Saturday, May 31, 2014

mixed race kids dilemmas

Phwewww! Thank god a rich white guy stepped in to save us from symbolic racism. I was getting worried. Without rich white guys like Steve Ballmer, we might have to look systemic racism in the face. As you were.

Speaking of which, a post about the racism and misogyny Asian-Americans deal with (h/t Broadsnark).  

On the other hand, there's the racism non-purebred-nihonjins deal with in Japan:
Did I tell you about the time I was at a hospital with my girl, then one year old, talking with some nice-seeming folks kind enough to not assume I wanted to, and could only, speak English? A rare treat. It was heaven until they asked about my girl's origins, whereupon I said she was a nihonjin. Hahaha, I laugh in retrospect, now getting it. One said, with great confusion, like, "so the mom is Japanese?" And I said, no, the kid was born in Japan, she speaks Japanese, she eats Japanese food, etc., she's Japanese. And another said, "oh, so she's half?" Hey, did I tell you it's completely OK, as in, there's not even any other word for it, to refer to a person with a parent of impure lineage as "half"?

So, with the kids, 3 and 5, about to be swallowed up or, rather, planted, by the Japanese education system, like those trees that line streets round here designed by city halls, bound in concrete, limbs regularly pruned, standing at a distance fixed by authorities, leaves escaping with great effort only to be pruned yet again on authority's whim, the wife and I have been contemplating a move to the U.S., where un- (or, home) schooling would be more doable.

A move to the U.S. and good odds of emasculation for the half-Asian boy and, I assume, greater odds of rape for the girl *shudders*.

Or stay here for a lifetime of halfdom and dedication to the spirit of trying hard and faking smiles 50 hours a week if you're lucky, because that's what good robots do. And more ass-grabs, shittier employment opportunities for the girl. But slightly less rape. I think. Yes, I'd like to bubble-wrap them up forever.  No, not a great option, or instinct but maybe not the worst instinct either.

From the collapse of the empire and its trusty Asian sidekicks riding shotgun to Japan's impending demographic nightmare and reactionary isolationism to the desperate, awkward hope that my kids don't end up like most kids in the world, the ones I got my ipad from, for example, or even the hope they don't end up like 99% of the kids in the richest country that's ever been, brains overrun by profit-seeking memes, this is an impossible calculus. Hoping to make the least terrible decision. No pressure. 

2 comments:

Joel Riese said...

Don't know any numbers, but had to raise my eyebrows at the "less rape" line, but then you covered your bases with "i think."

Devin Lenda said...

Non-government (citizen on citizen) violence in the U.S. is so off the charts, it seems improbable it would be as bad in Japan as in the U.S. But yes, some guess work involved.

google showed me this: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Japan/United-States/Crime

Reported figures are sketchy, as there are disincentives for women to report and incentives for institutions to underreport. My sense, anecdotally, is that Japan dudes are generally less inclined to masculinity-threatening violence than America dudes. High school and bar fights are more rare here, for sure. From this, I've assumed that rapey inclinations are also impeded. Will gladly be corrected.