When I see social justice warriors (SJW) pontificating and throwing temper tantrums, I can’t help but think they must never have traveled or spent an extended period of time living in other countries, speaking a second language or struggling to adapt and survive outside their cultural context.
In my experience, traveling to different countries and living abroad tends to teach you as much or more about who you are and where you come from as it does about the places you have visited. Nothing brings one’s cultural context into focus like stepping outside it altogether. There is a lot to learn when viewing your own country, society, culture and people from the outside. It is an eye-opening and humbling experience.
This is why SJW appear so childish. A lot of what they incessantly rant about is not unique to the United States. If they were to travel overseas for an extended period of time, they would discover that “white privilege,” real or perceived, ceases to be an advantage in non-western countries or countries where white people are in the minority. If they expect to be treated as equals by locals in Nigeria or Shanghai, they are in for a rude awakening. They will discover that prejudice and stereotypes are rampant in all countries, not just the United States. They may even find most places are a lot worse.
SJW also complain about what they call the “majority appropriation of minority culture.” This is an absurd notion in a country that used to pride itself on being a cultural melting pot. SJW say Cinco de Mayo celebrations are racist and white people should never wear black hairstyles. Yet in Japan, for example, many young people appropriate minority culture as fashion or full-fledged lifestyle choices.
Meet the Japanese cholos…
In Japan, black face is not taboo…
Afros, tattoos and wannabe gangster rappers in the land of the rising sun…
In fact, many young Japanese embrace what they call the “black lifestyle”…
Last but not least, here is the stereotypical image of white people, according to the Japanese…
Oh well, you know what they say about big noses. In Japan, you can even buy “party jokes” like this one, which reads “Hi! I’m a gaikokujin (foreigner).” Simply hilarious!
In light of all this, I was somewhat vexed to hear about student complaints of appropriation with respect to the Asian food served in dining halls at Oberlin College in Ohio. In an article on this subject published in the school newspaper, the comments of one Japanese student were particularly risible:
“Perhaps the pinnacle of what many students believe to be a culturally appropriative sustenance system is Dascomb Dining Hall’s sushi bar. The sushi is anything but authentic for Tomoyo Joshi, a College junior from Japan, who said that the undercooked rice and lack of fresh fish is disrespectful. She added that in Japan, sushi is regarded so highly that people sometimes take years of apprenticeship before learning how to appropriately serve it.”
“‘When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,’ Joshi said. ‘So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.’”
As someone who has years of experience eating at hundreds of restaurants in Tokyo, I can attest first hand that what passes for Mexican food in Japan is rather pathetic. I have yet to find a decent cheeseburger or pizza in Tokyo. Mainland Chinese scoff at the Chinese food served in Japan, and many of Japan’s most popular dishes (ramen, tempura and curry, for example) were “appropriated” from other cultures.
I know the difference between authentic Mexican food and the beefier, cheesier American version (and I love both). So when I order a taco in Tokyo and am served a cold corn tortilla on a plate with a side of tomato catsup (this actually happened), I am disappointed. When I have a pizza delivered and it arrives smothered in corn and mayonnaise, I am dismayed (actually, I have grown to love it). But in neither case would I think it disrespectful or appropriative. That would be ridiculous.
I am sure that Tomoyo is aware that the export of Japanese-grown Japonica rice is strictly prohibited, and that the Calrose rice grown in the U.S. is an altogether different variety. I am also sure she is aware that Ohio is a landlocked state (Lake Erie doesn’t count, as sushi is not made with freshwater fish) and is nowhere near a seaport, thus fresh fish is a near impossibility. After all, even the fish sold at the famous Tsukiji Market in Tokyo arrives in Japan frozen. Furthermore, Midwesterners are not known for their love of raw fish, as far as I know. I am sure the sushi available there is sufficient to satisfy their unsophisticated palates. Personally, I have never had good sushi anyplace outside Japan, but I never thought it was disrespectful (well, the prices maybe).
Tomoyo is correct about it taking years to become a sushi chef, but the same can be said about becoming a carpenter, Kabuki actor or a thousand other professions in Japan—long years of apprenticeship are the norm, even when someone is clearly talented and able to advance more quickly than others. Japan is not a meritocracy, so lock-step snail-pace progress is unavoidable.
Apparently, Tomoyo’s time at Oberlin hasn’t taught her the value of meritocracy. And, it would appear she has been thoroughly indoctrinated by the cultural Marxist flatulence stinking up intellectual spaces at universities across the United States. Her words reflect the hypocritical orotundity of the SJW. They see prejudice and discrimination in everything except their own words and actions.
Despite what I said above about living overseas, it appears the U.S. university environment has had the opposite effect on Tomoyo. Perhaps this is a testament to the pervasive rot the SJW mentality imparts on those duped by its silly rhetoric.
I wonder if she would describe the above images as disrespectful and appropriative? Or maybe those labels only apply to white people?