hired at other firms.

The study was based on a survey of 800 employers from 1992-94 in
Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and Los Angeles.

Chronicle Search Feedback Chronicle Home Page The Gate Home Page ) The
Chronicle Publishing Company


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: “Dr Samuel Ling”
Subject: Re: What is Chinese culture?
Date: 9/30/96 8:13 PM

I would like to add a fourth dimension to what Fenggang has pointed
out — In addition to language, rituals and values, the fourth
dimension is the very immigration/assimilation experience of being a
Chinese on North American soil. The very experience of the immigrant
or the 2nd/3rd/4th/5th generation Asian-American growing up in
America qualifies as “Asian culture” or “Chinese culture,” inasmuch
as this experience includes some conscious or subconscious attempt to
integrate, sort out, resolve, etc. Chinese and American cultural
values, symbols and language usage. What do you think?



To: Multiple recipients of list cac
Subject: Re: What is Chinese culture?
Date: 9/26/96 5:26 PM

DJ wrote:

> The question that arises with this issues is what exactly is Chinese
> What does it mean to be Chinese, and/or what are the esteemed values of
> culture? Granted, culture is a fluid and changing thing, but surely there
> handles on it that can be grasped.

DJ asked very important questions for Chinese Americans in general
and for “Chinese American Christians” in particular. They are important
because many people, including Chinese Christians, perceive Chinese culture
and American culture contradicting to each other, and Chinese culture and
Christianity incompatible with eath other. These questions are really
a fundamental question – “to be or not to be,” more specifically, “to be
a Chinese or not to be a Chinese.”

I understand that many ABCs feel fed up with the Chinese cultural pride, and
desire to become “just American” or “just Christian.” “Chinese” for them
is only a biological fact. I think the proper label for these “Chinese”
is “Chinese descent” (huayi). Actually, there is a word “paranakan” in
Southeast Asia for these people. They have gone native, lost Chinese
know little Chinese culture, and may marry non-Chinese. Paranakanization
is “becoming non-Chinese.”

Sam Ling’s article pointed out that there were some Chinese descents in
Southeast Asia even changed their Chinese family names and became
indistinguishable from local people. However, these people sometimes
continue to claim a Chinese identity.

Hon-Wai agreed with Sam Ling that the definition of Chineseness is a most
elusive business. It is true that the Chinese identity is elastic.
However, I feel there are two sides. From subjective side, anybody can
claim a Chinese identity as he or she will. Postmodernism would recognize
any of such claims as valid. However, there is another side — what other
people see you. “Paranakans” are not Chinese, or less Chinese, in the eyes
of Chinese in China and Chinese immigrants in Southeast Asia, and even in
the eyes of Chinese descents who still hold up Chinese culture.

Therefore, biological Chinese identity seems not the most essential Chinese
identity. What is most important is Chinese cultural identity. In other
words, you have to have some Chinese culture in order to be a Chinese.

Then, “what exactly is Chinese culture?” This is a question we need to
think about. Some scholars have been trying to define the core of Chinese
culture. Not only scholars disagree with each other, but also ordinary
Chinese may not agree with the abstractions of these scholars.
these scholars provided us something to begin with. (I am writing my
dissertation chapter “Chinese identity: being and becoming” [tentative
title only]. The title of the dissertation is “Religious Conversion and
Identity Construction: A Study of A Chinese Christian Church in the U.S.”)
Based on readings of some scholars, I would like to approach the question
of Chinese cultural identity in three dimensions:

1. Chinese language. This is the most apparent symbolic marker.
2. Chinese cultural symbols and rituals. Some Anthropologists argued that
the core of Chinese culture is orthopraxy (correct behaviors) more than
orthodoxy (correct beliefs). The orthopraxy that anthropologists focused
included life and death rituals such as wedding rituals and funerals.
They found that all Chinese performed some essentially same or similar
rituals throughout of China and also among diaspora Chinese.
3. Chinese cultural values. Some humanities scholars argue that the core
of Chinese is orthodoxy, particularly, Confucianism (Tu, Weiming). In
other words, to be Chinese is to be a Confucian, or hold Confucian values,
such as “jen” and filial piety, etc. Other Chinese philosophers also
argued the centrality of Daoism (Taoism) and the importance of Buddhism
(Buddhism became an integral part of Chinese culture).

Then, examining the cultural Chinese identity of Chinese Christians in
America, what aspects of Chinese culture do they hold? What is your
Chinese cultural identity? Many ABCs lost Chinese language, learned
little or no Chinese rituals and symbols, and did not know much or anything
about Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. What is their Chinese identity?

