I’m coming to this one a little late, but for those of you who haven’t heard, the Christian ministry Youth Specialties was in the news recently after it published what they later realized was a “racist” skit in a new book for youth groups. The good thing about this unfortunate incident is that, after being confronted on it, Youth Specialties immediately issued an apology and took actions to make things right. (Please read the entire apology; it’s powerful stuff!)
You can trace the full course of events at my friend Soong-Chan Rah’s blog. In fact, it was Soong-Chan who boldly brought the matter to the attention of Youth Specialties and the book’s co-publisher, Zondervan.
Those of you who’ve read my book will recall that Soong-Chan found himself in the middle of a similar controversy involving another Christian organization’s publication of materials featuring offensive Asian stereotypes. In that case, the ministry would not budge (it, apparently, had invested too much money to apologize and recall the product). In this current situation, however, the offending organization does take steps to correct its error. And I believe it’s a model of true humility, grace, and justice that all Christian institutions and individuals can learn from. Reconciliation is never cheap.