Follow

While weebs love to defend racism in animes with "they are Japanese and thus can't be racist," racism - especially toward brown and black people - exist in most part of Asia, and Japan is one of the worst. Blackface is one of their earliest cultural import from the West, and a combination of an aesthetic that favors white skin, being part of the Axis with the white supremacist Third Reich, and having been effectively colonized by the US didn't help in the least. Adding a popular media comparable with Hollywood and a government more than willing to lick American boots, you have the recipe for another propaganda machine for fascism.

They have not much love for their Asian neighbors either. Pretty much every Chinese character in anime has something to do with pandas. And Japanese still very much despise Koreans, and the feeling is more than mutual...except that while Korea had been invaded by pretty much every other country in Asia, Japan is the exact opposite.

For example, when they whitewashed Major from Ghost in the Shell by casting ScarJo, the chuds pointed to the Japanese and said: "They are fine with it, you cringey SJWs are just snowflakes lol"

But of course they are fine with it. Japanese consider white skin to be beautiful, and they lack the cultural context to recognize the struggle of POCs in the West and what whitewashing means to them.

The so-called Mukokuseki (nationless) portrayal of characters in most anime and manga, what do they look like? They certainly don't look brown or black. They don't even look Asian most of the time. They look white.

And when the ethnicity of a character is emphasized in art styles, when it goes beyond painting the same character's skin with a different color, it's almost always exaggerated and gross stereotypes, especially for black and brown people.

Another example of white people worshiping a Japan that never was is in Samurai and the concept of honor.

Samurais are not heroes for the downtrodden. They are enforcers for feudal lords, comparable to sheriffs in Westerns or modern cops.

And honor? It's just another name for Face. Asian people loves Face. We basically have clout economy before there are clout, the Japanese just took it more seriously and invented a fancier name.

@DissidentKitty There is also wider support for hard right politics and full scale Nazi worship amongst angry young men in South and SE Asia, dating back to Japanese involvement in WW II - its also not widely known by progressive Westerners that a lot of Mohandas Ghandis success was that he made it quite clear to the British that if they did not ultimately grant India independence, his followers might be rather more inclined to support the Axis powers during WW II... >>

@DissidentKitty my extended family grew up in Malaya during both Japanese and British colonial occupation - my parents told me the Japanese treated the middle class Malays and Indians fairly well, but the Chinese got much rougher treatment.

There is also wider idolisation of authoritarian Asian govts/societies amongst /older/ white people in coastal areas of England (whats worse is this is gained from genuine interaction and dialogue with people from the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore..

@DissidentKitty Ha, I wasn't fine with it.

When it comes to matters of representation, asking the national Japanese about the 'Ghost in the Shell' (2017) mistakenly equates their experience to that of Asian-Americans—low-key racist and certainly misunderstanding the issue of representation in media. Japanese people in Japan have their own cultural media in which to see themselves represented.

@nothingwindsky That's why I said they (national Japanese) lacks the context to understand the struggle of POCs in the West, since they have their own media and culture. Right-wingers are the ones who employ false equivalence to bait the libs, as they always do.

@DissidentKitty Mhm. Such nonsensical and superficial arguments tokenize the national Japanese—reducing the Japanese quality and its many subdivisions: national, ethnic, hereditary, &c. into one, singular attitude—and commit a similar form of racism to the one they defend.

@nothingwindsky Yeah but right-wingers love their tokens. "I have [MINORITY] friends, I can't be [BIGOT]" is their go-to defense after all, and if they don't have a [MINORITY] friend, they find the closest substitute and make a false equivalence. The real biter is the fact that more often than not, the libs just fucking fall for it.

@nothingwindsky Hell, I've seen right-wingers argue that Chinese Americans should be held accountable for any transgression that ALL of the many regimes that once occupied China had and will commit, and I was like, what? Never mind that's it's a huge fucking place that had many dynasty headed by different ethnicity, how the fuck is a Chinese American supposed to be accountable for the crimes of a country they have NEVER BEEN?

@DissidentKitty The Caucasity. Funny how they can argue that one moment and, the next, refuse to take accountability for a history of white supremacist racism and colonization for which their ancestors remain responsible, choosing instead to uphold that oppressive system.

@DissidentKitty Liberals tend to fall for it because their "intersectional" politics exactly focuses on tokens. Any leftist—certainly any PoC leftist—can dismantle such a claim because we understand the multifaceted nature of identity and racialized experience. Liberals betray their allegiance to progressive politics because, to put it quite bluntly, they are often those most susceptible to tokenizing arguments.