Now CAC list and other informed Chinese Christians told me that there
are some Asian-American churches which emerged in the last decade or so.
I haven’t visited these churches. For those who know these churches,
could you tell me something about the cultural identity of AA church
participants? I suspect “Asian-American” in this churches means “East
Asian descent,” not really including other Asians such as Indians
or Arabians. If so, is their identity more biological than cultural?
Are they descents of East Asians who have lost their ancestral language,
lost cultural rituals and cultural values. They come together just
because they all look similar — yellow skin and black hair, and also
because “Asian-American” is a category Americans use to refer them
without distinction. It is a group resulted from racialization,
both by themselves (internally) and by others (externally).

I have to make it clear that I personally do not think it is neccesary
to insist on maintaining Chinese culture or cultural Chinese identity.
A general identity of “American” or the universal identity of “Christian”
is just fine. My field is sociology, so I am interested more in
“what and why” than in “ought to be”. But as a Christian myself, I hope
my sociological study can be helpful for ministers and ministries.

Sorry for such a long posting. If you are not yet bored by now, I really
hope to hear your comments, responses, or self-reflection on your
own identity.

Fenggang Yang
Catholic University of America


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: “Gordon W. Marchant”
Subject: Homepage Revision
Date: 9/26/96 4:20 PM

I am so thankful to have discovered your forum, and I look forward
to participating in your discussions. I spent most of yesterday reviewing
your archives, and already I have incorporated some of your ideas into
ministry projects which I was working on.

I know this is bold, being that I am only a newcomer, but I think you
need to make some revisions to the homepage of the CAC Forum, which more
accurately reflects your purpose (which you clarify in the subsequent

On your page it states: “This web site serves
as a central information clearinghouse” for issues of interest to Chinese
American Christians …” Well, believe me! Your issues are also of
GREAT interest to non-Chinese Christians (who may or may
not live in America). I don’t want to make this sound like a
big thing, but as a non-Chinese pastor, who is attempting to
minister to brothers and sisters in the English (and Cantonese)
congregations of our Chinese church, I need all the help your forum
members can afford me.

Thus, I would suggest you re-word your web site description
to: “a central clearinghouse for issues of interest relating to Chinese
North American Christians…”. In your history page it also talks about
your forum being “limited to Chinese Americans (i.e., OBC/ABC/ARC).”
Could this please be updated?

In conclusion, I will follow the trend and properly introduce myself. My
name is Rev. Gordon Marchant, and I have been serving on the pastoral
staff of the South Calgary Chinese Evangelical Free Church for the past
five years. In actual fact, because of the scarcity of Cantonese pastors,
I have spend the majority of my time here as the one and only member of
our pastoral staff. As with many of you, my primary role is to care for
the spiritual needs of the English-speaking congregation, however, as much
as possible, I try to become personally involved in the lives of all of
our families. By God’s grace, it is my desire to manage the advantages
and disadvantages which I possess as a non-Chinese pastor, in order to
help our people be equipped to fulfil the great commission, here in
Calgary, and Canada, and around the world.


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: AAASCommunity: East of California Registration (fwd)
Date: 9/26/96 2:04 AM

Dear CACers:

The following is FYI.

– Tim Tseng
Forwarded message:
From: wliu@deans.umd.edu (William Liu)
Sender: owner-aaascommunity@uclink4.berkeley.edu
To: qapa-l@brownvm.brown.edu, eoc-ccom@gmu.edu, aapa@yuma.acns.colostate.edu,
aaascommunity@uclink.berkeley.edu, aaasposts@uclink.berkeley.edu
Date: 96-09-25 23:48:29 EDT

Forwarded message:
>From wliu@deans.umd.edu Tue Sep 24 15:26 EDT 1996
From: William Liu
Subject: East of California Registration
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 15:25:53 -0400 (EDT)

NOVEMBER 15-17, 1996



At the 6th annual East of California Asian American Studies
Conference, we hope to foster a better understanding of the roles that
students, faculty, and staff play in the overall development of Asian
American Studies. We believe that the development of leadership
ablities among our community members, and the interrogation of power
struggles within our groups will make our movement stronger.

As students, faculty, and staff join movements to establish Asian
American Studies, what crucial concerns and issues need to be
addressed? How can Asian American Studies programs best develop in
accord with the unique campuses and communities in which they are
situated? How can the resources and uniqueness of a campus and
community develop Asian American Studies programs? How can
communities develop strategies to organize better? What roles do
protests play? Additionally, what issues need to be addressed if, and
when, a campus agrees to a program? And, how can we monitor the
growth of Asian American Studies on campuses to use our resources
optimally? This conference hopes to create and sustain a dialogue to
help us address some of these issues.


