Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hmmm, this isn’t really politically correct, is it…?

Japan is an island with a pretty homogenous population, I think that much is well known. Sure, nowadays there are minorities such as salarymen imported from Europe or the US , and immigrants and worker’s from other Asian countries is not rare at all. However, if you move out of the metropolitan Tokyo area it gets pretty rare and the occasional foreigner is usually someone making a living as an English teacher or such.

This means that race is not a very sensitive subject here in Japan , at least not compared to Europe or the US . The non-asian population groups are simply too small to be considered a real minority group and without any real voice. Therefore, most minor racist remarks and such that would be impossible to say in more diverse countries can slip by here without stirring up a storm. Sometimes, some racist remarks can be said by politicians and such and actually reach an international audience that can show the proper outrage, but the vast minority just kinda slips by here in Japan .

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my crib, together with the always wonderful Ms. Sunshine and was watching a music show that was going to feature Beyonce and a new single as well as the latest and greatest J-pop artists. As the artists were introduced I watched as one of the latest “humorous” constellations came out to the scene, a group consisting of some famous comedians and artists dragged up to look like black soul chicks from the movie “Dreamgirls”, with some light blackface make-up and all (watch at your own risk here). For some reason the host thought it would be a great idea to make sure that they got the chance to speak with Beyonce up front. The face of Beyonce was priceless. She looked somewhere between stunned, amused and disgusted at the same time as they were trying to speak to her in their pidgin English.

Seriously, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they would start a Minstrel Show on prime time tv here in Japan in the near future… And don’t get me started on Bobby…

(I would just like to add, in all seriousness, that I don’t believe that the comedy group had any insight at all in what they did might actually be considered offensive to black people, they just thought they were funny…)

1 comment:

dr datsun kildare said...

how weird is that?it'slike they missed the ninties out.Oh hang on they did.

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