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November 2008 Extra
For October Extra, Click Here
For Upcoming Sunday
Seminars on Current
Issues at Christ
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the City of Cincinnati
click here.
Somewhere ... Reflections on
Life In the Turn Lane and Beyond
Beverly Jones

It’s quite a stretch to have one foot in two epochal ages – the post- modern age we recognize as
“regular” life and whatever it is that’s coming – for it certainly feels as if “something’s coming”.    
Some of us think we may be in an “axial age” – a time in human history when major shifts occur all
over the world that change the religious, social-cultural context in which individuals try to live their
lives.  That’s the fancy idea; easy to think, exhausting to live.  Axial age refers to the time 800-200
BCE  when
"the spiritual foundations of humanity (Abrahamic & Asiatic religions) were laid simultaneously and
independently within a framework of a changing social environment.” Wikipedia.  During this period,
men and women became conscious of their existence, their own nature, and their limitations in an
unprecedented way.* Karen Armstrong
To me it feels as if all our political upheavals, polarizations and financial crises are discussed and
rearranged in order to fit into a box of ideas and solutions that’s too small; but, it’s the only box we
know.  We don’t seem able to cram it all in and we don’t seem to have alternative boxes....yet.  
Something’s coming, all right.  The leaders of Western countries will try to create a new, cooperative
economic, financial box as a model for the world.  Diane Rehm had a show focused on capitalism –
now that’s hauling out the framework and taking a  look at it!
The presidential campaign painfully demonstrates that the old way does not fit the media boxes we
have; that we’re exhausted and demeaned by it.  We don’t yet have an alternative.  Except the
thousands and thousands of people who stand in line for hours in the sun in order to “feel” the
candidates, commune with each other and cheer what they already know.
So I stand here, or try to, wobbling between my placid, uneventful, confident life Before and the
foggy, scary, shaky life to come.  Katrina victims know this stance well, Iraqi civilians have been here
for awhile and our faith ancestors lived it too.  It’s called exile.  As usual, Jeremiah has just the thing –
for Israel, which was in physical exile and for me in my spiritual and social one:

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from
Jerusalem to Babylon:  “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they         
produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters
in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not
decrease.  Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.
Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:4-7

To me, this says now is the time, in the midst of our dislocations, to carry on; choose Life.  Don’t get
sucked into the despair and finality that circumstances, or tv pundits trigger or the grief of what’s
lost.  Even though I’m not going to build a house or plant a garden or marry or have sons and
daughters,  I can still seek the peace and prosperity of my community and know that what I can do to
make it prosper is the only way to go.        
Jared Bernstein, an economist, makes clear the past and possible future for our beleaguered country
in his book All Together Now: Common Sense for a Fair Economy.  He calls what’s been the guiding
economic philosophy for two generations YOYO (You’re on your own – privatizing everything) and
what could be possible: WITT, (We’re in this together –using government judiciously).  These
economic frames have been adopted into religious theologies and philosophies.  Our political
polarization and the depth of emotion it elicits, as well the frame for our financial crisis are made clear
in this little book.  
Wow!  We’re not just electing a president or moving money around on paper, we’re struggling with
who we are as human communities, our relationship to our creator/ higher power and how to shape
that into a life together.  No wonder the pundits don’t know how to read “the indicators” and polls.  
We haven’t been here for 2209 years! That’s actually a balm – it makes sense that I should feel
unsettled, anxious and sad.

As I carry on I will try to follow Jeremiah’s advice, while praying Stephen Sondheim’s promise:

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Somewhere.

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

Somewhere.
We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

© Beverly Jones - October 11, 2008.  Do the Doing. Together.
*Karen Armstrong’s Interview re Axial age:     http://www.wie.org/j31/armstrong.asp  
On 10/31/2008, the Urban Morgan Institute the University of Cincinnati College of
Law presented a panel discussion on "The Representation of Guantanamo Bay
Detainees"  Shown above is William J. Butler introducing the distinguished panelists
from back to front, Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
Lt. Colonel Yvonne R. Bradley, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the 514th Air
Mobility Wing, and Thomas B. Wilner, Managing Partner, Shearman & Sterling LLP,
International Trade & Global Relations Practice.  These three lawyers also received
the  William J. Butler Human Rights Award at the dinner cerermony that evening.  
The discussion may be viewed at the U C College of Law webcast by
clicking here.

CINCINNATI HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION PRESENTS
THE 2008 GREAT YOUTH DEBATE 11/08/2008
City Council Chambers, Cincinnati City Hall
Issues debated:
Should use of the N-word be banned from media and the radio?
Should all types of public schools in all locations have equal total funding per student?
Shoud gay marriage be legal throughout the United States?







THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR has gotten bigger - we are now on the air weekly on public radio
WAIF-
CINCINNATI 88.3 FM and our broadcast time has moved to prime-time  Monday evenings, 5 - 6
PM.

THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR will continue to feature talk, and music, and other good things with a
discernable slant towards Asian American affairs, immigration, and many other issues of interest to
our community-at-large.
 THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR is produced and hosted by Charleston Wang
with Mary Joan Reutter  as co-host, together with our distinguished guests.

So, tune in to
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR on WAIF-CINCINNATI 88.3 FM. every Monday 5 - 6 PM.
Get the latest on the Asian American community in Cincinnati, the fast growing and mobile community
in the Tri-state.   

