Dig yourself, baby
Posted by ampontan on Sunday, February 7, 2010
READER IKE sends in a link in the Comments section to some Australian blogger who claims the Japanese nation is racist and will never be able to handle immigration. His characterization of the Japanese nation is based on a single anecdote. The blogger said he was chased away from what he assumed was a brothel in “downtown Fukuoka” by a man shouting in “broken” English, “No foreigners allowed.”
That blogger writes about financial matters, by the way, and is presumably well educated.
Well, there might be brothels in “downtown Fukuoka”, though I’ve spent quite a bit of time there and haven’t seen one in that part of town. (Whatever part of town that is–Hakata Ward? Tenjin?) But perhaps I’m naive.
And I wonder how many native-born brothel operators in Brisbane, for example, would be able to drive away a customer in any foreign language, broken or not.
My experiences have been different. While walking down certain streets in Saga, guys standing on the curb have yelled out at me–in Japanese–“Hey gaijin-san, how about some chon-chon? (while waving right fist in the air) 10,000 yen!” Was I better-looking (or more desperate-looking) than the guy who wasn’t welcome at the Fukuoka cat house? But that was in the days before the Japanese were fully aware of AIDS.
Putting aside the fact that the plural of anecdote is not data, the tired old jive about the Racist Nation reminds me of another story a high school student of mine told me after she spent a year in the United States. This was about 10 years ago.
The girl, named Yumi, was quite gregarious, attractive, and intelligent, and so made a lot of friends. One of her best friends was a black girl. Let’s call her Alice.
One day, two of her white girlfriends took her aside in the hall and told her it wasn’t a good idea to be hanging out with Alice so much.
Why not, she asked. I like her. She’s my friend.
One of the white girls then turned to the other and said, “Oh, never mind. Yumi can be friends with anyone she wants. She’s not white.”
If you let that sink in, it becomes multi-dimensionally more pathetic.
Don’t ask what part of the United States that was, by the way. When Yumi tells that story in Japan, none of her listeners cares about that distinction. It’s all America to them.
Is anybody seriously willing to argue that no one in Australia has that attitude?
Memo to the Anglosphere: You know what they say about people who live in glass houses.