Racial Conflict and Healing
A Korean theologian approaches the issue of racial conflict – including discrimination between minority communities – and constructs a “theology of seeing” that aims to heal the ruptures of racism. As ethnic tensions continue to simmer and occasionally erupt, immigration and affirmative action laws are hotly debated in legislatures and newspapers nationwide. Discrimination and oppression afflict every ethnic minority: African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans – even Asian-Americans (the so-called “model minority”) struggle in the racially-charged atmosphere of contemporary America.
In the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the ensuing violence against Korean-Americans, Andrew Sung Park seeks a theological model that will help transform a society of oppression, injustice, and violence into a community of equity, fairness, and mutual consideration. Park emphasizes that such a transformation does not and cannot begin only with good intentions, but must be grounded in an understanding of all the socio-economic and cultural issues that lead to oppression and tension. Using the Korean term han to describe the deep-seated suffering of racial oppression, he then suggests resources for understanding and healing in both Christian and Asian traditions.