How to take offense at just about anything


Debito Arudou at the Japan Times (h/t Althouse):

Microagressions, particularly those of a racialized nature, are, according to Dr. Derald Wing Sue in Psychology Today (Oct. 5, 2010), “the brief and everyday slights, insults, indignities, and denigrating messages sent to (visible minorities) by well-intentioned (members of an ethnic majority in a society) who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated.”

They include, in Japan’s case, verbal cues (such as “You speak such good Japanese!” — after saying only a sentence or two — or “How long will you be in Japan?” regardless of whether a non-Japanese (NJ) might have lived the preponderance of their life here), nonverbal cues (people espying NJ and clutching their purse more tightly, or leaving the only empty train seat next to them), or environmental cues (media caricatures of NJ with exaggerated noses or excessive skin coloration, McDonald’s “Mr. James” mascot (JBC, Sept. 1, 2009)).

Usually these are unconscious acts grounded in established discourses of interactions. Nobody “means” to make you feel alienated, different, out of place, or stereotyped.

But microaggressions are also subtle societal self-enforcement mechanisms to put people “in their place.” For NJ, that “place” is usually the submissive status of “visitor” or “guest,” with the Japanese questioner assuming the dominant position of “host” or “cultural representative of all Japan.”

It’s a powerful analytical tool. Now we have a word to describe why it gets discomfiting when people keep asking if you can use chopsticks (the assumption being that manual dexterity is linked to phenotype), or if you can eat nattō (same with taste buds), or if you’ll be going “home” soon (meaning Japan is just a temporary stop in your life and you don’t belong here). It can even help you realize why it’s so difficult for the NJ long-termer to become a senpai in the workplace (since NJ subordination is so constant and renewed in daily interaction that it becomes normalized).

Now let’s consider microaggression’s effects. Dr. Sue’s research suggests that subtle “microinsults and microinvalidations are potentially more harmful (than overt, conscious acts of racism) because of their invisibility, which puts (visible minorities) in a psychological bind.”

Japan is very homogenous and they place a high value on culture, conformity and tradition. “Cosmopolitan” is not exactly the first thing you think of when discussing Japan. They don’t get many immigrants either. I’m not judging, just stating facts.

As you might have guessed, the author is not Japanese. He’s not even Asian. He’s a white guy. Debito Arudou was born David Christopher Schofill and grew up in upstate New York. He moved to Japan as an adult. Even though he is now a Japanese citizen it’s not surprising that native-born Japanese assume he is a foreign visitor when they first meet him.

But he is living proof that you can take offense at just about anything if you try. He would fit right in at MSNBC, except that he’s white and therefore he can’t claim racial victim status.

About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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74 Responses to How to take offense at just about anything

  1. The Klown says:

    From wmcb – Progressive Racists:

  2. The Klown says:
  3. The Klown says:

    Washington Times:

    The threat of being stripped of committee assignments, losing party support for re-election or being blamed in the polls for the shutdown has little effect on the likes of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah and their allies in the House.

    “We are getting zero fiscal discipline,” a frustrated Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said when explaining why he voted against the budget deal despite hailing from a state that voted for President Obama twice.

    There is also a misunderstanding in the mainstream media about what really motivated these boat-rockers. It wasn’t about actually stopping Democrats from taking the Affordable Care Act across the goal line, nor was it about raising the debt ceiling before Mr. Obama and the Democrats offered any significant spending cuts.

    Rather, it was about showing that there were Republicans in Congress who understood that standing and fighting was itself the goal — the endgame that disparaging critics on the left, right and center said was glaringly absent from Mr. Cruz’s crusade.

  4. The Klown says:

    National Journal:

    The Republican establishment despises Ted Cruz. And that’s great news for the senator from Texas: It’s the most prominent sign that he’s the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination…

    “There’s a sense that we played it their way two straight campaign seasons for president, and we’re not going to do that again,” said John Brabender, who served as the chief strategist for Rick Santorum’s second-place presidential campaign last year. “There is an angry, take-no-prisoner conservative out there saying, ‘Look, we’re tired of negotiating, we’re tired of compromising.’”…

    Carney added: “His scorn by the media and the establishment and Capitol Hill staff is just making him stronger. He comes across as a breath of fresh air.”…

    “What’s happened, the opposition, the Left, and the establishment of the Republican Party has elevated Ted Cruz to an unprecedented level if he chooses to run in 2016,” said Vander Plaats. “I really believe if the Iowa caucuses were held today, I don’t even think it’d be close. Ted Cruz would walk away with it.”

