Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Invisibility of Asian Americans: the Feminist Wire

Thanks to Grace Ji-Sun Kim for this reflection on the invisibility of Asian Americans in the news media. She provides examples of how this happens and reflects on why.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Headshot4_small-300x225 Kenneth Bae source:

There is too much racism within our society.  Here is my latest for the Feminist Wire.  So thankful to everyone at the Feminist Wire but especially to Tamura A. Lomax and Aishah Shahidah Simmons.

As we reflect on racism….let us continue to pray for Kenneth Bae and his family.

Where is the public face of Asian Americans in our society? As we follow the case of Kenneth Bae, the only Asian American faces we see on the television news are those of Kenneth Bae and his family. Relatively few Asian American analysts, commentators or advocates (with the exceptions of Connie Chung, Julie Chen, Ann Curry, Sanjay Gupta, and Kaity Tong) appear on the news media.

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Dakota 38

Thanks to my friend and colleague Irv Porter who pointed me to Dakota 38, a video about the Dakota Wokiksuye Memorial Ride remembering the 38 Dakota men hung in Mankato after the U.S.-Dakota War and working for healing and reconciliation. Check it out!

See you along the Trail.

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Reconciliation Park, Mankato, MN

Driving from Estherville, Iowa (where I did a presentation for First Presbyterian Church) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (where I will meet with youth at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, meet with a group working to end human trafficking, and attend the NEXT Church Conference), I noticed a sign to Mankato. I decided to follow and see what I might see.

December 26, 1862 – in the largest mass execution in U.S. history, 38 Dakota were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. The U.S.-Dakota war, as it is named, began in August 1862 fueled by hunger and broken promises. When the fighting ended, the Dakota people were driven from Minnesota.  392 Dakota were tried, 303 were sentenced to death, and 16 were given prison terms. President Lincoln reviewed the transcripts and reduced the number of death sentences to 39. One man received a reprieve at the last minute.

I discovered Reconciliation Park, a simple park near the Minnesota River and across from the Mankato Branch of the Blue Earth County Library. The park features a white limestone buffalo that marks the spot of the executions.

IMG_4242It includes a memorial created to resemble a leather scroll. One side bears the names of the 38 men; the other has a poem and prayer. Benches with the inscription “forgive everyone everything” surround the memorial. The memorial was dedicated in 2012 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the execution. Indian Country Today Media Network reports the dedication came at the end of “a year of lectures, discussions, exhibits, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, concerts and commemorations in the state of Minnesota acknowledging the history of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.”

At the simple memorial, I pondered what I know and what I need to learn of past expressions of racism, oppression, and violence. I pondered contemporary manifestations of racism and oppression and yes, even violence from time to time.

And I added my silent prayer that the day might soon come, and that I might have grace and strength to work for the day, when all our relatives live in community.

See you along the trail.


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Purple flowers, Estherville Presbyterian Church

Estherville purple flowers

Present for Lent?
Present always?
Purple flowers grace the front of the sanctuary at the
First Presbyterian Church of Estherville.

28 March 2014
Estherville, Iowa

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Why I like New York 37: courage

The pipes.

Some people hate them. Some people love them.

The pipes.

Even those of us who love them concede that some songs sound good on them. Some do not.

The pipes.

Scotland the Brave sounds good on them. Stairway to Heaven does not.

The pipes.

Some hymns work on them. Some do not.

The pipes.

Amazing Grace sounds good on them. How Great Thou Art does not.

But the lone piper of the Grand Central 7 train subway chose that hymn.

As poised as the lone piper who closes the tattoo, he played. How Great Thou Art.

I put two dollars in his cup.

To honor his courage.

See you along the Trail.


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Purple flowers, Republic of Korea 7

Eunhaesa Buddhist Temple 28 March 2013 (1024x683)


28 March 2013
Eunhaesa Buddhist Temple
Youngcheon, Republic of Korea

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Purple flowers, Republic of Korea 6

King Suro's Tomb 28 March 2013 (2) (1024x683)

Purple in white,
flowers point to the royal presence.

28 March 2013
Tomb of King Suro
Gimhae, Republic of Korea

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