Last week I posted a vaguebook request on my author Facebook page:
My Dear Readers,
I’d love your prayers. I am speaking two more times at chapel… I had something that happened at the first chapel that has shaken me up a bit….
There wasn’t enough time to elaborate but as a Christian brought up to believe prayer and the covering of prayer by your community is important I asked for prayer. I couldn’t type more. I couldn’t think about it too much because I wanted to cry, vomit, and scream.
Last week I was speaking on a Christian campus at the morning chapel services. I was preaching/speaking/talking using Mark 5: 21-33 as my text. I love this passage about Jairus and his 12-year-old daughter and the bleeding woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. I have part of the passage tattooed on my right forearm as a reminder of what Jesus does for this woman.
I used the words menstruation and menstrual blood because that why the woman was bleeding. As a woman who was taught to be ashamed of her body and the things it did in order to one day bring forth life just like Mary did for Jesus, I believe it’s important to be beautifully explicit. I joked that it was probably the first time a chapel speaker talked about periods. I didn’t get much of a laugh. Whatever, I thought I was funny.
But the call to prayer was because as I was wrapping up I talked about a few things that are broken in this country, things that break my heart and make me desperate for Jesus. I mentioned the mass shooting that had just occurred in Aurora, IL and the arrest of an 11-year-old boy in FL who had refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance.
That’s a lie!
That’s when things got tense.
I believe my wording was along the lines of: “An 11-year-old was arrested for refusing to stand for the pledge of allegiance. I don’t know what you thought about Colin Kaepernick, but an 11-year-old being arrested breaks my heart.”
And then a male voice from the audience yelled back: “That’s a lie. He made terrorist threats!”
I have never felt so unsafe as I did in that moment.
In a split second I had to:
- decide if I would respond to the man. I did not. I paused, caught myself and went on.
- decide if I felt safe enough to stay on stage or trust the school would remove me from stage if someone else felt like I was in danger. I stayed but learned someone had moved quickly to get to me just in case.
Two more times
And then I went back up and did that same talk two more times. But I did it differently because after the first time I was asked about the Florida boy’s arrest. I was asked how I was feeling and if I was ok, but the conversation quickly shifted to the news story and one response was to point out that technically the boy was not arrested for refusing to stand for the pledge. No, technically no one can be arrested for that because it isn’t illegal to sit during the pledge. But the point was indirectly made clear that the particular example was now in question.
I just wrote a book about raising your voice and speaking up about the things we are most passionate about, and I am writing this as an example of when I chose to back off. I decided that for the next two talks I would not use the example of the 11-year-old being arrested, in part because his refusal to stand for the pledge angered the substitute teacher. I decided that I could not count on the school supporting me, a paid outside speaker, if and when concerned students, parents of students, and alumni emailed the school.
I decided that even though the man yelling at me was lying (the boy in Florida did not make terrorist threats) I didn’t want or need to put myself in that situation.
But it got me thinking
I’m not sure what I said the next two times I got up to preach/speak/talk. I did not feel great or even good about what I said and how I said it. I was unnerved, shaken, and scared. I did not know where the voice was coming from or if that young man was going to approach the stage. It didn’t matter which school it was, which state I was in, what the laws are. I didn’t know.
As a woman of color who talks publicly about things that are considered political (Jesus should get under everyone’s law and order skin because he didn’t care the woman broke the law by being in public while she was bleeding and unclean), I am not new to controversy. For all of the public speaking events I have done I have never once asked about crisis protocol, but this experience got me thinking about what I need to be asking event planners in the future.
It also got me thinking about imposter syndrome because in that moment of fear was also the fear that I had failed and couldn’t do the whole speaking in public thing even though that was exactly what I was doing. I told a friend of mine later that I felt like a failure, that as a WOC I can’t just be good enough or average. I have to be better than my best because so few of us get invited to preach/speak/talk that I feel like if I mess up event planners will be less likely to invite me again AND less likely to take a chance inviting another WOC they do not know or are less familiar with than, say, a white man or woman who has more platform than I. Does that sound absurd? This is what imposter syndrome operating in white supremacy sounds like. It tells me and other WOC that we have to actually be better than the average white woman or man to have a chance because we don’t get the same chances to build platform and audience.
It also made me angry. I have been asking for the past 10 years for an additional plane ticket to public speaking events so that I do not have to travel alone. I would’ve loved having a friend or my husband with me to pray with and cry with after this was all over. There were good people on campus with whom I could talk with, but no one I could just be completely honest and vulnerable with. I held it together like a professional Christian and waited until my husband greeted me at the curb and then I cried.
For all the conservative values around women and ministry and marriage, etc. you’d think I would’ve gotten at least one additional plane ticket in 10 years but maybe it’s because I’m a woman or a WOC with a smaller platform and less pull? Whatever. I’m still mad.
Welcome to the Christian Industrial Complex.
The man was removed from the auditorium. I was told that it was swift, and I didn’t hear or see a commotion. I’m grateful. Rumor has it he was told that he should know better than to use the words “terrorist threats” these days in an auditorium, but the young man most likely would never be considered a terrorist, maybe a lone wolf at worst.
I’m grateful I’m safe and that he was removed without incident. I’m grateful he didn’t have a gun. I’m angry that I have to worry about this. I’m angry that I felt like my choice of words were in question and would not be supported. I’m angry that people may think this happened because of the specific campus or state. Nope. It’s all broken, it’s heart breaking, and it makes me desperate for Jesus.
This all came on the heels of my leaving InterVarsity Christian Fellowship after 21 years of ministry. This chapel talk that shook me to the core was on the Monday after my last day with an organization that helped shape my leadership and confidence. The devil is a liar but a sneaky one at that.
I’m not sure what’s next. I do know there aren’t any chapel talks or public events until May. There is time to cry some more, rest some more, pray some more.