    • Lulu says:

      They don’t understand that Ted Cruz now the symbol of resistance. He is not The Man. Obama and the entrenched Republicans are The Man. I want to thank the media for showing who the corrupt powers are and their hysterical frenzy to support entrenched authority.

    • Blessyourheart says:

      Please proceed, teabaggers. Hillary 2016, motherfuckers!

      • The Klown says:

        I have never tea-bagged anyone in my life but if you’re into that sort of thing we could work something out. Do I need to shave them first?

      • wmcb says:

        Go lick a boot, slaver. When it kicks you, cough up that $6000 deductible and whimper “Please, sir, may I have some more?”

        “Oh-Ba-Ma! Oh-Ba-Ma! Oh-Ba-Ma!”

        • Wanda the Teabagee Troll says:

          I actually have very generous insurance benefits through my employer which will not be affected by the ACA. This is because my employer values me enough to already offer well beyond what the law requires. I do not work for a Fortune 500 company, just an employer that understands that a healthy employee is a good employee. Why are you so hateful that you don’t want poor disadvantaged people to have health care coverage? Probably because you’re a prima donna, over privileged, self entitled bitch? Yeah, I’ll go with that. Oh and you’re rabidly racist, but that goes without saying. Jesus, your tirade about cultural (race) purity is pretty fucking shocking, even for this teabag playground.

        • leslie says:


        • leslie says:

          Yo, Wanda!!!

          Why are you so hateful that you don’t want poor disadvantaged people to have health care coverage?

          I work for the State. I see poor disadvantaged people who have better health care coverage than any of us just using their Medicaid. Try talking about what you know. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmkay sweetie.

        • wmcb says:

          LOLOLOLOL!!!! I knew if I tried I could get poor Wanda the Whiny Witch of The Left to lose her shit.

          Jesus, but these rimjobbers are so predictable. And evidently shocked at people discussing reality as well. Go back to unicorn land cupcake, where the Worker’s Paradise really exists, your good intentions actually help the poor, and people give a sweet shit when you wave the magical “rayciss!” talisman at the scary boogeymen.

        • leslie says:

          So, Is Wanda under 26 and “work” for her parents?
          . . . asking for a friend

        • Lulu says:

          Man oh man. Wait until she figures out the Cadillac plan tax and it kicks her. If the whole shithouse doesn’t collapse first.

        • r u reddy says:

          Wanda . . . Do you really think that Obamacare will deliver more good care to more people? I suspect it will undercover and malcover more people than it newly covers. The only people it may cover better are those people who can get Medicaide in those states which support the expanded Medicaide concept.

          There is a very good blog called Naked Capitalism which has been running many posts and comments about the cheat and deceit nature of Obamacare.

  5. driguana says:

    a short primer on the Federal Reserve for anyone who has forgotten or didn’t know…

  6. votermom says:

    Debito Arudou was born David Christopher Schofill and grew up in upstate New York. He moved to Japan as an adult.

    Ha ha! Dumb gaijin trying to pass as Japanese. Good luck with that. Even half-Japanese kids born in Japan aren’t accepted as fully Japanese.

    • The Klown says:

      And they really don’t care what you are, if you ain’t 100% Japanese you ain’t shit. Dumb white people think “Asian” is one big homogenous group. THEY can tell each other apart, even if we can’t.

      • 1539days says:

        That’s what happens when you live on an island. You get limited genetic diversity.

      • SHV says:

        “THEY can tell each other apart, even if we can’t.”
        Back in the late 90s, my ex and I spent about three weeks traveling around China on 2nd and 3rd class trains. We would hire local guides at various stops. All of the guides were “Han” and would point out other people who a “blah..blah person..not Han person”. The Japanese, however, were even more “race” aware than the Han Chinese.

  7. The Klown says:


  8. trixta says:

    Dr. DW Sue advances a new theory of racism…wonder if she has also coined the term “micro-racism” in her article. Perhaps, her next article should step it up a notch and advance the terms “atomic-racism” or “nano-racism.”

    On another note — which reads as good as the Sunday funnies! — is the Klein article about Oprah’s and her response to the WH past snubs. Oh, Lordy!:

    • DeniseVB says:

      Oprah’s an “atomic-racist” for pushing an unqualified black person to lead our country when she probably wouldn’t hire him to run her company Harpo. He’s done more damage to our country than a A-bomb could. 😉

    • r u reddy says:

      Perhaps Oprah will be another sharp stick which can get the sensitive Obama to do a Nixon flipout in public, especially if she starts running Obamacare disaster stories on her media platforms.