@DissidentKitty And yeah. I've a short thread discussing Anti-Black racism in Asia (and as well in the United States for Asian-Americans) somewhere. The European high moral value placed on fair skin needs to go.

@nothingwindsky I'm not entirely sure where this obsession with fair skin comes from. For China, I've heard theories of fair skin being representative of a life free of labor and thus a symbol of wealth, but I'm not sure of the validity of the statement, nor do I know if it apply to other Asian countries at all. What I do know is that popular media blasting white-centric aesthetic at people all over the world all the damn time does not help the matter.

@DissidentKitty Lmao, that reminds me, I have a thread on colorism among Asians as well!

I'm fairly certain that the cultural stigmatization of darker skin as associated with a life of toiling outside on farms and such (leading to tan skin) and therefore an indicator of wealth stands valid among theories of where Asian colorism originated.

It of course must be noted that the imported European beauty standard positioning white as the most beautiful did not help, ha.

@nothingwindsky The Song of Songs from the Bible which apparently derives from Lebanese Marriage songs has a bit where the beloved says I am black but I am beautiful she goes on to say the reason I appear dark skinned now is i fought with my brothers and as a punishment they made me work in the fields. It's a fairly old text BCE @DissidentKitty

@nothingwindsky Then again if
an actual white person today has pasty white skin it means they were too poor to travel on their summer hols or spend time in sunbeds or even use fake sun tan lotions. To look wealthy they try to look thin and tanned. In the east the opposite is held up as the goal. @DissidentKitty

@DesCoutinho @nothingwindsky Yeah, that's my impression of the situation as well: white people in the West wanna look tanned while Asian people in East Asia wanna look pale, both due to a historical connotation to wealth. I don't know how this applies to other cultures tho, and it varies with regions as well.

@DissidentKitty @DesCoutinho Wanting to look tanned evolved from the cultural fetishization of the underclass, the "coolness" attributed to surviving under poverty and disprivilege. The West still definitely values pale skin—notice how darkening one's skin only becomes a "cool" fashion choice when white people do it.

@nothingwindsky But I have never understood the fetish of sunbathing. I don't know of any coloured person who does it. When it's really hot you either stay in doors or walk in the shade, mad dogs and englishmen or white people as you say aside. I have sometimes sat with white friends while they sunbathe but not for long it gives me a headache. @DissidentKitty

@DesCoutinho @nothingwindsky Yeah I've never really understood the fascination with sunbathing and the desire for tanning either. I don't think we even have those weird fake sunbath machine anywhere on this island. Why would anyone want to bake themselves alive?

@DesCoutinho Ah, I was wondering why Kitty kept tagging you. For some reason none of my clients will display your posts—I went to your profile and checked them under the replies section. Apologies for not responding you anything you said; the posts simply did not appear.

@nothingwindsky I don't fully understand the notifications either sometimes people reply to comments but I don't see the notification and only realize days later. I guess it happens. Just chatting no issues.

@nothingwindsky @DissidentKitty Going back to the Japanese racism thing apparently it's mustaches. S Koreans see the new Japanese American Ambassador's mustache as rubbing things in their faces. When the French conquered Britain the French were close shaved and no mustaches the Britons kept long hair and mustaches. Facial hair as a racist construct also has a history

@nothingwindsky The oddness of the construct. White people even with dark skins remain white. Coloured people even if they lighten their skin colour remain black. That's why facial hair is a good counterperspective. The construct is random internally inconsistent just a way of achieving pecking orders from our chicken brains @DissidentKitty

@DissidentKitty Apparently in Brazil being black means you are like a footballer superstar celebrity. But I only know one Brazilian so don't know how true that is. @nothingwindsky

@DesCoutinho @DissidentKitty @nothingwindsky

I am Brazilian and er, I would dispute that kind of a lot?

(We had chattel slavery until 1888. Out president has compared black people to cattle. Black celebrities routinely get racist abuse on social media. average wage is ca. r$1600 for blacks, ~r$2800 for whites. 61% of police executions are black victims (and 79% of the cops white). just the other day, a piece of artwork denouncing this fact was destroyed publicly by a white politician etc.etc)

@DesCoutinho
at best black bodies are fetishised as great sexual performers, great dancers etc. this carries the same baggage of animalisation and objectification it does in similar depictions in other Western countries.

at worst being black makes you be seen as a servant, like this biology PhD I lived with who answered to the bell once to be told ‘is the houseowner there?’ (she was assumed to be the maid). or, if they're the police, as a criminal.

disclaimer—I’m white, not my personal exp.