My Dear Readers, thank you for praying, for the messages, for the texts. Thank you to the students who reached out via IG. No, that man doesn’t represent the whole of your community but he does represent a part of your community. His community patted him on the back and will use it as an example. What will you do with that knowledge? How will you love and correct siblings like that? And for that matter, that man isn’t just on a college campus. He’s in our churches and communities. My Dear Readers, how will be love and correct them when some of us are put in risky situations? How will thoughts and prayers cover us?
Kathy, I have no words. This is unspeakably unacceptable, on so many levels. I am sorry I somehow missed the call to pray but even more sorry that the call had to be sent out. That man was far more of a terrorist than that 12-year-old kid could even imagine and he should have been removed from the auditoriumIMMEDIATELY. KATHY, please hear me: your voice is important, intelligent, thoughtful, righteously (and rightfully and appropriately) angry, and it is vital. VITAL. Please do not let this ugly event keep you from speaking truth to power in the future because I am confident that there will be many, many more invitations to come.
Oh wow Kathy. How awful and how vulnerable and scary. You do continue to amaze me on how strong and courageous you are… that you were able to get up again and deliver your message. You still raised your voice even when you were threatened. That takes so much to persevere that way. I think they should find out if that guy has any white supremacy connection.
I find it ironic that you write a book about speaking up, but are so distraught when someone speaks up for a different point of view other than your own. I was in that chapel session, and while trying to stay awake through your repetitive use of the menstrual cycle, I too perked up to the acknowledgement of the eleven year old boy. I do not agree with the terroristic threats part of the boy yelling but your statements did try to make the story seem like he got arrested for just the pledge and I’m glad someone spoke up against you. You may have meant no harm in saying what you did, but what you said was wrong and especially in today’s media where stories are oversimplified and even lied about it is good to get facts straight instead of taking things for face value. I think it an extreme exaggeration that you were ever in any danger and after looking at your past social media post hypocritical of you to be so upset this happened.
Marcus, I guess you missed the parts about Jesus. So was the man who yelled wrong and a liar?
I find it strange that you are glad someone “spoke up against” Kathy because what she said was “wrong” and yet what that young man yelled is demonstrably wrong. Should someone have stood up and yelled at *him* then? Where were you in all this? Why didn’t you step up then? Why are you coming to this blog post and speaking up in this way at this time? Have you reached out to the young man who shouted at Kathy and shared with him how he was wrong? If not, why not?
What you experienced would have also been scary to me. The fact that another person from that event came to your website to speak this way to you is annoying, but also scary. I’m sorry you had to endure this alone. You deserve better and you’re great for doing God’s work in this world.
Ok Kathy you did say you spoke at a chapel.. ? It is disturbing you are receiving these kinds of attacks. These are not people who sound like they know Jesus. Such disrespect is not the way of Jesus. I am sorry you are experiencing all this.
Marcus, you are allowed to have your personal opinions, though it seems that you have missed the point. The way I read it, Kathy wasn’t disturbed by “someone speaking up for a different point of view” as you perceive (and therefore judge as hypocritical), it was the context, the tone in which they were said, and the implications of those words.
On one level, that man saw fit to interject and interrupt an invited speaker in the middle of her talk at a chapel, not simply interrupting her, but accusing her to be a liar. It was a verbal attack. Whether you and I agree with what was spoken is secondary – that act itself was inappropriate, disrespectful, and even hostile. Those things alone, on a very surface level, are enough to leave any public speaker uncomfortable and vulnerable.
On another level, why did that man take permission to speak out in the context, with the words he used, against the person he did? I take a second look at loud voices that don’t need any encouragement to speak out, especially the ones that speak out in simple terms that don’t shed light on the truth; and in this case, spoke an outright lie. I worry about the implications of these words, because these are the words and the beliefs that have immense power to harm those who have tended to have less power or even none. Indeed, these days, stories are oversimplified and facts are often obscured -neither the liberal or conservative is guiltless in that area. But, I am by far more concerned by the person who speaks loudly without awareness (or perhaps care) for the implications of his words and position.
I hope that makes sense.
Assuming you are a brother in Christ, I would ask, at the very least, that you have a little more empathy for someone whose shoes you were (and currently are) NOT in, and a little more humility in the way that you express your concerns about oversimplifying stories (a valid point) and your opinions about a talk, without being demeaning towards them or invalidating their experience.
Brokenhearted about this. Grateful for your safety and for your beautiful voice. You are a gift.
Thank you for the risks you take. I just wanted you to know I read this and that I hold you in my heart.
Thank you for sharing and remaining in the integrity that makes many of us love you, respect you and will continue to carry you forward in prayer and praise. Thank you for doing your best to honor God with the gifts you are given and following the call, which is often difficult and narrow to walk upon. I pray that God will continue to surround with angels to keep you safe and to keep you going. Keep raising your voice the way the Holy Spirit has invited you to do so.
Just because you can speak out or respond to something does not mean you should. Part of being brave and speaking your mind comes with the responsibility of knowing when to and when not to speak. Staying quiet is just as powerful as saying something. Clearly, you are a male who has lived a life of privilege. Feeling unsafe in a space where you do not see yourself represented can be daunting and scary. Especially, if you are being yelled at- YOU are oversimplifying this story. We live in a time where evoking a negative response in someone can be a dangerous thing. I hope that one day you may use the privilege you have to defend the one’s who do not have that same privilege.
I too was in that Chapel I couldn’t be more grateful that the man stood up and called her out on her lie. The 11 year old boy did make terroristic remarks. A terroristic threat is a threat to commit a crime of violence or a threat to cause bodily injury to another person and terrorization as the result of the proscribed conduct. All you have to do is read one article to realize that is exact what happened. So thankyou to that young man for standing up and refusing to let Kathy force her lies down the throats of hundreds of young men and women including myself. You are a hero. I also encourage you all to watch the young man speak on his view of the situation on the Baylor Young Conservatives of Texas(YCT) YouTube Channel. It may open your eyes to the rest of the Kathy’s lies.
I was in this chapel, this kid did not “verbally attack” you or do anything to scare you. He realized, just like many others in the audience that you were talking about a story that you were not educated on and he wanted to make sure this story and agenda did not get spread to the student body. I am sorry that this offended you, but if differing opinions scare you as badly as you say then maybe you should not be a public speaker.