Yuri Kochiyama Long time community activist
Dr. Shirley Hune Associate Dean and Professor of Urban Planning
University of California at Los Angeles

Phil Tajitsu Nash Adjunct Faculty, University of Maryland at
College Park

Dr. Gary Okihiro Director, Asian American Studies Program
Cornell University


* Student development and student affairs in Asian American

* Linking community agencies with Asian American studies with
speakers from the Organization of Chinese Americans, Japanese American
Citizens League, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Indo Chinese
Community Center, and the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Commission on Asian
Pacific Islander Affairs.

* Asian American Studies and Diaspora Studies
* Developing a workshop to educate High School and new students
about Asian American history.


November 15 Friday

Registration Starts at 4pm until 12 noon on Saturday

Opening Plenary: 7:00pm
Yuri Kochiyama
Phil Tajitsu Nash

November 16 Saturday

Breakfast 8:00-9:00am

Workshop I 9:00-10:30am

Plenary II: 10:45-12:00 noon
Dr. Shirley Hune

Lunch and EOC Caucus 12:00-1:15

Workshop II 1:15-2:45

Plenary III: 3:00-4:30
Dr. Gary Okihiro

Caucus I 4:45-5:45

Dinner 6:00-7:30

Final Film of the Asian 7:30-10:00
American International Film
Festival at UMCP

Fundraising Dance 9:30-2:00

November 17 Sunday
Breakfast 9:00-10:00am

Workshop III/Assembly 10:00-11:30

Caucus II 11:45-12:45

(Please no email regristration. Feel free to print
out and mail with monies)


Home phone:_____________________________________________

Work phone:_____________________________________________

Male: Female:




Zip code:_______________________________________

Email address:____________________________________

Choose one: Undergraduate Graduate Faculty Staff


There is limited free housing available with students who live on
campus. This is available to students only. You will need to provide your
sleeping materials (e.g., sleeping bag).

1. I am interested in free student housing: Yes No
2. I prefer: Smoking Non-Smoking


There will be two time slots for caucus meetings (Saturday and
Sunday). The caucuses are working sessions during which people can
discuss future organizing efforts and link up with colleagues.

Caucus Sign up form: (Please select all that are of interest).

Women’s issues:________________

Developing Asian American Studies at Colleges and

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Issues:_____________________________

Ethnic specific Issues:__________________________________

Organizing against Anti-Asian Violence:__________________

Working with University Administrators:__________________

Working with students at schools in your area:___________






Conference costs include conference fees, breakfast (Sat./Sun.),
Dinner on Saturday Night, and the Dance. PRE-REGISTRATION ENDS ON


Students $15 $20

Faculty/Staff $40 $45

If paying at the door :
Banquet $7
Dance $10


3109 Taliaferro Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

CONTACTS: Will Liu & Christina Lagdameo
(301) 405-0996




Best Western: 1-800-442-1644 1/2 mile from campus
$69 Single
$70 Double

Holiday Inn: 1-800-872-5564 Free Shuttle to campus
$69 Single
$69 Double

Quality Inn: 1-800-221-2222 3 Blocks from campus
$75.95 Single
$79.95 Double

Days Inn: 1-800-660-5162 1 mile from campus
$69 Single
$79 Double

University College Inn & Conference Center Walking distance
(301) 985-7300
$79 Single
$94 Double

* AAASCommunity, the Discussion & News list of the
* Email Network of the Association for Asian American Studies
* Coordinator:


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: hwong@submaths.hku.hk
Subject: culture assessment
Date: 9/25/96 10:04 AM

Dear DJ and Tim,

I do not know much about Chinese culture. I agree with Sam Ling’s
observation that the definition of Chinese-ness is a most elusive
business. I am skeptical of generalization. I often find it
takes almost no effort to find a counter-example, among my Chinese
aquaintences, to the generalization offered.

I just want to interject my own observations and personal
experiences into your discussion.

> From: TSTseng@aol.com, on 9/21/96 10:17 PM:
> environments, she adjusted and became a bit more objective). I am very
> worried that many of us second-generation types are uncritically looking
> at our first-generation parents with the lens of White America.

DJ>>I admit that we all have lens that color our perception of reality, and
lens of varying thickness *grin*. When I think about the scenario of myself
going to China for instance, into a foreign culture and language, I
with how much of a challenge and sacrifice and difficulty it was for them; I
admit that I don’t have the courage to do it. But at the same time, I am of
opinion that if I were to be put into a foreign environment, I would be
responsible to learn to adapt to the new place and not retreat into my own
comfort zone; if I’m on new turf, I play by their rules.
I do not want to discuss if there is a moral imperative that “if I’m
on new turf, I play by their rules”. I think it is smart to do so.

