Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Arudou

Let me say from the start that I support Debito Arudou. Sometimes I feel like he is a blunt instrument, a noisy cavalry charge, but he fights for the side of right with a rare fury. I will continue by saying that complaining is the first step in Democracy. Complaining is valuable. I am not saying that he is in this piece. I am just throwing it out there. I thought that this article was very well stated. I have felt this way about the topic of bullying in Japan. Bullying is now a major issue, so we, as teachers, are not allowed to label anything bullying. Make sense? Most people in Japan will tell you that there is no discrimination in Japan today. There isn't because there are no "colored" restrooms or anything else classified as discrimination. Of course, when I called about a new apartment a few days ago I was asked for my phone number and what country I was from. It would be legal to refuse me of a house over my nationality by the way.

I am glad Arudou points out the bit about being "shy." I really get sick of that garbage. Lots of offensive, unacceptable conduct is written off in Japan as acting "shy" or being "cute." I am over it at this point but I can't coun the amount of times that a kid has yelled "You have blue eyes, I'm scared!" And the adults around giggle at the sweetness. I met Natsuki's grandmother a few months ago and she, being 94, said, "Too bad you guys aren't from the same country." I mentioned it later and was told, "I know, she's so cute." It really doesn't bother me so much, but it some level I feel like it should. It would if my grandmother said it.

Anyway, I am loosing track. Read the article.

1 comment:

WDD said...

it's interesting that people seem to think that discrimination based on nationality, appearance, "otherness" is acceptable, the only line that can't be crossed is "race."
It's very common in the US too to belive that the parts in our collective creed that talk about human rights and that "all men are created equal" are really just about citizens; that undocumented Mexican immigrants aren't entitled to basic human right because their humanity is forfeit when they cross a river, that Iraqi casualties needn't be reckoned in the price of that wicked war because American lives are the ones that really count; the list of examples is depressingly long. Even the author of the very good article you linked seems to be edging toward the idea that being nationalized has somehow made it more egregious that he be discriminated against, as if its more or less acceptable to discriminate against people based on immigration status.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.