I was also in this chapel, the fact that you used God to hide behind race bating rhetoric Is disgusting, you lied! You said an 11 year old was arrested for protesting. That is a lie! And that’s not Christian. You also stated Every race that’s more likely to commit suicide except for white males which has the higher rate of suicide by far out of any group! You’re a terrible example of a Christian, acting like you were in danger. You talk about speaking up, then slander someone who calls out a lie. Then act like you could have been shot! Really?! He wasn’t escorted out at all! But way to dramatize someone speaking out against a lie and a race bater. The truth shall set you free!
You are part of the problem. Everyone needs to have a voice but you shut down all voices that go against your feminist agenda. You have used Christ as a front to push your liberal agenda
You have to see the gross irony of your speech You credit Jesus in responding to a law breaker with love and understanding and when this young man speaks out against your misrepresentation of a news report, you blog that you were in fear for your life and need security and emotional support. To give your speach integrity you should have met with this young student and admitted your error and congratulated him. Instead you took that comment out of your subsequent speeches and blogged a complete spin under the guise of a prayer request. Please quit defaming this student as a Liar. If you had done even a little research you would know your account of the Florida boy is inaccurate.
My roommate is the one who spoke up. I have never heard him lie. He is an upstanding Christian. He was not lying about the terroristic threats part of the story. He was tired of hearing lies from chapel speakers that we are forced to listen to if we want to graduate. The entire student body is tired of hearing lies. That 11 year old student was removed from class because of the disturbance between him and the substitute teacher, which I’m sure is protocol no matter what the incidence, but he was arrested only after “making another disturbance and [making] threats while he was escorted to the office.” (Washington Post). It is incredible to me that you can write a book about speaking up for what’s right and then criticize someone who is doing exactly what you encourage people to do. He spoke up and you didn’t like it, so now you’re throwing him under the bus to distract from the fact that you lied to a student body and got caught. Unacceptable. I and many other students hope you never come back to speak again as we cannot trust what you say.
You’ve never heard him lie? Wow. That’s amazing.
I can’t help but think that you missed an incredible opportunity to use the interruption as an EXACT EXAMPLE of what you were talking about — when you feel called to speak up, then have the courage to do so! Wouldn’t that have strengthened your message? What a missed opportunity. It’s almost ironic in how perfectly the interrupting student exemplified your point.
I am disturbed by these hostile responses and can understand why Kathy you would feel threatened. It is obvious many of these responses come from a privileged place by those who entirely missed your heart and your message, as well as misunderstanding your book. And even after watching this student’s video it doesn’t validate his action. In fact I am glad he was questioned after being escorted out. Upsetting to me you have had to endure such treatment… and continue to experience through these accusations.
Kathy, I am so sorry about these attacks. Praying for God’s peace and fortitude as you continue forwards. Praying for your prophetic voice to be raised up more and more through Christ’s power.
Kathy, I’m so sorry some of these comments have been posted. I am angry that your fear and emotional stress of the experience have been so rudely and ignorantly dismissed. As a woman, we never know when a man will be violent, when words will turn into actions. IF I give the man who shouted the benefit of the doubt (and that’s a big IF) and assume that he didn’t intend any harm, he is still a man who shouted at a woman and that is an inherently aggressive action. The commenters here who are denying this are foolish and hateful.
I have actually approved each and every comment on this thread so that the ugliness is exposed. Thank you, Ginny, for your understanding. It’s a bit sad to know many of these comments are from college students.
I watched the video and agree that the response of this man was completely disrespectful. Having attended a Christian college as well, how sad it is to hear that Chapel now is only to be an echo chamber, and if one does disagree, one has impunity to personally attack the speaker, as do their family members instead of inviting the speaker for further discourse.
One outcome is that now we know what we would not have known and many of us will no longer look to Baylor as a potential college for our kids if this is the type of community that is encouraged. What a shame.
As a student at this university, we believe in the principles of the Bible, one of which is “thou shalt not lie.” I do not understand why y’all are not phased by the fact that Kathy Khang lied to hundreds of students to bolster her argument. This guy did all the students a favor by correcting her and giving the real facts, something Kathy is apparently not capable of. No, calling out in the middle of a speech is not necessarily “respectful,” but I challenge that if some other speaker had lied and Kathy Khang was in the audience she would have probably spoken up, rightfully. It is rediculous y’all are angry at someone who just wanted people to know the truth. This isn’t an attack, this is a defense of truth and students’ rights to be presented fair information, not lies. It is an attack on truth for someone to go on stage and knowingly misrepresent information.
I know the person you are referring to. He is an upstanding man of God who cares about others and stands up for what is right. He called you on something that you stated that was NOT factual and he corrected you. He even made a video and cited sources of his information. Baylor has a recent history of bringing in speakers that take the Bible and it’s lessons and make it political, trying to further the agenda of the Chapel director. “Chapel Ryan” is regarded around campus as one of the least helpful, most hypocritical, selfish man we have seen in leadership.
I am sorry you felt scared, but that was an overreaction on your part. Stop assuming that everyone with a different opinion from yours is out to get you or hurt you.
I was in this chapel and yes, she did begin her message with Jesus and the message of the gospel, BUT that quickly turned to using “Christian” beliefs to attack white people and our “privilege”. This is one of MANY times Baylor has invited speakers to push their agendas under the guise of Christianity. It’s quite upsetting as students that we are required to attend chapel for attendance; we are repeatedly fed lies and indoctrinated by speakers trying to force their political ideologies down the throats of Baylor students (for example, Shane Claiborne). Playing the victim in this situation is unacceptable.
The day we value politics and slandering a college student over tolerating conflicting views under the unifying love of Jesus Christ is a sad day.
Two of my children are students at the university where you were speaking that day. There are plenty who are addressing the truth of the events that occurred, so I won’t add anything to those details. I would like to add that a “woc” leading them is not new for these students, as they are lead in worship every chapel service (twice weekly) by a young African-American woman. Your assertion that your gender or non-whiteness was issue that day is patently false.