  9. trixta says:

    i.e. …”Oprah’s response”…

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    Used abused and dis carted the Obama way. 😦

    • r u reddy says:

      He also helped increase the debt by sending Biden to negotiate behind Reid’s back on how to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent instead of letting them naturallly sunset back to Clinton era rates. Part of why he did that is to grow the debt so big as to make the debt
      a successful torture tool to extort our prepaid trust fund money from Social Security.

  11. threewickets says:

    The whine-ification of America. Training for the Victim Olympics begins early in college. It’s become a growth industry. That said, noboby competes with the Japanese when it comes to passive-aggressive nudging of foreigners in country. And they’re so painfully polite about it. 🙂

  12. helenk3 says:

    this is a really good article a must read
    obamacare the new vietmam war

  13. wmcb says:

  14. wmcb says:

    HAHAHAHA! My senator upon returning home:

  15. wmcb says:

    • The Klown says:

      That way they can start crusades to “Stamp out _____” like they had in the 40’s and 50’s.

      All the curable diseases are gone. What’s a prog gonna do to justify their existence?

  16. helenk3 says:

    Hitler finds out about the obamacare exchanges

  17. SHV says:

    OT…but Hurray!! for Medicare….Just got my bill for a 6 day hospital stay, three weeks ago….$81,575.00, my cost $73.50

    Six years ago, had a similar surgery and because of an insurance company catch22 of in-out of “network” my out of pocket cost was $47,000.

    • leslie says:

      OMG! I now have something to look forward to in 1.5 years when I retire. I was thinking about having the surgery this year while I’m still covered by work. But the copays are now exhorbitant. I’m awaiting for 2015, now.

      Hope you’re doing well SHV.

      • 1539days says:

        Until Medicare becomes another Obamacare plan.

      • SHV says:

        After that experience with the insurance company, getting to age 65 was like crossing the health care finish line. With Medicare, no network or balance billing bullshit. The next big Uni-Party push will be to “privatize” Medicare and Medicaid.

    • helenk3 says:

      glad you are feeling better. And also about the medical payment.

  18. helenk3 says:

    how to apply for obamacare before you know what it costs

  19. helenk3 says:

    More: US Treasury Sec. Lew says focus needs to shift from fiscal policy to other issues like infrastructure and immigration – @meethepress

    do not know whether to laugh or cry at this. this guy is in charge of our money

  20. leslie says:

    I’m out for the rest of the day. These “special snowflakes” who think that because they are “progressive and Liberal and democrats” they know about the poor and the underprivileged are giving me agita.
    And why yes, I mean you, Wanda and you, Blessyour heart, and anyone else assigned to monitor this blog and harrass the writers. You can all suck eggs or toes or cocks or anything else you can wrap your pretty little mouths around./rant


  21. The Klown says:
    • r u reddy says:

      If the global really is not warming, then the Arctic Sea Ice and all the various shrinking glaciers and icefields should also defy Al Gore in due time, stop shrinking, and begin growing back again. Also, the northern fringe of taiga and willow shrub brushland should stop avancing north into the tundra, and even begin retreating back south. If that happens, it would give the Warmists something to think about.

  22. helenk3 says:

    American retailers at war with American families.

  23. wmcb says:

    PROTIP: If anyone like Wandakins wants to critique anything I say, they’re gonna have to bring an argument why what I said is untrue , not hyperventilating hysterics over why it’s “bad” to say or my supposed motives for saying it.

    The working poor are getting screwed the most with Obamacare. And generational govt dependence has demonstrably DESTROYED entire communities. Pointing that out is not “mean” or “uncaring”, it is simple observational skills.

    • DeniseVB says:

      For Obamacare to work, they’re going to need a boatload of young healthy people to sign up and I don’t think they are. Getting a whole lot of people on Welfare though. It’s mad crazy right now.

      • lyn says:

        I guess the “free” birth control isn’t working out.

      • Lulu says:

        Medicaid is being converted to a poor folks HMO which will be absolute crap. Crummy hospitals, few specialists who accept it. few doctors with mostly nurse practitioners expected to treat the chronically ill. I have seen Obamacare described as two tier health care but it will really be more like 10 tier with Medicaid on the bottom. I think people are going to be shocked at the cruelty of it all.

    • DandyTIger says:

      Hahaha, you suggested Obots argue about policy and facts. That was funny.

  24. helenk3 says:

    not sure how to get the photo to show

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