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    Get ethnic

    Jon Rowe has an interesting post up about Japanese racism and cultural relativism. It strikes me as somewhat dodging the most fascinating and important question, though: is there a critical mass of institutionalized racism in Japanese society–that is, an amount sufficient to make it morally inferior to ours despite our important similarities as democratic allies?

    Rowe cites a speech by Allan Bloom:

    But the family is exclusive. For in it there is an iron wall separating insiders from outsiders, and its members feel contrary sentiments toward the two. So it is in Japanese society, which is intransigently homogeneous, barring the diversity which is the great pride of the United States today. To put it brutally, the Japanese seem to be racists. They consider themselves superior; they firmly resist immigration; they exclude even Koreans who have lived for generations among them. They have difficulty restraining cabinet officers from explaining that America’s failing economy is due to blacks.

    I hate to disagree with someone as estimable as Bloom. (And hey, he was a gay white guy with an Asian love-muffin, too–we share so much!) Nevertheless, it is exactly the “intransigence” of Japan’s rigid homogeneity that I think is the key issue here.

    Added on 15 July: That’s weird–Dean and I both use PowerBlogs, and trackback pinging is automatic. Odd that it didn’t go through. Since his post is, of course, good, here it is. (And thanks for linking, Dean.)

    2 Responses to “Get ethnic”

    1. Jon Rowe says:

      Thanks for the discussion.

      Check out my Asian-love-muffin and his rather interesting story here:


    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Wow. That’s rough. I hope he finds him. Chances would seem to be good in the Internet age. I hope you’ll update on your own blog, too, if there’s progress. Now that I think of it, it’s odd that I’ve never linked to anything of yours before; I’ve read you fairly regularly for a good long while.

      And that makes three white conservative/libertarian fags with Asian boyfriends! I wonder whether there’s something statistically significant going on here….

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