Dear Ronda Rose,
Why did you put scare quotes around WOC? Why “WOC”? Why is the presence of one WOC mean that gender or non-whiteness cannot be an issue at all? Are you saying that because there is one young African American woman all issues around gender, race or ethnicity can’t exist?
That is a lie people like you have made Baylor’s chapel a political swamp. I ask you leave your political views out and check sources before you speak about it. The only thing breaking this country are people like you who use your pedestal to get your view across and lie to others to believe you.
The day we begin to value divisive politics and slandering a college student over listening with an open mind and tolerating opposing viewpoints while remaining unified under Jesus’s eternal love is a very sad day for all of us.
Any colleges reading these comments to see if she would be a good for their Christian environment please do your due diligence and look at her twitter account. There is nothing Christian about this woman. Even The devil believes in God and Jesus. This my friends is scary stuff. I had know idea there was a sect of “Christianity” that held these beliefs. They are certainly not biblical. She is anti white, Pro LGBT, and will spin scripture like you’ve never imagined. WARNING!! We are called to love and forgive EVERYONE why on earth are we still judging each other by the color of their skin!!
I’ve heard both sides of this chapel story and I’ve done my research on the Florida student. I have also had to sit through the continueally progressive chapel in question. If you feel threatened by someone calling you out on your bullshit then you need to get a thicker skin. People these days have been told that no matter what they do or say that there will be no consequences yet when are held accountable for their actions don’t take the blame but divert it to someone else. I believe Leviticus 19:11 embodies the situation perfectly. She was intentionally lying and decieving the students to push her own liberal agenda. This should not be tolerated and in this case was not. The student who stood up and called her out knew the truth and had done his own research. We are students and as such know how to read and are usually informed on the news and current events in our society (as is taught by our professors). As for the speaker feeling threatened, all I can say is that if you felt threatened why would you be there to begin with? Maybe next time you feel like race bating a student population or feel like speaking on a subject to which you have not done enough research or any research for that matter, you’ll think twice. We as the student body will not tolerate this partisan and divisive rhetoric. All I can say is I’m glad I never have to sit through another chapel session and I hope you’ll check your privelege before you walk through those doors next time (if there is a next time).
Dear Someone Who Gives a Shit but doesn’t want his/her name or email traceable bother to comment on my blog and write as if I’m not here??? The speaker? I’m the speaker. My name is Kathy Khang.
Using the Holy Word of Jesus Christ to further your political agenda is sickening
Thank you Ms.Khang for revealing yourself for the False Prophet you are. These are definitely not the attitudes of Jesus. We are all part of Gods human race. He does not see color. You further revealed yourself on Twitter not only by your actions but by also not rebuking your supporters hate filled profanity to say the least. At one point a supporter even reporting a conservative group to school officials because she disagreed with their view. (Does she not know you authored a book encouraging free speech?) Thank you for that as well because it brought much light to the entire situation. The initial response from the school has subsequently been deleted and it’s my guess you will not step foot in a speaking capacity on that campus again. The only way to redeem yourself at this point would be to delete your entire social media but you can’t do that because you have a book to sell. If you have been deceived in believing you can win non believing non whites to Jesus to further your cause I assure My God I serve does not need your twisting of scripture to help him.
Linda, so nice to see you here and on Twitter. You have reminded me that I authored a book encouraging free speech. That isn’t actually correct. It is about using your influence to be and be about the Good News of Jesus, but I don’t think you’ve read the book. I am confused. You refer to free speech, so why should I rebuke someone for their choice of language? And why should I stop someone else from reporting a student group? Also, what are you suggesting I redeem myself from when you write, “The only way to redeem yourself at this point would be to delete your entire social media but you can’t do that because you have a book to sell.”? What am I in need of redeeming myself from and why do you keep engaging me on social media if you think I am a False Prophet and should delete my social media?
Honestly, I wasn’t remotely offended by the topic of your message at chapel. I had never heard the story of Mark 5 and been presented the story of the bleeding women in the way you presented it. What I disagreed with was that you used the story of the Florida student and subsequent social media attention to play the victim card. In regards to this event, people don’t disrespect you BECAUSE you are a WOC. People disrespect your opinion because of your claimed victimhood in this situation and your quickness to throw accusations at a student who was acting in accordance with your own doctrine, speaking out. How ironic it is that you have come out so strongly against someone who did this speaking out- your hypocrisy is evident.
I am engaging you on social media so you will be called out. I suggested the only way you could save yourself from being exposed is to delete all of your accounts. I hope you do not. You are a hypocrite in both instances. You encourage free speech to further only your cause, not the gospel. You could have reminded your followers to be respectful of all views rather than call for backup. You truly do not see the irony in all of this. You don’t want an 11 yr old held accountable for being unlawful but you want a college student sanctioned for speaking. You can at any time suggest to your followers to keep their language pure. I am engaging you because you brought an agenda masked as the gospel into a chapel. I will speak the truth in Love. As for “WOC” in parenthesis? That’s because she wants to quote you and not own it. Surely your time at Northwestern taught you that white is also a color.
Those are quotations marks, Linda.
I’m supposed to tell people how to express themselves (“keep their language pure”) but support free speech. You’re not making sense. That friend is angry for me and with me.
How are you speaking in love? Can you explain to me how you are being loving in your multiple comments here and on Twitter, including the one you deleted about feeling embarrassed for me?
Kathy I can see you have resorted to the typical behavior of nit picking and condescending responses when your wrong so I will be done. I’m not sure if your sect of Christianity promotes quiet time with the Lord daily to reflect and ask for any offenses be brought to light but it might be something you would want to consider. You professed in your blog you felt uneasy about using the lie in your subsequent speeches. If you are are a Bible believing, born again, saved by grace Christian, that might have been the Holy Spirit. I Suggest you explore this.
Condescending? Yes, I apologize for my sarcasm. You are trying to correct me about so many things, I resorted to snark. You also were incorrect.
