Sunday, May 28, 2006


I am really upset with myself.

Yesterday was your picture perfect Southern California day, which screamed for outdoor activities even to this computer geek.

So my new roommate and I took a bike ride to the beach, which turned out to be quite arduous because of the strong winds from the ocean. But the hardwork paid off, and we eventually found ourselves at the beach.

After parking my bike, I wondered off to the men's room which was adjacent to the parking lot. Out of the blue, I heard someone yell out, "Hey, come here."

I looked, and it came from a teenager behind the wheel of an SUV. "Yeah, you" as he motioned to get closer with a hand gesture. Though a bit puzzled, I approached them.

"We are lost. Where's the PCH?" Uttered the teenage boy as his friends in the backseats as well as the passenger's giggled.

"It's right up there. You just came from there." The PCH, which stands for Pacific Coast Highway flanks the beaches of Southern California as the name suggests. Since they were in the beach parking lot, they had to have come from there. What an odd question.

"Thanks." said the boy and he reached out to shake hands with me which I responded to.

"Good luck. Where are you from?" I asked as if to make small talk to diffuse the awkwardness from the whole encounter.

"Texas. And... China." he said to the roaring laughter from his friends in the car as they drove away (Yes, they were white kids).


There you have it, folks. One can go off making grand statements about racism, rudeness, what passes for humor these days, or whatever makes you tick, but I am really upset about my own gullibility. Here is a long list of the "clues" missed by yours truly.

- The rude hand gesture coming from a teenage boy ordering around a 40 year old man: "Hey come here."

- "Yeah, you"

- His buddies in the car gasping for air while laughing their heads off

- "We are lost." One typically does not pay $3 to get into a beach parking lot to ask for directions.

- "Where's the PCH?" See explanation above.

- Then I asked where they were from for no good reason other than to make "small talk" which ended up serving as a prelude to our future Jay Leno's "punch line."

You could look at it as assuming the best in people, but that is not in my nature. My guard was down, and gullibility kicked in, leaving me vulnerable to a bunch of idiot teenagers looking for cheap thrills completely devoid of creativity and flair.



At May 28, 2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Don't let idiots like that spoil your day. You can't help it if dummies choose to make you a part of their dramas.

And next time, when someone says "hey you!" flip turn and walk away.

At May 28, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger The Gig said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. It just goes to show that your character is not like theirs but I would say more like Christ. Don't ever be disappointed in yourself for "killing folk with kindness," and that is what you did, so who gets the last laugh and who gets the blessings for not allowing yourself to go down to their level and act as juvenile as they did. Good going Cho Cho. You're okay in my book.

P.S. Forty is not old. You are still a very young man. What if your oldest child was 40? Think about it.

At May 28, 2006 1:36 PM, Blogger yeshua'smags said... wasn't even a good insult. I mean, if you are going to be rude and stupid at least get someone witty to write your stuff for you!
I can be pretty quick with the insult(though NEVER racist)for a laugh, but I don't even get why it was funny.
Just bask in his stupidity and lack of creativity.
Certaily don't let them win by letting it get to you. ;)

At May 28, 2006 1:44 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

@Jenn: Let's hope that I will be alert enough to just ignore them next time instead of playing into their hands.

@Gig: Thank you very much for the big picture. As to the age reference, it had more to do with some kid young enough to be my son jacking me around.

@yshua'sags: You are a fellow blogger too! I just stopped by your site. As to coming up with digs, I don't mind ethnic ones as long as they are exchanged among good friends, and I do that all the time mostly in self-depreciating manners. You are right. Theirs was just stupid even for a teenager.

At May 28, 2006 2:30 PM, Blogger Granny said...

I'm so sorry it happened. Will we ever get past the racism?

At May 28, 2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David-- This is "Theodora" of the NACR/Spiritual Abuse forums. I'm SO VERY sorry that these idiots spoiled PART of your day for you, but I do hope that you can still retain what good there was in the day. I envy you the ability to BIKE!!! (my husband loves to do this too...and I used to as well, before becoming ill)! be able to get to the beach that way! "Awesome," as the kids say.

I truly wish there were "answers" to these awful situations, but know that your honesty here is a GOOD thing---for all of us. Have you ever considered writing a "guest editorial" for your local paper? You have a gift for descriptive writing, I think..and your ability to put things in perspective might help at least a few people have a better idea of who "YOU" are....the bright, thoughtful, sensitive soul who hungers for true belonging. David...know this...without question, NO do not have to "prove" anything to ANYONE to "belong." It's THEIR loss that their prejudice has cut them off from being able to see people who are "different" from themselves as unique, wonderful Gifts of God.

Hang in there...and thanks for letting us know about your post.


At May 28, 2006 9:15 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Seems like the operative word here would be "pathetic", although I'm sure that doesn't help. Those kids' parents would be horrified to know what they're doing.