When I think about it, many Chinese immigrants
take a very conscious effort “to play by the rules”. My father, for
instance, when he visited the U.S. from Hong Kong, made a conscious
effort to curb smoking, even though he was a heavy smoker; and that
was bc he had a distinct impression that Americans considered it
impolite to smoke in public places. This is only a trivial example,
but when one looks at the right way, Chinese immigarnts do
conscsiously “play by their rules”. Does he have any ethno-centricism?
I bet he must have; and that is partly he has not come to appreciate,
as I have, the astonishing cultural and political achievements
of other nations. But then, if he is truly ethno-centric, he will not
respect other nations’ etiquette.

On the other hand, I am also upset by the very same Chinese who do
not play by the rules. It is my observation that most of my (Chinese
— I will skip this word henceforth)
immigrant friends cannot care less about elections (presidential
election may be the only exception). Some immigrants’
attitudes towards non-whites and non-East-Asians border on the

But then, I take Tim’s use of the word “racism” puts a heavier
emphasis on the institutional aspect. The phrase “blacks can have
racist attitudes but cannot commit racism” certainly has some truth
when the word “racism” is used in this way. Used in the same way, we
can also argue that the immigrants are not racists. Rather, their
racist attitudes proves the force of racism: our society has
spread the rumor, in a subtle manner, that blacks and Hispanics are poor
and criminals; so watch out!

So my problem with many first generation Chinese (and I am also one of
them, of course) is the general lack of commitment to the larger
local community and the politics of the nation. In that sense, I wish
they “play by the rules”; the rule of being an active and responsible

On the other hand, there is much hyposcrisy in this sort of “playing
by the rules” language. I distinctly recalled how surprsied I was
when I discovered
that there is an American (Anglican) Cathedral in Paris. On the Sunday I
was there, the preacher was a bishop who was also an English man.
This, to us in the U.S., was a most understandable phenomenon. But then, I
recalled the fierce opposition more than 10 years ago the Chinese
Christians at Oxford faced, when they would like to set up a Chinese
church at Oxford. The evangelical Anglican clergymen opposed it on
the ground that a church should not be formed along ethnic lines. It
struck me as a disingeneous argument based on the creedal teaching of
“one holy catholic and apostolic church”. But it sounds like the
same as “:play by our rules if you immigrate to our countries”. It
can turn ugly, and is often hyposcritical. It is quite oppressive if
it is conceived as a moral imperative rather than a prudential
advice. I am glad that I have not heard this sort of demand in the
U.S. (personally); and I am sickened that I almost sometimes make the
same demand on other Chinese. I also notice, in this connection,
“play by their rules” is a rather effective way for immigrants to change
the behavior of other immigrants.

That is not to say I am pleased with the prevalent indifference among
most Chinese churches in the U.S.

These are only fragmentary observations; but it is these fragmentary
observations that prevent me from accepting easy generalizations.

On a dfferent issue, about remarks DJ raised in earlier messages.
He seemed to raise the question of the ethics of affirmative action.
He also seemed to voice the conviction that truth does not serve us,
but the other way round, however inconvenient it is (therefore, if it is
a fact that Chinese are racists, we better face it). I cannot agree
more on his second assumption (although I doubt if
proving the “fact” of Chinese racist attitudes is epistemologically
the same to proving the “fact” of big bang). On the first question, I
think it is a
fair question and should be discussed openly. It is my observation
that in many discussions concerning race and ethnicity, DJ’s concerns
have not been addressed adequately. I am a religious conservative;
but then, many Catholic bishops are
also conservative in that sense, but that does not prevent them from
being liberal in the classical, new-deal sense. I hope there can be a
vigorous discussion on these two areas in CAC; this should not harm any
social justice causes.


Hon-Wai Wong
Department of Mathematics
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Rd., Hong Kong
tel: (852) 28578571
Fax: (852) 25592225

To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Tseng/Camcorder to visit Chicago
Date: 9/24/96 11:49 PM

Dear friends:

As part of the oral-video documentary history of Chinese-American Christians
which I am undertaking, I will be in Chicago between Fri. Nov. 8 (after 3
and Sun. Nov. 10th (before 5 PM). I will video-tape one-hour (or longer)
interviews with Chinese Christians in the area. I’m particularly interested
in inteviewing Christians who have exercized leadership in churches or are
knowledgeable about the history of Chinese Christianity in Chicago (I am
to interviewing even those who have not grown up in Chinese churches).
I’d like to interview Chinese Christian women. If you know of anyone who
fits any of these descriptions, please let me know so that I can arrange
appointments for interviews.

Thank you!

Tim Tseng


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: DJ Chuang
Subject: culture assessment
Date: 9/24/96 11:22 AM

> From: TSTseng@aol.com, on 9/21/96 10:17 PM:
> environments, she adjusted and became a bit more objective). I am very
> worried that many of us second-generation types are uncritically looking
> our first-generation parents with the lens of White America.