You said you were done yesterday or the day before and invited me to lunch or coffee or something like that, and yet here I find you commenting multiple times.
I felt uneasy using the example. I did not call it a lie. You called it a lie. I was uneasy because I do not enjoy being yelled at in the middle of talk by a loud male voice in an assertive manner when it isn’t a question/answer session. I can’t imagine it’s fun for any public speaker to be interrupted and yelled at in that manner, especially at a Christian school.
We are in the season of Lent. May you meet Jesus in this season, Linda. I trust you are being an honest and truthful Christian when you said you would be done and there will be no more comments from you on this thread.
His character is amazing, unlike yours. This kind of sarcastic reply tells me everything I need to know about your character, and I think you should be ashamed of yourself
Drew, you should be ashamed of yourself.
[…] raised directly to her about the validity of her use of the example, which she discussed in her blog. More embarrassingly, the Baylor Young Conservatives of Texas took to Twitter, praising the student […]
[…] Feb. 25, in response to the incident at Chapel, Khang wrote a blog post on her website named, “Split Second Decisions.” Khang wrote that she talked about a few things that are broken in this country, things that break […]
Keep on, sister!
One of my fears, and perhaps the greatest fear, of my son going to a Christian university is the groupthink and cultural christianity so prevalent at such institutions. My prayer is that the influence of politics and media consumption would be subject to Jesus and Scripture. Kathy, Be encouraged by the Holy Spirit and Protected from the evil one by the power of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God our Father.
Note that some of these comments are from parents of children attending Baylor. Be afraid, and then fear not just like Jesus told Jairus. Thank you for your encouragement, Eric.
My daughter is a student at this University. An easy going, open minded 18year old. The day of this particular event my daughter was so uncomfortable with your presentation that she quickly called me after chapel and urged me to contact someone within the university. Very unlike her to be so moved by something that she felt pushed to action. The way you described the incident is FAR from the way a majority of students in attendance described the actual event. She sent me this link this morning because she was outright flabbergasted at your interpretation of the incident.
Kristin, it sounds like you and your daughter have a good relationship where she trusts you. What a blessing. I write from my perspective, and I am not surprised it would be different from that of an 18-year-old in the audience.
Hey Kathy. As a student here at Baylor, and on behalf of the student body here, I would like to deeply apologize. The way you were treated as our invited guest was truly unacceptable, and there is really no good excuse for the way it was handled. It pains me to see so many members of the student body supporting the disrespect and vitriol that was present that day. I know for me personally, and many others here on campus, we want to see real healing happen. We want to be able to find unity again and bring together a world that feels so divided. How do you feel that I can strive towards this as a college student, and what sort of steps do you think need to happen for real reconciliation?
Hello Kathy- As an alumna of Baylor I would also like to deeply apologize as well for Baylor students. It disheartens me to read that a Baylor student would feel entitled enough to disrupt your talk. There were plenty of times in Chapel that I didn’t agree with the speaker but I never disrupted them. I applaud you for coming to Baylor to speak about privilege and racial equity and ways Christians should respond to these issues. Many Baylor students need to hear these talks, but unfortunately, a lot of them don’t want to. Baylor talks a big talk about diversity, but incidents like these remind me that Baylor’s students and staff still have a long way to go to better understanding what racial equity and privilege actually means. I also literally cannot find anything about this 11 year old claiming terrorist threats? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that there are Baylor students/staff/and alumna that support you and there are students working towards greater diversity and racial equity on campus. In solidarity- Laura
These comments… the incident… for shame. I think, even more than the rude disruption, that searching out this woman’s statement where she says she was fearful, then attacking her MORE is awful.
Wow, Baylor… you guys are certainly ensuring that the rest of us want nothing to do with you. I’m appalled at your hatefulness.
Hi Kathy, As a parent of a 19yo daughter/student at Baylor, I am so sad for you and for what has been so venomously communicated to you by so many here on this thread. Being from California (via the Midwest originally) this “conversation” illustrates my fears about sending one of our kids to the South (Texas) for college. Many White people who have never learned about systemic racism, the real oppression of women, and WOC significantly more so, the reality of White privilege (I’m as white as they come, though have an African-American daughter and niece), etc. are never going to understand, and are going to be defensive, from what I have found. I am sickened by the way the folks here who have attacked you, in the name of Christ, are so ignorant to their ignorance. They truly have no idea what the experience of POC is because they haven’t listened with the intent to understand and grow. I find authors like Soong Chan Rah, Bryan Stevenson and others have been so helpful for me to understand the real challenges POC face. My African American daughter also helps me understand how different her experience is than her White sister. I hope, and will pray, that you will be encouraged by the support you have gotten in this thread, from the school and from your circle of support. Please don’t stop speaking with a loving and firm voice even in the wake of vitriol and mean-spiritedness in the guise of Christianity.
The negative responses you’ve received from so many Baylor students is heartbreaking. I believe they have never experienced being yelled at in the middle of talk. Of course it was threatening. Of course 100 thoughts of possible violence flash through your mind. May you experience the peace of the Holy Spirit as you continue with your important ministry. May Baylor students find in this moment the strength to come together and talk with one another, rather than yell across the void. You are our sister in Christ and we praise God for you.
I understand why it can cause a ton of anxiety to have a heckler yell out during your talk, but you’re making another irresponsible claim by saying that had anything to do with white supremacy or the fact that you’re a woman color. If you’re going to boldly “inform” students then in the future it might require some more intellectual honesty on your part. No one will take your accusations of white supremacy seriously if you’re also the type of person who says you’re lucky a heckler didn’t have a gun. You have a platform and an ability to spread ideas, but instead of arguing your points, you simply continuously point out how oppressed you are and dangerous the white man is. Perhaps that’s an indication that you’re ideas won’t stand on there own. No one gives a shit that you’re a WOC except for you and how you think it’ll excuse your missteps.