After listening to the
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR, e-mail us direct feedback and thoughts by
clicking here.  If you or a friend wish to be a guest on THE  ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR,  please let us
know.  Tune in to
THE ASIAN AMERICAN  HOUR every Monday 5 - 6 PM on WAIF 88.3 FM Cincinnati
on the air or on the internet streaming audio by
clicking here,
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR on WAIF 88.3 FM
Cincinnati
IS NOW A WEEKLY PRIME-TIME SHOW
EVERY MONDAY EVENING  5 - 6 P.M.
Informing the People of Cincinnati (and Beyond) since 6/7/2001.

asianamericanhour@wangnews.net
UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI COLLEGE OF LAW URBAN MORGAN INSTITUTE
William J. Butler Human Rights Lecture and Award 10/31/2008
"The Representation of Guantanamo Bay Detainees: Personal Experiences"
AN ACOLYTE LIGHTS A CANDLE ON ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
AT CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL DOWNTOWN CINCINNATI
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Shown in photos above:  Left photo shows the judges looking towards the debater in
Cincinnati Council Chambers.  
Photos on right from top to bottom show the third place, Oak Hills High School,
debaters Megan Damcevski (not in photo), Blake Wagner, (not in photo) and Connor
Ruebusch (top photo on right); second place, Withrow University High School
debaters Brittani Brown, Taylor McCleod, and Diamond Austin (from left to right of
center photo); and first place Summit Country Day School debaters  Jay McLean,
Stephanie Ogban,  and Max Williams (from left to right of bottom photo).    
Cheryl Meadows, Executive Director CHRC is shown presenting the awards.
Anna Rahtz, CHRC Project Coordinator is shown at right of top photo.
and she has provided the following details on the Great Youth Debate:

On Saturday November 8th, high school youth from six area schools had a chance to
publicly debate controversial issues of race relations, cultural diversity, and
education.  The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC), with funding from
the College of Mount Saint Joseph Student Philanthropy Project, sponsored the
"Great Youth Debate" in the Cincinnati City Council Chambers.  

Modeled after the 2007 movie, "The Great Debaters," teams of three students
argued the affirmative and opposition sides of policy issues, representing their
schools.  The six teams were from: Madeira High School, Oak Hills High School,
Summit Country Day School, Withrow University High School, Woodward Career
Technical High School, and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (made up of students
from Western Hills University High School and Walnut Hills High School). Don Juan
Fasho of 101.1 FM, the Wiz, moderated the debate.

The topics of debate included: 1) banning the use of the N-word in the media; 2)
equal funding of public schools; and 3) legalization of gay marriage in the U.S.   The
debaters were scored individually and overall as a team by five judges on an
objective 10-point scale on criteria such as: professional conduct, speech delivery,
effectively rebutting opponents' arguments, and backing up arguments with reliable
facts.  The judges included: College of Mount Saint Joseph students Marvin Brooks,
Rhyanne McDade, and Sondra West; attorney Anisha Asha Williamson; and Aiken
University High School educator David Fairbanks.

Summit Country Day School won first place, and was presented with a $150 prize to
the school.  Withrow University High School won $100 for second place, and Oak Hills
High School won $50 for third place.  Cash prizes were designated to be spent by the
schools on educational expenses.  All debaters received participation trophies.

While the judges deliberated, the audience was given a chance to speak out on the
issues, as well as to give feedback on the event. -  Report by Anna Rahtz.

Based upon the responses and requests from the audience, the CHRC plans to
convene additional youth debates in the future.  
 The CHRC is interested in
making the Great Youth Debate an Annual Event and solicits your input in
making it happen.   Please contact Cheryl Meadows, CHRC Executive
Director, at 352-3237.  
On 11/11 and 11/12/2008, Cincinnati World Cinema showed Wong Kar Wai's "In the Mood for Love"
at the Cincinnati Art Museum. This movie was presented in conjunction with the Cincinnati Art
Museum's
China Design Now exhibition.  "In the Mood for Love" is the winner of Best Actor at the
2000 Cannes Film Festival and many other awards.  Professor Chenliang Sheng of the English
Department of Northern Kentucky University was on hand to lead a discussion of the subleties of
this beautiful movie.  Shown in photo above are Tim Swallow of the Cincinnati World Cinema with
Professor Sheng.  For more information on Cincinnati World Cinema
click here.  For more
information on the
China Design Now exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum (see photo below),
click here.

              THE MYTH OF THE  MODEL MINORITY

One Sunday morning in October, our community was jolted awake by the morbid news of an
apparent double murder-suicide at a local Chinese restaurant.   The comments that were triggered
by this tragedy on the internet and elsewhere are just as disturbing.   Some people pointed to the
economic slowdown and linked it with the stereotype of Asians committing suicide to escape the
dishonor of business failure.  Yet others manifested a glib “they are not like us” attitude. Asian
American small businesses, many of which are restaurants, are an inseparable part of our economy
and they share in the hard times and well as good.   We are not isolated islands but every one is
part of this land.   The stereotype of the model Asian minority who can outwork the rest is just a
myth.  I know of more Asian American businesses which have closed or are closing along with the
others in this downturn of economic fortunes. The unexpressed tragedy I have sensed, beginning
with my own gut reaction, is that the Asian American community tends to pretend that “no big
matter” has happened and life for the rest somehow will go on as normal if only we take care of our
own business.   This is followed by an inability to talk about and deal with such problems as a
community.  Because of cultural differences and language complications, generally there is also
reluctance within those afflicted to reach out for help early when tragedy may yet be prevented.    
Beyond this, the reality is that there is limited availability of organizations and professionals to help
Asian Americans who are suffering domestic violence and other severe social and mental health
problems that may lead to homicide. I hope our greater community can come to view the lives lost
with compassion and then reach out to help when help will still make a difference.  We should
realize that during these difficult times, misfortune can strike any of us.  In the final reflection, we will
be seen as helping ourselves.  
An opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang 11/11/2008.
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For more information & to order a copy,
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Capturecincinnati2008 book
release & book-signing  party at
Joseph-Beth Bookstores on
Madison Road 11/19/2008