I admit that we all have lens that color our perception of reality, and some
lens of varying thickness *grin*. When I think about the scenario of myself
going to China for instance, into a foreign culture and language, I
with how much of a challenge and sacrifice and difficulty it was for them; I
admit that I don’t have the courage to do it. But at the same time, I am of
opinion that if I were to be put into a foreign environment, I would be
responsible to learn to adapt to the new place and not retreat into my own
comfort zone; if I’m on new turf, I play by their rules.

> If I juxtapose this statement with the one you made earlier, it sounds
> you’re saying that while culture is a product of a fallen and sinfal
> humanity, OBCs have more of it than ABCs do. After all, is not “direct
> communication” an expression of an American culture of individualism
> the face-to-face contacts are valued above all else? I think that on the
> whole Scripture reveals more of a communal way of relating. In any case,
> don’t think that culture is all bad. Fallen as it may be, we also need
> affirm aspects of our cultures which better illuminate God’s plan for
> humanity.

It’s my understanding that possibly some cultures have more illumination
and implimentation of God’s humanity plan. Culture is not all bad, but I
am willing to put all aspects of all cultures under scrutiny. Cultures
need to be redeemed and transformed by Christ..

Concerning “direct communication”, I derive its value from my impression
that God communicated directly to us, and how valuable it is to be
“face-to-face” with God, how honorable it was that Moses could meet with
God face-to-face… Granted, there is an aspect of mediated
communication, such as Christ being out priest & mediator, but he came
with the full expression of God, to directly show us who God is.

In bridging cultures and all its differences, I believe that all cards
have to be put on the table by all parties involved. You cited an
illustration of Blacks and Whites interaction, and the need for both to
be recognizing the various aspects of racism on both sides.. all of that
has to be communicated clearly, heard clearly, understood, apply
repentance and forgiveness, and then move on toward a resolution and


* my page at http://users.aol.com/djchuang/ * John 2:17 *


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: DJ Chuang
Subject: Racial Reconciliation on 3 levels
Date: 9/24/96 10:59 AM

> From: TSTseng@aol.com, on 9/21/96 10:17 PM:
> An argument can be made for starting with God’s family first – and I
> Local congregations and individual Christians can make a difference for
> generation, but history shows that the energy level doesn’t last that
> longer (so we have to reinvent the wheel each generation). So that is
> evangelical seminaries, parachurch organization, and bible schools also
> to wrestle with their recruiting, hiring, and promotional practices and
> into place relatively longer lasting policies which will acknowledge
> institutional racism and attempt to remedy it (and the remedy is done not
> merely implementing policy from top-down, but by intentionally listening
> responding to, and making underrepresented people’s voices a priority).
> Unfortunately, I see many evangelical organizations moving backwards on
> matter.

Right, that is the point, that racial reconciliation is a three level
effort, as I see it, that it starts with (1) personal one-on-one
involvement with people of other culture/races, (2) intra-church
activities like pulpit exchanges and joint services & service projects
(so that the church universal demonstrates commitment as an
institutional church), (3) community and political/ public policy
involvement. A big vision such as this of racial reconcilation indeed
has difficulty lasting past one generation, and it would take more
diligence on those who have caught the vision to not only participate
and carry out the vision, but to impart it to the future generation
(based on the 2 Tim 2:2 principle). I don’t think institutional policies
alone are able to carry out a vision beyond a generation; vision has to
be passed along personally, incarnationally.. now as an institution
attempts to bring a more equal racial representation, does that mean the
sacrifice of standards and qualifications? Is it right or fair to give
underrepresented people a greater voice than others? Is it not better to
give equal voice to each person, and expect each person to see and hear
the interest of all peoples? How do you see evangelical organizations
moving backwards on this?

> their White base of support. It is a historical reality in America, that

> with a few courageous exceptions – White Americans have never acted on
> authentically resolving the race problem unless it converges with their
> interests. Do I sound like a pre-millennialist yet?

You’re talking to one *grin*, a premillennialist; it can be said on the
whole that there is little historical evidence of any group of people
attempting something great without some form of personal interest or
benefit; even in charity efforts, there is the benefit of satisfaction
in the giver’s ability to help someone; but as the effort is sincere and
intentional to seek the other’s interest, it seems acceptable to me.
Philippians 2:4 says to look out _not only_ for your own interests, but
also for the interests of others. It doesn’t say the elimination of
personal interest.