Kathy, I am surprised and disturbed by the depth and breadth of the meanness in many remarks here. I write only to bless you, to let you know that I pray for you — and to give you hope. The Spirit works in ways we cannot understand. Just today I read a Messenger post from a former parishioner I had not heard from in more than 20 years. They wrote to thank me for my ministry to them, and said: I am ashamed that for many years I thought you were “wrong” and “heretical” because of gaslighting from churches I attended . . . . “ Hearts and minds change, grow colder or warmer, and flourish or wither. We can only plant seeds. As you continue to plant, may God give you peace, confirm your many gifts, and make your rough places plain.
As a Baylor student, I’m so sorry this happened to you. That kid is ridiculous. You didn’t deserve that, and you don’t deserve the disrespect in these comments. I know you’ll be able to overcome this, and continue spreading the love of Jesus and doing amazing things 🙂
I find it rather baffling that you could not turn to a Christian community for comfort… as if they would not be able to sympathize with you and understand your pain and frustration about being interject upon. Especially being around so many Chaplin’s who are so open to everyone and there to help. I feel that you discriminate against other races, based on this post, your twitter feed, and now your actions. I feel that you felt like you had no one to turn to because most of the population at Baylor is white and therefore would not understand you. We’re all humans capable of feeling the same emotions. Reverse racism is real. Correct me if I’m wrong.
The fact that you seem to lack empathy and immediately blame me for not turning to people I do not know for comfort is a perfect example of why I didn’t turn to those strangers. Also, reverse racism is made up by white people.
“Reverse racism is made up by white people.” Isnt that a stereotype, and therefore racist? Asking for a friend.
You can tell your friend to read the following and then come back so we can have a honest discussion about racism, stereotypes, and archetypes:
The New Jim Crow
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
Divided By Faith
The Next Evangelicalism
Disunity in Christ
I would recommend you read these books yourself as well so that you and your friend can have a good discussion and learn together.
The great thing about this whole thing is that it had absolutely nothing to do with race whatsoever. You lied. He called you out. You’re trying to cover it up. And we’re not willing to accept that. If you really want affirmation it has nothing to do with race, last semester a white guy named Shane Claiborne spoke and said “you can’t be pro life and pro military.” No one spoke up in chapel because it’s not a lie necessarily, just a very stupid opinion. But nonetheless, we were all still enraged at his bashing of the armed forces, with student-veterans in the audience. We’re not racists that have a vendetta against you, we just hate lies and insults.
So are you saying your question for your friend wasn’t really a question but a lie? You don’t have a friend with that question?
In Christ, bye, Drew.
“Asking for a friend” is kind of a saying for “I’m pretty sure I know the answer but I want you to answer yourself.” Saying reverse racism is not a thing is saying “only white people can be racist,” and that is inherently racist.
This whole thread is just so sad and disheartening! For this student to have the audacity to interrupt a speaker and feel he had the privilege to be so rude to a Chapel guest is reprehensible. The fact that this student became so upset over semantics is concerning… yes, the 11 year old student was not specifically arrested for standing for the pledge but, as nearly every news outlet stated the same, he was arrested as a result of the action. Not exactly a “lie”. The substitute teacher pushed that 11 year old child too far and as a result no longer works for that county. That is sad and shameful and should break our hearts. The fact that this college student was suddenly so outraged and acted out over such a small thing is very concerning. Hopefully counseling has been provided for him and I hope the university will instruct it’s students on how to treat future speakers with respect.
Kathy, you are who I want to be when I grow up. You are brave, funny & faithful. Please keep speaking out against injustice <3
As I tell my children, aim higher than my example, Liz. 😉 Thank you!
I attend that university and the vast majority of students I’ve spoken to support you. A certain political group is making attempts to blow this up online and I know many students (including myself) who are embarrassed by this behavior. As a Christian, I’m hurt by the comments attacking your faith. If the student had an issue, he certainly could have spoken with you or a chapel staff member after the speech. Furthermore, the group has admitted that the 11 year old never mad “terroristic threats”. Hence, these dramatic claims about protecting the student body from lies are unfounded and the issue at hand was not so time-sensitive that it couldn’t have waited until after the chapel. I hope you know that so many of my fellow students support speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and would never dream of yelling to interrupt a speech on campus. I wish you the best and hope you can see past the actions of a student group trying to gain attention.
How do I lack empathy when I said that it’d be obsred if you to think that we could not sympathize with you? Yikes. Those people you speak of as strangers are your brothers in Christ. Just a thought. And yes, reverse racism is real and not made up by white people. I feel bad that you hate white people so much.
Also, all of the readings you told Drew to read have to do with a minority of white people who are racist and nothing to do with the fact that other groups of people are racist as well. Double yikes. Maybe you should go read some more books about the other side of the spectrum!
What are those books on “the other side of the spectrum” Sarah? How do you know the books I have listed apply only to a minority of white people? These books actually deal with systemic racism and not individuals, though there are examples to be sure.
As a Baylor alum, I’m deeply ashamed and embarrassed at what happened to you, and at the treatment you’re receiving from some here in the comments. I hope you will continue to receive many invitations to speak, that the Spirit will give you confidence and boldness, and that you will receive fair treatment from listeners.
If there is one thing that has been reinforced over and over again throughout these comments as well as the Twitter threads, it is that this faction of students (and a couple of their family members) have made it abundantly clear that they know absolutely nothing about that which they lay claim to accuse others of doing. It is as if they are shouting, “the earth is flat!” after it has been discovered that the earth is indeed round.
books that have not been read and yet somehow are claimed as being this or that,
trying to school a woman of color on her own experience from a perspective they are incapable of having nor have any desire to attempt to understand,
threatening to (ineffectually) hurt her career because one does not agree with her,
accusing someone of somehow, and in rather cryptic language, calling out brothers and sisters of Christ while literally doing that very thing clearly in the same sentence,
all the while having missed the entire point of this blog entry,
–all of it–
just continues to sail farther and farther away on the Ship of Fools.
The students are parents who are defending the temerity of a student to interrupt a Ms. Khang are missing the whole point.
