Both of my children had explosive diarrhea today.
An excerpt from a Japan Times editorial written by a new father who is upset with the Japanese tendency to fawn over mixed-race kids because they are mixed-race.
I am 100% with this guy. Calling people “half,” especially kids, is fucked up.
Of course, the racists of the world are chiming in with comments defending the word and its usage. Guess what? Shut up.
I don’t care that my kids really are cute. I don’t care if they really look different than other kids. I don’t care if you have kids and you don’t mind the word “half” so what’s the big deal?
It matters because Japan maintains incredibly shitty racist attitudes towards everything and anything. It matters because my kids, if they are lucky, will ONLY be subject to the “positive” aspects of racism and be slightly admired for their unique features. It matters because they have been born and raised in Japan yet people are already lining up to tell them how they’re not-quite-Japanese.
Look, I’m a grown-up. I’m frustrated when Japanese people wield racism against me, but I can take it. No one is oppressing me, they’re just pissing me off.
But what happens to a child who is ostracized in the only country he or she has ever known? What happens when classmates (and the teacher, probably) start treating my son or daughter like a walking English dictionary? When they attribute my children’s behavior to their genes?
All these habits are not hinging on Japan’s use of a single word. But that word is part of the problem, and if I can convince people not to use it, it’s a start.
So when people say or ask me about “half” I tell them “I don’t like that word but…” and respond to whatever it is they want. And I hope that if I say that to enough people, it might make a difference.
(possibly related: Japan describes transsexuals as “new half” which is also wrong)
"You think that your children are going to grow up to be a lot like you, but then they develop into a completely different person. Yesterday my seven year old son told me that reggae was boring. That hurt a little."
I know just how this woman feels. Lately my son has shown an aversion to pizza and it’s KILLING ME.
I always wince at parents who worry about their kids turning out to be gay or trans or whatever. My biggest fear is that one of my kids will become a Red Sox fan.Source: humansofnewyork
Under Japan’s School Education Law, local education boards can issue suspension orders to the guardians of students who repeatedly use violence at school.
However, no such suspensions were given in Tokyo in the five years through March 2011, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education.
Looks like another classic case of Japan passing a law and sitting back while no one enforces it. See also: discrimination, child pornography, etc etc.
source: Daily Yomiuri
An excerpt from an awesome letter sent to The Japan Times (thanks Asuka!). It’s not just a list of petty complaints, as the author acknowledges that stuff like the above is really silly and only irritating when he’s already in a bad mood. What concerns him is how they treat his son, born and raised in Japan, in exactly the same condescending matter.
My son isn’t old enough to speak any language yet but I’ve seen the same thing happen. People who see us out together start talking to him in (terrible) English instead of just treating him like the adorable toddler he is. My wife is often stopped by strangers who start asking questions about his racial background ("Haafu desu ka?" and the like) to the point that she’s started lying to brush them off. My suggestion to her is to simply answer with Nihon ni umareta (“he was born in Japan”) and leave at that.
I’m a grown-up, and while it irks me from time to time I can deal with dumb people who marvel at my ability to put two sticks together and pick up a piece of fish. But my son shouldn’t have to go through that just because his hair is brown like mine. Change isn’t easy, but it can happen if people work at it. Japan isn’t even trying from where I’m sitting.
“Step One: Don’t talk about race. Don’t point out skin color. Be “color blind.”
Step Two: Actually, that’s it. There is no Step Two.
Congratulations! Your children are well on their way to believing that <insert your ethnicity here> is better than everybody else.
Surprised? So were authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman when they started researching the issue of kids and race for their book NurtureShock. It turns out that a lot of our assumptions about raising our kids to appreciate diversity are entirely wrong.”