* my page at http://users.aol.com/djchuang/ * John 2:17 *


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: DJ Chuang
Subject: What is Chinese culture?
Date: 9/24/96 10:42 AM

> From: TSTseng@aol.com, on 9/21/96 10:17 PM:
> DJ: >>However, this is foreign to Asian culture, it seems, where racism
> implicit part of being ethnically Asian, from what traditions I
> that to be Chinese is to be proud to be a Chinese, and likewise for other
> ethnicities. There is much ethnocentrism, and racial reconciliation is
> of a foreign concept, reinforced by language and cultural differences
> may be there, but that doesn’t have to keep us apart). <
> Statements like this tend to make me uncomfortable since it stereotypes
> Asians as being innately ethnocentric. The fact that our world is
> what some call the “Pacific Century” seems to indicate that overseas
> are becoming more cosmopolitan and open to differences

Several different issues I’d like to break-out into separate message
replies, in hopes of generating some threads of discussion among the CAC

I would like to avoid stereotypes, especially those that are totally
untrue and unfounded; but in contrast, would it be stereotyping to
discover the trends and threads of a group of people or culture? The
above comment concerning ethnocentricity were stated in a book titled
“THE ASIAN MIND GAME”, and the author believed it to be prominent in
Asian cultures; I state it to ask for verification. Or the question can
be asked, how has the Chinese as a culture interacted with other
cultures and races in its history?

The question that arises with this issues is what exactly is Chinese
culture? What does it mean to be Chinese, and/or what are the esteemed
values of Chinese culture? Granted, culture is a fluid and changing
thing, but surely there are handles on it that can be grasped.

The other challenge that comes along with this is: what is Asian
culture? What are the common values between Asian cultures that makes it
distinct from other cultures, and what are those values that draw Asians

To say it another way, in beginning dialogue among Chinese (and Asians),
the red flags of stereotypes are quickly raised; but the question
remains that I’ve not found an answer to– what is Chinese (or Asian)
culture, then? Would it be stereotyping to present the common traits of


* my page at http://users.aol.com/djchuang/ * John 2:17 *


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: AAASCommunity: Toll Free 1-888-API-VOTE
Date: 9/24/96 12:18 AM

Dear Friends:

Now that the election is just around the corner, it may be a good time to
urge our fellow Asian American Christians to vote! One hundred years ago,
the Supreme Court upheld legalized segregation which brought race relations
in the U.S. to a nadir until the post-WWII Civil Rights era. This is a
critical year for the future of race relations in the U.S. as
anti-immigration and mono-culturalist forces attempt to bring back the
America of the 1950s (a period in which as a racial minority, I am glad I
not live in). It is difficult, but I hope and pray that the multi-lingual
and multi-cultural drama of Pentecost and the concern for “the least of
these” inform believers when they go to the polls in November.

The following info may be helpful in the important work of enlisting voters.

In prayer,

Tim Tseng

Forwarded message:
From: oca@ari.net
Sender: owner-aaascommunity@uclink4.berkeley.edu
To: oca@ari.net
Date: 96-09-22 20:15:57 EDT

* This is email from the News & Announcements list (AAASPosts) of
* the Email Network of the Association for Asian American Studies.
* For more information about the list and the AAAS Email Network,
* email a request to .
* For information about AAAS membership, email a request to
* our national office at .
For those with email access, please send all requests for voter
registration forms to oca@ari.net. Remember the deadline to register
for most states is October 7, 1996.

Please email this announcement to others you know, as well as
local mainstream and ethnic press, and community newsletters.

Thank you for your assistance!

—Christine Chen, Project Coordinator

National Asian Pacific American Voter Registration Campaign
“Raising Our Voices…Strengthening Our Involvement”


For Immediate Release: September 20, 1996
For Additional Information: Christine Chen, National Coordinator

Campaign Announces A Toll Free Number for Voter Registration

Washington, D.C. — The National Asian Pacific American
Voter Registration Campaign (NAPAVRC), announces a toll
free number, 1-888-API-VOTE or 1-888-274-8683. This new service
will allow members of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community to
call in to request information on how to get registered for the
upcoming elections.

Callers will also be able to receive information on upcoming voter
education and get-out-the-vote activities that are specifically
organized for the APA community. The deadline to get registered
for most states is Monday, October 7, 1996. Individuals will be
able to receive information and leave messages in English, Mandarin,
Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, and Hmong.

The toll free number is shown on posters which urge the APA community
to register by the October 7th deadline. These posters created by
the campaign and funded by a grant from the American Federal, State,
County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), are available in Chinese,
Korean, and Vietnamese, and have been distributed nationwide. With
the assistance of the ethnic press, the campaign also hopes to be
able to reach the readers and to motivate them to call the toll free

“This new service will allow the national campaign to complement the
local voter registration activities that are being organized around
the country for the next few weeks. Currently, the APA population
has the lowest voter registration rate after becoming citizens, yet
the community has the highest rate of actual voting of any group.
herefore, voter registration is a high priority in this campaign,”
stated Dr. Michael C. Lin, National President of the Organization
of Chinese Americans (OCA).