The issue here is not what is factually true about the incident with the 11-year-old student from the news. If we were sitting around a table to discuss this story, there are many observations we might make about what happened and what it means.
The issue here is not whether the student who did the heckling is a nice person in other circumstances or a “man of God” (whatever you mean by that description). The issue is what happened in this specific circumstance and whether it is OK.
The issue here is also not how you feel about your university chapel program.
The issue is the anger and disrespect that were communicated. It was aggressive and uncivil. It is below the standard of behavior that I would set for myself, my kids, and people I respect. It was not loving. It showed no interest in conversation or engagement. It is only oppositional. For those who commend what the student did as courage: No. It is simply not true that you have to “defend” yourself against a chapel presentation; it is not true that a college student needs to prioritize putting an older, more experienced teacher in her place over his own responsibility for showing good public behavior. The core problem here is that too many comments above are doubling down to argue that Ms. Khang deserved this treatment, rushing not to trust or respect her, even telling her to feel about the situation, while the same people seem totally uncritical of the young student’s conduct.
This is a classic picture of what privilege is and how it works. Or perhaps it is rank tribalism. In either case: Look who is automatically granted “street cred” here and who is not. This is a situation that calls for a deep breath and far kinder, more curious response.
I’m sorry this has happened, Ms. Khang.
soooo…I don’t understand what you want. Should people speak up, or not? I guess you’re only allowed to speak your mind when you’re part of the favored “woman of color” class. Must me nice to be so elite that others are not even allowed to disagree with you.
He disagreed. Fine. Now you and his supporters are upset that he is facing a consequence and telling me what I should do. It’s interesting that you want to throw “woman of color” at my face, hiding behind a junk email address, and then claim this is an issue of class and elitism. Praise be.
Hello, Ms. Khang:
I have followed this incident as well as the wider response it has garnered, most notably from you and your supporters. I rebuke the student for interrupting you, but I rebuke you, a parent about three times his age, for making exaggerated claims about your physical safety. Your youthful supporters have gone even further by branding the responsible student a racist without a shred of evidence to support such a very serious and defamatory charge. You are “the adult in the room,” and a Christian adult at that. You should now become the peacemaker. That is where you might make a constructive difference. So far, you have not done so.
I read your commentary to state or imply that you think the student came to Chapel intending to interrupt you, or worse. Your conclusion is not supported by the record. The facts show instead that many Baylor students for a long time predating your speech have regarded themselves as unwilling members of a “captive audience” that must listen to political viewpoints with which they disagree in a Chapel setting.
The statement which triggered the heckling referenced an incident in Florida concerning the (ridiculous) arrest of a minor in Florida. There is no way short of precognition and telepathy for the responsible student to have known you would raise this topic, let alone that you would get it wrong, as your post seems reluctantly now to admit.
My conclusion is that neither side had any reason to call the other a “liar’ here. The student called you a liar on the unverified assumption that you were as conversant with the reporting about the incident as he was. But, the Baylor student was far closer to accuracy in reporting that the (absurd) Florida arrest of the child was for terrorist threats he made against his teacher. https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/02/17/a-central-florida-boy-was-arrested-after-refusing-to-stand-for-the-racist-pledge-of-allegiance. In most jurisdictions, a threat of violence made against a public employee to intimidate the employee from performing her duty qualifies, although an 11 year old can have no real culpability. The article (despite the misleading headline), specifically states: “School officials also accused the 11-year-old of screaming he would “beat the teacher” and get school leaders fired, though the boy told Bay News 9 that he didn’t threaten Alvarez.”
You make the baseless charge above that the Baylor student lied about the basis for the Florida arrest [“ I decided that even though the man yelling at me was lying (the boy in Florida did not make terrorist threats)],” but your charge fails for the same reason his does: you have no basis to claim that the Baylor student knew his statement was false, and, indeed, it is quite close to the mark if not a bullseye with regard to the underlying incident.
You also systematically exaggerate the supposed threat of physical harm you suffered from nothing more than a short bit of rude heckling for which the student was, as you admit, removed from the Chapel quite quickly. Your post repeatedly references the word “safe” (as if you were not safe at all times) and you make the astounding claim that the student deeply terrorized you [“I have never felt so unsafe as I did in that moment.” “I’m grateful he didn’t have a gun.”]. This is more than a bit much from someone in or close to her 50’s who encourages loud and messy dissent.
You also refer to the heckler in every reference you make as a “man” and never the more specific and more accurate descriptor – student. In fact he is a Freshman male, not really a man for a few more years. By omitting ever to refer to the heckler as a “student” you also imply that “the man” was not a student at all, that he was, perhaps, someone who stalked you from the outside. While you may have had such fears when the incident occurred, you could not have had them when you wrote about the incident.
As you have exaggerated the incident as one threatening your safety, some of your youthful paladins have made the incident about race. There are no facts to support this claim either. The claim is defamatory and dangerous. It creates conflict where none is deserved, at least as to the student. You might encourage the student supporters to deescalate. Their zeal follows your protestations of harm, and, because they are also young, they need some leadership from you to see this very limited incident for what it is, and not what you want it to be to fit into your political template, a subject about which I make no comment. They may of course have valid concerns about racism, but the Chapel incident is not evidence of anything more than bad manners.
Your blog states that this incident will prompt you to pray and reflect. I urge you also to take Christian action. Apologize to the student-heckler for the excesses and untruths in your posts, and make peace for his benefit, yours, and Baylor’s. Explain to him why you were so deeply offended. He is not your enemy, but if he were, you know as a Christian and an elder what your duty is. You have successfully demonized an 18 year old and caused division. Although he was wrong, and wronged you first, you are about three times his age, and can better make peace after 21 years of youth ministry. Help him, and you will help all.
Defamatory. I did not name the school or student. I actually have no idea how old this student is, but he and the university-sanctioned student organization put up a public video naming me and challenging me to respond. Is that the 18-year-old child I demonized? It appears that he and you are the ones escalating this.
