Japanese Racism | Letters | Chicago Reader

Japanese Racism 

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To the editors:

Michael Miner, assumptions that teams of educators need to pour into the black ghettos of Los Angeles and teach the people there facts of life [Hot Type, May 15]. If any doubts still remain within the black community and the U.S.A. as a whole that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because they had been unjustly vilified, were trying to preserve their dignity and were concerned about American racism? Why did they attack and occupy Korea? Were they concerned about the racism of the Koreans? Five years ago, the Japanese then-prime minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, declared that the presence of Blacks and Hispanics lowered America's intelligence level. Mr. Nakasone was forced by the U.S. Congress to issue a public apology, or face a boycott of Japanese autos and products. Right after that another potential prime minister asserted that American Blacks have no qualms about going bankrupt. He also was forced to apologize. Again Japanese writers have been indulging themselves by producing gross depictions of Jews in their books. Blatant racism always will target vulnerable minorities like Blacks, Jews and Hispanics. Japanese marketers have used racist characters like Little Black Sambo and his sister Hanna to sell toys. Sambo and other stereotypical characters have been the rage in Japan for a number of years. The racial slurs have also taken the form of Black department store mannequins with grossly distorted lips and greased hair.

For those reasons your Buy American campaign and boycott of Japanese products by all American women, Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and any other person whose actions demonstrate antiracism and antisexism. Why should our dollars continue to make Japan's life better? Why should we continue to pour our money into products from Japan's economy when ours (U.S.A.) is suffering so badly ?

Maurice Cuerette

W. Lawrence

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