Julia Keh, President of the OCA-Greater Los Angeles chapter commented,
“This campaign makes voter registration accessible to the APA
community. APAs who normally would not register because of language
difficulties can now do so. In early September, the OCA- Greater
Los Angeles chapter began using this toll free number in conjunction
with a local number on their public service announcement shown
during Chinese television programming. Since its first showing, the
campaign has received over 80 calls per day.”

Supplemental Information on the 1-888-API-VOTE Number

A caller first hears a greeting in English and is then asked to
select one of the following options:
Mandarin Press 1
Cantonese Press 2
Korean Press 3
Tagalog Press 4
Vietnamese Press 5
Cambodian Press 6
Laotian Press 7
Hmong Press 8

For messages in English, the caller should remain on the line.

After the selection, the greeting stated in that particular
language will ask callers to leave their name, address, phone
number, and the specific reason for calling. The NAPAVRC staff
will then process the information and respond through phone calls
or the mailing of voter registration forms and information.


The National Asian Pacific American Voter Registration Campaign
is a coalition of 19 National APA organizations. They are: Asian
Pacific American Labor Alliance (AFL-CIO), Asian Pacific American
Medical Student Association, Asian Pacific Islander American Health
Forum, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations,
Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Chinese American Voters
Education Committee, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Institute, Filipino Civil Rights Advocates, Japanese American
Citizens League, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, National
Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Asian Pacific
American Legal Consortium, National Association for the Education
and Advancement of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans,
National Association of Korean Americans, National Alliance of
Vietnamese American Service Agencies, National Federation of
Indian-American Associations, Organization of Chinese Americans,
Organization of Chinese American Women, and Southeast Asian Resource
Action Center.

National Asian Pacific American Voter Registration Campaign
c/o Organization of Chinese Americans
1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite #707
Washington, D.C. 20036

Voice Mail:(202)223-5523

E-Mail: oca@ari.net
World Wide Web: http://www2.ari.net/oca
* AAASCommunity, the Discussion & News list of the
* Email Network of the Association for Asian American Studies
* Coordinator:

To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Note upcoming PBS broadcast
Date: 9/23/96 10:59 PM

Dear friends:

This week, PBS is airing a documentary on the Religious Right in
America. It is entitled “With God on Our Side: Rise of the Religious
Right in America.” I think it comes in two parts, with this week’s
broadcast covering 1950-1968.

If you have the opportunity to view this program, please write your comments
and observations on the CAC list. I’d be very interested in reading how
Asian American Christians react to the program! In the Denver area, it airs
on Friday, Sept. 27 at 9 PM (channel 6). Check your local listing for the


Tim Tseng


To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Re: re: PK Racial Reconciliation Theological Summit Report
Date: 9/21/96 10:17 PM

Hi DJ:

In response to my PK report, your wrote (your comments are in <> ):

>>I believe they recognize that there is both personal and institutional
‘racism’, but the solution is not either/or, but both/and, that there needs
to be both one-on-one relationship building (done thru small group weekly
prayers, dinner for 8) as well as organizational & institutional involvement
exchange, choir swap, joint services, service projects). I’m not sure which
you would prioritize, or what it would look like to address both aspects of
racism.<>To only do the latter feels quite sterile and impersonal, and doesn’t get
to the heart, and that is the backlash that some Raleigh blacks are reacting
against.. that white churches do a ‘service project’ for the black church as
a ‘one-shot’ high-publicized “stunt” and there’s no follow-thru of sustained
personal relationship, nor is there an active integration between races as
such. So the tendency here is to engage personally first, while recognizing
the latter is necessary also, as the opportunity arises.<> there is much to learn by us as Asians on how they [blacks/whites]
are trying to put into deed the mandate of Scripture, that we would come
together as a Body of Christ, reflect a clear picture of heaven, and
show the world that we can be one in Christ. <>However, this is foreign to Asian culture, it seems, where racism is an
implicit part of being ethnically Asian, from what traditions I understand..
that to be Chinese is to be proud to be a Chinese, and likewise for other
ethnicities. There is much ethnocentrism, and racial reconciliation is more
of a foreign concept, reinforced by language and cultural differences (which
may be there, but that doesn’t have to keep us apart). <>I have learned much from the black/white racial reconciliation that would
be helpful in the Chinese church, as there are similarities of “tension”
between OBC and ABC, for instance; that if both would humble themselves, and
come to the table, recognize that culture is a product of fallen and sinful
man, that direct communication is necessary to understand one another, give
one another the freedom to express their pains and desires, that the basic
foundation in the authority of the Word be established, then the Chinese
church can make some tremendous progress!<>…something is truly happening in my community (although my church
doesn’t participate in it, I myself, I can, and hopefully by my personal
example, others will follow, as they see the fruit).. during this past
week of recovery from Hurricane Fran, we saw a community come together
out of shared humanity, no longer hindered by the shallow barriers that
have kept us apart in the past.<<

Amen, brother.