Tell me, how did you find out about this incident because certainly you have never commented on my blog before unless you have another email address? Why is this an important issue to you? Is it about the young man? Are you a Baylor alum? Are you the parent of a student? Are you a concerned Christian here to publicly correct someone directly?
You are so incredibly bold to come on this site with your junk email address and no name. Your zeal is what is escalating this issue, dear person created in God’s image.
My job is not to make peace for my benefit, his benefit, or Baylor’s benefit as you have suggested is my duty. As I preached at all three chapels, Jesus invites us to pray God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
1. I did not say that you had defamed the student; I said that the charge of racism made in supposed support of your position by others is defamatory because there is no evidence to support it.
2. Not that it matters, but the civil tort of defamation does not require the defendant to have specifically named the plaintiff if the audience of the defamatory remark understands who the plaintiff is. Ask any lawyer.
3. My observations and conclusions rise and fall based on their merit, and not on who I am. The incident interests me because it typifies how polarized our nation is. I would no sooner give you my nonpublic contact information than I would expect you to provide me yours. Please respect that. I have rights of privacy too.
4. If you do not want to take the initiative as an older person who has participated in youth ministry to de-escalate and reach out to a student who probably does not understand your perspective, you have lost a valuable opportunity and ignored the duty of a Christian elder. Your hands are not clean in this incident: you publicly exaggerated heckling into a supposed threat of violence, and called the student a liar without any evidence. You also seem to ratify here defamatory accusations of racism made by others for which there is no cited evidence.
5. Zeal is just what I don’t have. I am a former police officer and current lawyer who is used to seeing both sides of a dispute. As a neutral, I am merely making recommendations. If I had a way to communicate with the student, he, too, likely would not like my assessment.
6. In urging peace, I escalated nothing. I find wrong conduct on both sides, as I said in the second sentence of the first paragraph of my earlier post [“I rebuke the student for interrupting you, but I rebuke you, a parent about three times his age, for making exaggerated claims about your physical safety”].
Because I am older and a parent I cannot fear for my physical safety? I felt threatened. It is interesting to me how many people are telling me over and over and over I do not have a right to feel afraid on a campus where the group that published the video naming me also supports concealed carry on campus. You are not neutral and neither am I.
You can communicate with the student. He published a video on YouTube and he made clear in the video he is a member of a conservative student org on campus. I also moderate comments on my blog because those are the rules. Your comments have been held in moderation.
Just retitle your presentation “Raise Your Voice, BUT NOT TO ME: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up, BUT NOT TO ME”. That way, people know what you really mean. Sad that you have to wave your “woman of color” flag to try and gain sympathy. A true STRONG woman of color would be able to recognize and admit when they say something false, not run crying to their husband in the parking lot wailing “an 18 year old pointed out my incorrect statement! But…but…but I’m a woman of color…I’m never wrong!”
So sad that so many people who weren’t even there make the assumption that the student is a white supremacist. Be careful, YOUR racism is showing.
The child was charged with disturbing a school event and NON-VIOLENT resistance of arrest. The teacher was the adult in the situation and unequipped to handle their classroom in a manner that was trauma-informed and ethical. Not standing for the pledge of allegiance is well with-in the student’s right. It should have never been challenged. The adult chose to escalate the situation by engaging a child in a power-struggle. His behavior may have been seen as disobedience by the teacher, but it was never criminal. Law enforcement never should never have been called for an issue of school discipline, and it would have ever gotten that far had the teacher observed the student’s right to refrain from standing.
This was a speaking event, not a forum, so yes, it is threatening for an adult audience member to disrupt a speech and shout out hostile remarks. I’m almost laughing over the comments from witnesses to the event. Their defense is to imply that an ELEVEN YEAR OLD student who refused to stand for the pledge became a terrorist threat in the course of the incident?
I went to some pains above to point out that arresting an 11 year old for “terrorist threats” seems ridiculous, but as a lawyer and former police officer, I also caution that it is hard to reach a valid conclusion as to what happened based on a headline.
I think the merits of the reported arrest are irrelevant to the exaggerations Ms. Khang has stated about her safety at this heavily-censored blog of hers with regard to the student who heckled her, wrong as his actions were. I say ‘heavily censored” because she refuses to post an earlier rejoinder to her reply, and also yesterday briefly posted and then deleted a second post critical of her position.
I also wan to correct a misstatement of the apparent record I made. Although Ms. Khang explicitly called the student a liar (above), it appears that he did not do so at Chapel. According to what I read last night [Lariat 3/7/2019], he made a correct statement about Ms. Khang’s misstatement of the Florida arrest, saying at Chapel “That’s not what happened. He was making terroristic threats to his teacher.” He did not call Ms. Khang a liar. True enough the Florida charge may not have been “terrorist threats” [don’t know, haven’t researched it], but the boy was arrested in part for threatening to beat his teacher. He was not arrested for failing to pledge, as the school’s statement states, contrary to Ms. Khang’s statement.
I’m a WOC. If I had a dollar for every time I had to sit through a sermon or speech that was at least in part racist, ignorant, problematic, or roused my inner lie-detector I would be very wealthy. I have never once stood up to interrupt or yell. Believe me I have wanted to.
Kathy, I wish to join other Christ-followers in embracing and supporting you. I know this costs you tremendously.
These people are saying that Kathy’s representation of the child’s arrest is due to his protest is ‘a lie’ and in the same breath saying that the man at the lecture shouting that the child made ‘terrorist threats’ is telling truth and justified in his verbal attack stance…. seems a bit of a hypocritical standard… but one is close to the truth and makes a point , and the other is a direct threat to a guest speaker . You people are making Christians look pretty awful.
In my opinion, people should be allowed to speak their mind. Those who are raging for this blog are obviously not on for freedom. At the same time I agree that mutual respect must be exercised from two parties with opposing views.
Wow, I can’t believe that something like this happened. In what kind of world do we live? I’m deeply sorry Kathy that you went through something like this, you certainly didn’t deserve it. Please, don’t let things like this distract you from your path, keep going me and my family is with you!