@elilla @DesCoutinho @DissidentKitty Yeah. Would've surprised me if that was true. Would've subverted all my foreknowledge of racism and colorism in South America.

Thank you for your detailed input! :chick_coffee:

@elilla Embarrassing then it was said as part of a lecture in anti-racism multi-cultaral counselling by a Brazilian Lecturer in Freudian Psychology. She introduced it as part of her learning curve. Sounded a bit too good to be true I guess. But didn't know enough then to challenge it and it was some decades back. @DissidentKitty @nothingwindsky

@DissidentKitty There was a textbook critique of white cultural supremacy came out when I were a lad. Black Athena. It argued that Greek and therefore Classical culture did not emerge in a white bubble but was influenced heavily by Egpytian African Black cultures. Not popular anymore but it broke the dam now if you look at classical civilization the hot stuff is comparative studies with mesopotamian and indology studies. Can't compare with african culture as no records remain @nothingwindsky

@DesCoutinho @nothingwindsky Yeah, I made a thread about what I knew of ancient civilizations a few days before, and I talked with a few people about just that. A lot of Greek philosophy is inspired by literature translated by Arabian scholars and brought to the West by their merchants. The so-called Western culture probably wouldn't have existed without these cross-pollination.

@DissidentKitty Usually the argument is that Greek philosophy was inspired by cross fertilization with eastern and mesopotamian cultures especially the more mystical elements transmigration of souls. Usually the Arab influence is seen in preservation of that culture during the dark ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. The latter was always given some credit but the former is a more modern mainstream view. Classics is becoming less important also in the West. @nothingwindsky

@DissidentKitty "when it goes beyond painting the same character's skin with a different color," this is so important. anyone arguing that one set of facial features is exclusive to any race is misguided at best and still damaging to society as a whole. Chuds get mad about this because they want their fan fiction race science to be real and not comedic oversimplifications on human biodiversity

@cute Yaaap. The idea that a certain people always have a certain face type is rooted in eugenics, which is the "science" that supports racism for secular chuds.

@DissidentKitty sometimes people ask "how do you draw brown people" and its literally just:

draw people and then paint them brown. wow. now you have brown people.

@cute "But blackwash is bad!" said the chud while whitewashing a black character.

@DissidentKitty i've heard some people argue that its like blackface and i wish i had the spoons to sit and explain why a drawing is not the same thing as a real person but i simply do not

@cute POC talking about race with white people is like trans people talking about gender with cis people: it's like explaining quantum mechanics to a baked potato.

@DissidentKitty @cute Honestly? I like the baked potato's chances here, compared to the other two scenarios.

@DissidentKitty I keep coming back to this post and I vividly remember chuds having outrage specifically over Motoko being played by scarjo.

Feels like I'm in a parallel universe or something.

But I mostly talked with weebs back then, so maybe it's entirely different thing.

@Deiru I was hanging out with Liberal SJWs at the time, and they were all pretty pissed at the whitewash, and they show me a thread where some chud was making this argument to ask for my opinion.

@DissidentKitty i didn’t realize until relatively recently that Japan has plenty of its own internal issues with colorism (mostly anti indigenous) on top of the imported racism ): ppl gotta know

@mood @DissidentKitty

Here all along I thought chuds idealized Anime because they idealize Japan as a paradise of racial purity and exclusionism. (That and the whole 3rd Reich thing.)

@xenophora @mood That too. Japan, like many other countries in Asia, is essentially an ethnostate, but unlike their neighbors, they kept many keepsakes from the good old days, such as the monarch or a cultural reverence for samurai, which are by all accounts just cops. Of course chuds love it.

@mood Oh yeah, the anti-Native sentiment can be really bad too, as well as anti-immigration sentiments. The culture and establishment on a whole are definitely Conservative and right-wing, even though some are trying to change it.

@DissidentKitty Every culture everywhere in the world has its own racism and I'm bewildered but not completely surprised that "weebs" overseas would want to believe Japan is an exception. As you point out, it is not, and very old ideas about skin color contribute to it, but two of your points stand out to me as odd.

- How do you see the wartime alliance with Germany influencing or proving Japan's own racism? My understanding is that this was not an alliance of any particular ideological affinity and that very little cultural transmission resulted from it. It seems tangential to bring up here.

