Korean American Peter Chin is pastor of Peace Fellowship Church in Washington, D.C. It’s a predominantly African American church in a neighborhood where relations between blacks & Korean Americans has not always been good.
He talked to NPR and credits his parents for not filling his mind with prejudice.
“I think there were things that I was taught verbally and things that I was taught kind of implicitly. Verbally, I really have to hand it to my parents. I’ve never heard them ever express verbal kind of prejudices towards other people. They were very careful, I think, in trying not to express that. But I think, in the Korean community at large, that so many of them were store owners in the inner city and either had these experiences themselves or knew people who had been affected by them. That undercurrent was palpable. I mean, children learn so much that’s nonverbal that they’re not actually being told. They pick up on undercurrent and sentiments and I think, in that sense, there was an undercurrent of fear, Chin told NPR.
He draws a link between prejudice and people who make assumptions that something is true without really knowing. He says knowing something is probably true doesn’t make it true. It’s that leap in logic that he believes gets people into trouble.
“Without proof, without knowing, really, if something is happening because of one reason or another, it’s a jump in logic to say it simply is,” said the Pastor. He wrote about his beliefs in a piece for Christianity Today entitled “Daddy, Why do People Steal From Us.” You can hear all about it in an interview on NPR.