Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Today's Rant 0722

OK. This article featuring an interview with a black British woman talking about her experience living in Japan, being married to a Japanese man and raising two biracial kids. I made the biggest mistake scrolling down to the comments which were such a shit fest.

I know that the internet community isn't the best representative of Westerners in Japan, but it is the most visible one. And this "community" is overwhelmingly white and male. What I find appalling and frustrating are the sheer number of people who seem to exist to discredit the experiences of non-white people in their homelands and Japan. 

Asian Americans have no standing to protest a "wear a kimono" event in Boston because "they aren't Japanese" and "my Japanese wife is fine with it!" The black British woman in the first article I mentioned has her experience cut down because "I thought Asians were 'people of color'" or "the author used Americanisms."

Merely pointing out the fact that the majority of English-speaking Westerners in Japan are white and racial histories from their homelands are carried with them to Japan, creating environments that can be unfriendly or uncomfortable to non-white foreigners from the same country bring about accusations of racism. Why can't we have discussions about how we, as foreigners in Japan, can create inviting spaces for all foreigners?!

The black woman gave an excellent example of how her daughter's curly hair became an "issue" with her ballet teacher. Rather than acknowledge that skin color and hair type definitely play a role in how foreigners or multiracial children are judged in Japanese society, the author of the piece is accused of racism.

I just. I can't even. I am so tired of this shit. And so tired of people. 

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