Thanks for giving me a chance to think more deeply about these issues!



To: Multiple recipients of list cac
From: TSTseng@aol.com
Subject: Tseng intro
Date: 9/21/96 1:32 AM

Dear brothers and sisters:

DJ suggested that I provide a bio for the CAC webpage. Since this
discussion list is growing, I thought it would be a good idea to
re-introduce myself as well. So here goes:

Currently an unemployed Seminary professor, I taught church history at
Denver Seminary between 1994 and this past Spring. I hope to find a
teaching position by next year. My area of interest is Asian American
Christianity largely because of my sense of calling to minister among
Asian Americans, but also because serious scholarly work in this arena
has been scarce. I am currently trying to write a history of Chinese
Christianity in North America. This project has entailed everything from
looking for scattered documentation to interviewing contemporary Chinese

I was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. at the age of 2. I’m a PK –
my dad pastors (he is the senior minister at the Brooklyn Chinese
Christian Church in NYC which he founded and where I was nurtured). I
received Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12 after a series of
fist fights with neighborhood kids who made fun of me because I was
Chinese. Throughout high school and college, I was not a very good
student (compared to my fellow Asian Americans), but by God’s grace
(Intervarsity Fellowship staff, Chinese Christian Fellowship at NYU,
Urbana ’81) I received a calling to be a minister (though I went into
the ministry kicking and screaming). I was ordained through the
American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. in 1988.

I spent a year at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary where persons
like Tony Campolo, Ron Sider, and colleagues helped me understand how
social justice issues (which started to concern me when I was exposed to
the world’s social problems at Urbana ’81) are integrated with theology
and faith. I then transfered to Union Theological Seminary in NYC in
order to be closer to my church (I pastored the English Congregation
during my studies), to be challenged by other theological views, to be
challenged academically, and to think about how to connect my faith with
social justice concerns. I again experience God’s grace at UTS through
faculty who cared deeply about the church and helped me understand
mainline Protestantism better. UTS surprised me by receiving me into
their doctoral program in Church History. My dissertation examined the
discourse of white Protestants during the turn of this century regarding
Japanese and Chinese immigrants. I worked with James Washington, a
specialist in African-American Christianity who sensitized me to the
deeper underpinnings of racism in American history and contemporary

In many ways, I’m similar to Sze-Kar because I would be considered too
politically liberal for most evangelicals, but too theologically
conservative for the few remaining authentic liberals. Beyond my
academic work, I hope to encourage Asian American Christians to develop
a theology and praxis that is grounded in – Scripture, of course – but
also in the real needs and concerns of the Asian American communities.
In other words, I pray that Asian American Christians will find their
“voice” in my generation rather than echoing those of white mainline or
evangelical Christians. I also am continuing to wrestle with the
question of how the Church does social justice without: 1. losing its
own distinctive voice (i.e., without echoing political liberalism or
conservatism or losing focus on evangelism and discipleship as its other
central tasks) and 2. without simply talking about or applying
“band-aid” or “noblisse oblige” solutions (i.e., how to really empower

Sorry ’bout the lengthy intro. Hope to hear from others!

Tim Tseng


To: Multiple recipients of list CAC
From: “Andrew Y. Lee”
Subject: Request for Asian-American Survey
Date: 9/20/96 8:37 AM

Last month I sent out a request to CAC members to respond to a BRIEF
survey on Asian-American interpretation/theology. Your responses would
be very helpful for a paper I am writing. I would like to thank those
that answered. However, the number of answers that I received were not
sufficient so I am sending this out again in hopes that more surveys
will be completed this time.

If you are uncertain about the themes of an Asian-American theology or
believe that it is unnecessary, please indicate so on the survey. Those
are responses in and of themselves. If you would be so kind as to fill
this out within the next several days as my completion deadline is
rapidly approaching. . .Thanks!

If you do not work full-time in a church, please indicate this on your

Asian-American Theology

1. If you were not born in the United States, how old were you when you
immigrated here?

2. Where did you receive your theological training?

3. In your opinion, what are some of the themes in an Asian-American

4. To what degree is this reflected in your sermons/teaching?

5. Which book or section of the Bible is your favorite? Why?