Sunday, January 22, 2006

I often post here about Japanese discrimination against non-Japanese. It is a problem in this society, especially because the Japanese government lies about it and claims that it does not exist. Naturally, racism and discrimination exist everywhere, but most modern societies (and governments) at least attempt to address it in some way. I know of none which is in such denial as the Japanese government.

Most Japanese one meets and gets to know personally to some degree are very decent people. One rarely encounters open, aggressive racists in Japan. (It is possible, and they do exist, but even they won't be so open and in your face about it. You may hear "baka gaijin" etc, but rarely more unless the person is in a position where he thinks he can escape if the dangerous "gaijin" decides not to put up with his mouth). Whether this is a good thing or not is debatable, as one could argue that it is better to know if someone hates your guts because you are not "Japanese" than to believe he/she tolerates you when they don't.

It is quite different than some of the racist bigots one meets in other places. When my wife and I were in college at Washington State University in Pullman Washington, we lived in Colfax, Washington for about nine months. Our upstairs neighbors were a couple of boys in their early 20s. They weren't college students as far as I know, but made a living doing god knows what in a town of 2,000 people.

I found out just before we moved that these lowlife sleazeballs got off on coming to our apartment door when I was not home and banging and yelling "Hey, Jap!" at her. She had endured it and never mentioned it to me. The landlord, was basically only interested in getting cash from us (that was pretty much the story in both Pullman and Colfax) and wanted to hear of no problems.

They never did anything else, nor did they ever say anything to me or indicate they had a problem with my wife in any way. But, as I said , they were gutless cowards. That doesn't mean they were not dangerous though. They most likely did not know that I had taught my wife how to shoot and educated her about laws concerning the use of deadly force. She was armed and could have, and would have, sent them to hell had she needed to.

Then there was an African-American friend I had just after graduating high school in Clarksburg, West Virginia. We occasionally rode our motorcycles around the area. We could hardly go through town without some loser screaming "nigger" at him.

So even though I may complain about Japan, I know things could be even worse in some ways. It is just that I am not used to the government and academia consistently being the open leaders of intentionally bigoted policies and ideas and rarely contradicted or challenged by any of its citizens.

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