- "effectively colonized by the US" and "a government more than willing to lick American boots" are spot on, but here too I don't see a case that specifically American racism has been imported into Japan, much less at the behest of the US government. American cultural output is present in abundance, but that is not unique to Japan and I suspect most current attitudes about race were established well before 1945.

So yes, there is plenty of racism in Japan, as there is literally everywhere else, but I see postwar subservience to the US having very little to do with it and Nazi Germany nothing at all. I would be interested in hearing points to the contrary, though.

@tsundoku Hitler literally listed Japanese as the "preserver of culture" that cannot by themselves created, but can nevertheless preserve the creation of the proud Aryan race, generals in the Japanese Imperial armies had believed in the Nazi ideology, and there are still prominent people in Japan who are holocaust deniers, and let's not forget the amount of media willing to swept the holocaust under the rug for "our ally in WWII". It's evident that Japan is influenced by the Reich.

@tsundoku When a government tell its people that a country is your fren and you shouldn't question them too much, patriots tend to believe it. People in countries with less historical baggage had fell for the propaganda of US being the land of freedom and anything from America is made of gold. It's impossible to be so subsumed in propaganda, it's impossible not to absorb at least some of it.

@DissidentKitty That is absolutely true here, in the sense that people who self-identify as "patriots" and "conservatives" are liable to accept the US's position without question, although how much of that is due to deeply held belief and how much is due to cynicism with a dressing of self-respecting justification is subject to debate. I'm used to that, but the idea that some aspect of Japanese *racism* in particular originates with American propaganda, or domestic propaganda on America's behalf, is a surprising one.
@DissidentKitty I've heard contradictory things about what Hitler and his movement thought and said of Japan, which tends to have me coming away with the conclusion that there wasn't much feeling in it and they managed some flattering remarks (to the extent that Nazis can be flattering to non-"Aryan" people) as a courtesy to an ally of convenience.

I am not familiar with Japanese generals literally believing in Nazi ideology although I wouldn't be surprised if at least a few took to it in some fashion, with some contortions for obvious reasons. How much influence that would have had on mass culture, lasting or otherwise, is not immediately clear to me.

There was controversy around the Holocaust denial of at least one moderately well known person (Takasu, the plastic surgeon) an already-controversial personality, but certainly not as unforgivable as it would have been in the US or Western Europe. He is not exactly prominent, and comes across more ignorant than ideological. Nothing else along those lines said by someone in recent memory who would get media attention comes to mind right now, but maybe I am forgetting or didn't notice. Takasu was a highly visible controversy for a short period of time and he's not even that big of a deal, though.

One certain thing is that the menace of antisemitism doesn't fully register with many people because anything to do with Jews seems exotic and faraway, as opposed to the West where regardless of what one thinks about the matter, people know what it is and they are steeped in about 2000 years of cultural attitudes about Jews living among them, if they are not Jewish themselves. That disconnect from a cultural problem so deep and consequential to the West occasionally leads to some strange things. Holocaust deniers are not unique to Japan, although the Western variety probably have a much better idea what fire they are playing with.

Which media are you thinking of that sweep the Holocaust under the rug for "our ally?" My general observation is that apologists for Japan's own past are more eager to downplay ties to the Third Reich than defend it. The efforts of China and the Koreas to portray wartime Japan as cut from the same cloth as Nazis are met with indignation, not apologetics, by people of mainstream political persuasion. I'm not seeing the case for lasting Nazi influence on Japanese civilization as a result of the military alliance, as opposed to the influence the entire world received by it merely existing and doing what it did, but maybe I am missing something.

@DissidentKitty "[T]hey are Japanese and thus can't be racist"

Japan, all throughout history: *continually agresses nearby countries and commits terrible crimes against the Koreans*

@nothingwindsky People can be racist to even their own race, but chuds can't acknowledge that since they need their tokens and boot-lickers to own and bait the libs.

@DissidentKitty We should note, though, that the Japanese conception of "race" could differ considerably from a Western notion: race, of course, as a social construction, sees different implementations across different cultures, if at all.

Japanese racism against everyone else in the East Asian cultural sphere stems undoubtedly from deep-seeded Japanese nationalism and the heralding of the ethnically Japanese as the "true Asian people." Ah, so much to unpack. Important thread.

@nothingwindsky Yeah there's certainly a difference in how they treat other peoples in East Asia vs. how they treat the peoples outside that part of the world. It's likely the same for most countries in East Asia ASAIK.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Radical Town

A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.