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Japanese Racism? Much Ado About Nothing. January 20, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
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Those Japanese are being all racist and stuff:

In the commercial, two Japanese men in ANA uniform discuss in English how they might boost the image of the airline as an international carrier.

One of them says: “Let’s change the image of Japanese people.” “Sure,” replies the other, who is now wearing a blonde wig and an improbably long rubber nose.

White westerners are often believed in Japan to have big noses, blue eyes and blonde hair, characteristics generally thought desirable among Japanese.

This has caused the typical commotion among the PC police. I dunno – maybe because I’m terminally tainted by White Privilege – but this doesn’t bother me in the least. I find their joke mildly amusing and think it’s pretty healthy that people can make light of racial differences.

In the end, I think the path to racial harmony has to involve humor and some thickening of skin.

Comments»

1. lauraw - January 20, 2014

Also, they are specifically talking about broadening their appeal as an international entity. And there was really no hate on display. If anything, they were truthfully acknowledging the limitations of their own cultural habits. And making a promise (lighthearted as it was) to try to do better.

And yeah, you can’t do this sort of thing and replace the blond wig with a fro and blackface.

Because, history. Sorry. It’s not the same thing when they do it to us.

2. geoff - January 21, 2014

Dang. I’ll bet I would have looked good in a fro.

But more seriously, the point here is that the road to racial harmony is not likely to involve more sensitivity and umbrage. If the commercial reflected an actual deep-rooted racism among its authors, the high dudgeon of the politically correct will just make them conceal it, not cure it. The only cure is more casual interaction without the Swords of Damocles looming over everyone. People will make mistakes, but those mistakes should be handled with tolerance, not torches and pitchforks.

So long as their basic intentions are good, that is.

3. OBF - January 21, 2014

“Two cheers for democracy. Three cheers for the brotherhood of love.” I forgot who said that. It was a long time ago and we still haven’t “got it”.


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