Discrimination is discrimination

Hey JC, discrimination is discrimination, but the “reverse” in “reverse discrimination” implies that the victim of such discrimination is being subjected to a similar discrimination. Yeah, right. As if Bakke was denied admission because he was considered intellectually inferior because of his race, or because the majority categorized him and everyone else of his race as less privileged simply because he was the wrong color. So, yeah, I agree with you, “reverse discrimination” is a term we should reconsider.

According to tiggerj, “writing about all these topics are cathartic…” I agree.

So let me purge myself by sharing one of my pet peeves: Why do the Japanese in Japan call me by my first name? Isn’t that a kind of discrimination? A way of setting me apart because of my nationality, or worse, to stigmatize me as not being Japanese?

This thought really bothered me a few years ago when I was living in Japan. I went to get a haircut and the male hairdresser, thinking I was Japanese greeted me and began to cut my hair. I had signed in as 花見りお, and he commented that my first name was rather cool. ご両親はしゃれてますね。「りお」って名前をつけて、コッコいいですね。 (You’re parents are hip. Giving you a name like Leo is pretty cool. )

I replied: 実は、あめりかじんだから、Leoって別にしゃれた名前じゃないですよ.(Actually, I知 American so Leo is not an especially cool name.)

Well, we continued to talk as he cut my hair, when I realized that he was now calling me by my first name: りおさん、頭をゆすぎます.(Leo-san, I will rinse your hair.)

Hmm。… What痴 this all about? If he were talking to any other first-time customer, he would never call them by their first name. What made me so different?

So I asked him, and his response was:りおさんはアメリカジンで、アメリカではファーストネームを使うのでは…(You池e American, and so don稚 they use first names in America?)

Ooooh, I get it. How IGNORANT can I be? So when this hairdresser comes to the US, I should refer to him as Mr. Suzuki (not his real name)–unlike my associates Bob, Carol, Ted, and Alice–because, IN JAPAN THEY USE LAST NAMES WITH EACH OTHER.

His response? それは、ちょっと不愉快ですね.(That would be a bit uncomfortable.)


Purge, purge, purge!

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