At May 29, 2006 12:48 AM, Blogger Gretchen said...

Blechhhh, I hope at least one of those kids will think back on that moment and be VERY ashamed! So stupid!
David, you did the right thing by being yourself and responding so politely. It's probably better that you didn't quite get it right away, it made them look even worse.

At May 30, 2006 7:09 AM, Blogger A thinker said...

oh my goodness. teenagers can be so stupid. don't take it too seriously--you gotta look at it that it's their problem, not yours. Besides, they can't tell the difference between Korean and Chinese? "All Asian people must be from China"--pathetic.

I'm sorry your beach day turned out kind of sour :( I would have felt bad too.

At May 30, 2006 7:56 AM, Blogger Elevated said...

....he did even have the decency to try and pass his idiotic remark with whit...

What kind of line is that?? ...and China. He was probably just excited to see someone that obviously wasn't part of his connected branch family tree.

At May 30, 2006 11:07 AM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...


sorry about my language (well not really except if it bothers you) and their behavior.

I got in an argument about this the other day. People talking about how it is ok to call asians "ching chongs" but it is wrong to use any other racial epithet. We dont mean anything mean by it they said. I said it didnt matter. I also get a little upset when people use the term white trash cause I think that is a devaluing and somewhat classist epithet.

ok...another thing...arent you Korean? And isnt calling a Korean Chinese like calling a Frenchman British or a Puerto Rican a Mexican. They should at least get the ethnicity right if they are going to make a racial slur!

I think fighting against racism is a daily discipline....and not something that comes naturally.
But still something we need to do.

At May 30, 2006 11:18 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

I don't see racism as the main thing here. They are idiots, period. I am sure they are idiots to white people, and find some other reasons to be idiotic to them about.

Most racist people I have come across have "deeper" issues which need to be resolved before getting to their racist attitudes. Often racism is just a tip of an iceberg, and it serves as a manifestation of bigger issues that they got.

I have my share of racist thoughts which say more about me than anything else.

miss cellania, I wouldn't bank on their parents reacting with horror. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. To their credit, it is often the children who overcome their parents' narrow views on race and become tolerant.

At May 31, 2006 10:20 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

So sorry David. You know, I didn't get the joke. Texas, and China. Really, I didn't get it. But I know how you feel. I've been at the other end a few times, though, I'm the type of person who doesn't realize what happened till hours, or days later. Then thats when I hate myself. YOu know me, I like to be honest and I honestly believe that we all have our own racial...I don't know, hang-ups/preferences/predjudices/whatever. And I think they are just as natural as feelings of jealously or anger, though, I think most people will deny it. But, it's when people use these things to intentionally hurt other people, hold other people back, ridicule people, that's when it really bother's me.

Course, I'm the guy who makes fat jokes, so...

At June 01, 2006 11:59 AM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

Jerks. I hate those kind of people. And, it's a shame that kids are like that. It seems like more and more of them are like that these days.

You did the right thing. You thought they needed help, so you helped. That's WAY more than most people would do.

Don't let it get to you. God knows you meant well, and that will get you further in the end than their stupid little stunt.

At June 01, 2006 4:11 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Hey - I would love to get together with you sometime while I'm back. When would be good?

At June 25, 2006 4:56 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

OK, so I'm commenting on this a month after you posted it, but sue me, I was away and missed stuff.

This makes me so angry. It's the kind of thing we should see on a dumb tv show (perhaps one about the very area in which you live...), not have happen to us in real life.

You did do the right thing, despite the outcome, despite claiming that it was just because your guard was down.

Re the kids' parents being horrified, they might be. I did a lot of things as a teenager that would have horrified my parents, despite their best efforts - and despite that when I was older, I was horrified myself!

It's possible - and it's my hope - that some of the gigglers, in a private moment, were ashamed. It happens.

At June 25, 2006 4:57 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

And by the way, if I had a dollar for every easy clue I saw only after I embarrassed myself... I'd be rich.

At July 09, 2006 9:19 AM, Anonymous fr'nklin said...

obviously I'm way behind on reading your posts, but I'm enjoying what I'm reading. This particular post bothers any and all of us who are Christ followers.

I've worked with a large group of affluent white kids for the past 5 years. I can picture what happened. The prejudice you run into w/ teenagers is disappointing. They seem capable of so many extremes...good and bad. Sometimes they'll stick up for a friend or stranger when everyone else is down on them...and then at other times pull off a stupid stunt like the one you described.

They need Jesus. He is the only one who can change our hearts. I wish I could say that these particular teens were not typical white affluent kids...that they were "pagans"...but we know I can't. However, these very teens who acted so very, very poorly could also be capable of great acts of inclusion, love and mercy.

It's hard to love people like that, but then I'm reminded...God loved a rascist like me and changed my heart. I blogged on this not too long ago. Peace...


Post a Comment

<< Home