Godzilla vs. Kong—and the further dilution of Godzilla from its origins—is the result of decades of collaboration between the US and Japan following WWII. The memory of Japanese imperialism is a burden that lies solely with survivors and descendants. CW: discussion
How Queer Eye damages the very people and culture they were trying to save. This article was originally published on Medium can be found here. By Steven Wakabayashi For the newest season of Queer Eye, the Fab 5 head to Japan to transform
Marriage is not by any stretch of the imagination a barometer of progress for the majority of queer and trans people. This article contains mentions of transphobia and transphobic violence Last week, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize gay
Logan Paul’s racist actions have a context and also a history.Last week, a white man named Logan Paul traveled to Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), a sacred forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan where many Japanese people have historically died by suicide. There, he (surprise!) discovered the corpse of a Japanese suicide victim hanging from a tree, and proceeded to visually record and upload this experience to his public YouTube page. Paul made sure to provide personal commentary on his video as well: this commentary, in addition to making racial slurs about the victim, openly mocked his dead body and made tasteless jokes about the act of suicide. In the days of internet backlash that followed this event, it was subsequently discovered that Paul was in fact a minor YouTube celebrity with a long track record of making racist videos and commentary, especially about Japanese and East Asian people more broadly. In a series of earlier videos, Paul is shown shouting and making a commotion at a quiet temple where Japanese people are praying, throwing coins at them and making a mockery of their spiritual rituals. The image of him laughing at the corpse of a dead Japanese person was thus a clear extension of his general view of Japan: a country populated by sub-humans who mainly exist for his own entertainment. Logan Paul’s racist actions have a context and also a history. The image of a white man laughing at the corpse of a dead Japanese person reminded me of this famous photograph, taken sometime during the latter years of World War II, which depicts a white American soldier grinning at the skull of a “Jap” he had evidently murdered, and inserting a cigarette into the skull’s mouth for humorous effect. It also reminded me of how, during the same war, white American soldiers would frequently send the bones and bodily remains of Japanese soldiers they had killed back home to their wives and families as trophies of their conquest. There is a famous image of this phenomenon that was once featured on the cover of Life magazine, depicting a white woman sitting pensively at her desk, pen in hand, presumably writing a letter to her white soldier husband fighting in Japan, as she contemplates a “Jap” skull he had evidently sent her as a memento and token of his love for her, and of his country. She gazes at the skull fondly, lost in thought. Logan Paul didn’t kill the man whose dead body he filmed and circulated on YouTube, and the United States is no longer at war with Japan. But that Japanese man’s body played a similar role for Paul as the Japanese skull did for that white soldier all those years ago. It became a souvenir, a trophy, a memento. And, in the age of the internet, it became the electronic equivalent of a trophy: a meme. In his moment of triumph, Logan Paul had marched like a brave soldier into the deep, dark mysteries of the Orient and emerged victoriously with his prize, not to disappoint his loyal YouTube followers. And a corpse is what he was sending home as proof of his victory. Of course, Japanese people aren’t the only people of color that white people have terrorized in this way. Similar examples of white people defaming the bodies of deceased people of color by parading around with their remains for the purposes of entertainment can be found in almost any chapter of American history.
State-sponsored Buddhism is not peaceful or meditative. It is currently waging genocide against hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are effectively stateless.
Mainstream media outlets have finally begun to pay attention to (i.e. cover and write about in any significant way) the horrific, state-sponsored genocide being waged against a Muslim minority population in Myanmar called the Rohingya.
The persecution of the Rohingya by the Burmese government has been going on for many decades (at least since the 1970’s) in the form of state-sponsored discrimination: although they have been living in the western region of present-day Myanmar since at least the 15th century — historians believe that the Rohingya are modern-day descendants of former Arab traders in southeast Asia — Rohingya Muslims, who together make up about 2% of Myanmar’s predominantly Buddhist population, have been denied voting rights, Burmese citizenship, higher education, as well as free movement across borders. The Rohingya have effectively been living under apartheid.
The Rohingya are not the only population of Muslim minorities that suffer persecution at the hands of state-sponsored terrorism across the Asian continent. The Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang, a province in far western China bordering Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, have also suffered persecution by the state and by the majority Han ethnic group in China.