Confession time. When the movie “Crazy Rich Asians” was released in theaters, I wasn’t really excited. I waited nearly a year from its release to watch it on my laptop, and when I did, I didn’t last long. I closed the laptop screen when I finally saw my kind of Asian in the movie as silent, dark-skinned door attendants wearing turbans. For a movie that celebrated representation, I wasn’t in a jovial mood.

At the same time, I’m not absolved from the insidious sin of colorism. I recently returned from India where I heard stories of my grandmother lamenting how none of her grandchildren inherited her fair skin. There was a noticeable trend of light skinned South Asians on every Indian television program I watched. It felt as if I was transported to that day of closing my laptop, having my skin color and Asian identity compartmentalized from one another. I scoffed at my grandmother’s lament. I pontificated to anyone who would listen in the vicinity (usually my close friends and family, pray for them) on the state of colorism on Indian television.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” 

Confession time. While in India, I was offered skin-lightening creams to increase my proximity to whiteness. I thought to myself, “I don’t need skin lightening cream! My complexion isn’t that dark.” I was taken aback from my reflex reaction at that comment.

Then I caught myself. I grabbed my rosary out of my purse and began to pray repeatedly, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” My sin at that moment was giving into the demonic powers of colorism. I needed to confess to God that I had sinned against my neighbor, even if my neighbor didn’t overtly know of my sin. I was giving in to the sins of white supremacy and anti-Blackness.

I’m making this confession public because I am not immune. I can read every single book, attend every single lecture, speak with every learned person, and yet in that moment, I faltered. I will continue to falter. As a South Asian, I need to openly confess the sins of white supremacy and anti-Blackness again and again, as they have been ingrained into me and cannot be separated from me until Jesus comes back again. I have benefitted from being a member of the model minority. I have benefited from the caste system. And because I am now aware, I must work to dismantle systems that place a hierarchical value on life that God deemed as good, beautiful, and holy.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

This season of Lent, is not just a time to reflect upon our confessions. It is also a time to act, to physically embody the metanoia of turning back to God and God’s creation.

Sometimes actions don’t have to be complicated. Breathing is an action. Confession is an action. So is having hard conversations with your loved ones.

So is being willing to be called out.It’s hard and feels awful, but lives are at stake.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


God, grant me the courage
to falter.
God, grant me the strength
to be vulnerable.
God, grant that my will
be thy will.
God, grant that my power
be perfect weakness in you.

More Resources

Resipiscense: A Lenten Devotional for Dismantling White Supremacy, curated by Vahisha Hasan and Nicola Torbett’s Black History Month Reading List for Asian Americans

  • Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche (she/her/hers) has a complicated relationship with Jesus. She lives a hyphenated life as a second-generation Indian-American raised in a devout Hindu household and often finds herself in liminal spaces. She is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She currently serves as the Minister of Small Groups at University AME Zion Church in Palo Alto. She is also the Young Adult Coordinator for Arts | Religion | Culture. She has written and spoken extensively on identities within faith spaces, the demon of white supremacy in the church, and integrating spiritual practices within the self. Tuhina loves reading, terrible action movies, and has traveled the world trying to find the hole-y in meditating on donuts.