June 21, 2003

I have to tell you,

I have to tell you, I'm usually an easygoing guy. Really. I am, for instance, pretty nice about letting people borrow my stuff, I'm generally willing to give people five bucks or so (remember, I'm an unemployed just-out-of-high-schooler so I'm really really poor). I'm not perfect by any means and I mess up all the time, but I'd like to think I'm a fairly good person in this regard.

But I was so incredibly ticked off today, I said something really stupid too, stupid as in I could have gotten myself really beat up bad.

OK, to set the scene... I was driving to King Park which is in inner-city Grand Rapids, a poor black neighborhood, to have a picnic with some friends from high school. A white friend of mine (I'm Asian Indian, remember) was following me in his car, and stopped at a light a few blocks from the car I saw two black guys, well-dressed and in their 20s or 30s waving newspapers. At first I wasn't really paying attention but then I noticed that the headline said "The Day Israel Attacked America". I had read that there was a strain of anti-semitism in the black community, but somehow it's different when it's real life, not the Internet. You figure there's lots of crazies in Montana or SF or somewhere, but when it's your hometown, and not just dumb stuff like "innuendo" or whatever, but actual racist, anti-semitic absolute shit-- arrgh. I shook my fist at them, I really couldn't think of anything intelligent to say to that absolute scum. Before I could do anything (probably Providentially), the light turned green. I did cuss up a blue storm as I drove the rest of the way to the park. Tore into the lot; as soon as my friend parked I stormed up to his car and screamed "Did you see what those fucking niggers were doing..." then I realized I was standing in a park filled with black people....
Thanks be to God, I wasn't, erm, noticed. My skin color saved the day - if my friend had said it, white as he is, half the park would've been on his back, quite literally. I'm sorry I used those words: I don't really have a problem with swear words as long as they're not just used as filler but I do think it's wrong to use colorful language against people (thus, saying "fuck" won't piss me off, how is it different from "darn"? but saying "fuck you, OK?" or "go to hell", or any profane use of the Lord's name, is definitely over the line-- I'm not even a huge fan of "gosh" or "jeez", kind of weird I suppose. Anyway, I crossed the line today and I do regret it, but all the same I think that my anger was completely righteous and I think those two men deserved to be called it. Just not by me: I should have left that to the Judge. The day of the wicked will come.

I don't happen to be of that strain of Christians who believe (to me, weird) things about the necessity of the salvation of the Jews and the establishment of Israel as I don't even know what, a precursor to the end I imagine. I really don't understand it all, although I'd like to sit down and talk with someone who did so I could get it straightened out. But I do think Israel's a pretty special place. The Jews were God's chosen people, and even though they rejected Christ, God promised to show his love to them for a thousand generations. And from a purely secular vantage, what other nation can trace its history not in decades or centuries, but three or four millenia? The Jews have survived two thousand years of persecution since the destruction of their homeland in seventy AD. A hundred years ago, they began coming home; sixty years ago 6 million of them were massacred; then they established their nation and defended it against incredible odds... and you know the rest of the story.

It angers me that we minorities, especially black minorities, can get away with absolutely racist, unfounded statements that the media would never let a white person say. We still have so far to go on the racism issue, complicated by the fact that we've got white-on-black and black-on-white and Jews and Hispanics (now officially the largest minority) and of course middle-class Asians like me. I agree with my fellow conservatives that anti-discrimination laws & affirmative action are counterproductive, but I don't think either side of the political aisle has really tried to get to the heart; nor can they, secular movements that they are. This is a spiritual issue, digging deep into the human psyche. To overcome the instinctual fear of the other, for all sides to give and receive forgiveness, the hand of God is needed. This looks like a job for the Church... and we've been procrastinating for thirty years.

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