Moving Beyond Stereotypes


(Via Jody Wiley Fernando‘s fb page.)

As I am pondering the controversy that is currently going on around the marketing campaign for Deadly Viper Character Assassin: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership, I cannot help but think that this is a very important moment in this continent’s multicultural Story. It is clear from comments on Prof. Soong-Chan Rah’s blog that there is a lot of hurt and offense. It’s pretty obvious to me that the authors and Zondervan committed some serious cultural blunders.

When I first arrived in Canada (after living in Asia for nearly five years and loving every moment of it) I was pretty raw as an Afrikaner woman who still carried the sins of Apartheid. I was ashamed at what my people had done in diminishing and marginalizing “the other.” I was stunned, therefore, not very long after landing in Canada, when I encountered a moment of profound racism with a Caucasian man hurling insults at an Asian man at a gas station in Richmond, BC. It dawned on me in that moment that racism itself was alive and well on the earth, and not just in South Africa. I still remember how sad I’d been at that realization and I knew it broke God’s heart.

The controversy around this book, understandably opens up a lot of emotion and hurt, but more importantly, an opportunity for a conversation. In the midst of some chaos here then, I truly believe Jesus can be born. I pray that the parties involved will be able to meet each other and move to a place of Reconciliation. Not for the sake of individuals, but for the sake of a Kingdom that regards everyone as equal. (At my core, I always stand in Hope.)

If you’d like to know more about this conversation:

  • Here is Prof. Soong-Chan Rah’s open letter to the authors and Zondervan.
  • Check out for more voices on this conversation.
  • I also liked this perspective from Eugene Cho of Next Gener.Asian Church.
  • Tonight I pray for true Peace and Reconciliation in this situation that will ripple out into our societies at large. Heal this Land, Lord. May this be a Moment of Surrender for all of us. A Moment of laying down every stereotypical belief and attachment as we acknowledge and honor the Divine in the other.

    • Sally

      Thanks for posting this Idelette.

      What an opportunity for growth for all of us.