Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
A reality, albeit an unfortunate one, is that the majority of ex-patriots one encounters in Tokyo are very left leaning and generally “progressive”. Walk into the English section at Kinokuniya and browse through the books available; Chomsky is the king and it all slides away left from there. Don’t get me wrong, I read Chomsky; read, not worship. But continuing on…
I’ve always found this hilarious considering the location these people have volunteered to live in: Japan. Japan is the most conservative developed nation on Earth. It’s also socially one of the very least progressive places. For example, Japan is 111th in gender equality world-wide. Not third or fourth, 111th. In the realm of immigration, one must realize Japan has no immigration policy, but rather an anti-immigration policy and has gone so far as to pay foreigners to leave. In so far as “Gay rights” are concerned, Japan is around 15th globally, largely due to Japan’s expertise at keeping things “ambiguous” and sticking with the now out-moded former US military policy of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”
Japan isn’t a socially progressive country and it’s not liberal. What it is and what Japan does provide though, is the ultimate safe space for liberals who are too lazy or just too scared, to express their opinions without much, if any, fear of a debate. This safe space wasn’t even built by them, in fact it’s a product of Japan’s conservative xenophobia. By and large, as proven again and again in legislation and in daily realities, the Japanese are largely anti-immigration and anti-foreigner.
Sure, the new fresh-faced cheery FOB teaching at GABA insists that the Japanese “love” foreigners. Well, yes within the very small sub-culture you’ve embedded yourself, and are in fact trapped in until you learn to speak the language and venture outside of, the Japanese you’re encountering are enthusiastic about foreigners. But this is a sub-culture and not representative of the whole. A good example of this is anecdotal but illustrative: MIXI. I won’t explain what that is/was as it would take too long, follow the link, but I remember being logged on and seeing the largest English language community, at the height of MIXI fame, had perhaps 300,000 members. I was impressed, until I saw the community for people who like pictures of say, cats wearing glasses and smoking cigars, which had 10 million members.
The example is, ha-ha, a joke but I hope it helps illustrate my point…
…and the point is this: Most foreigners here deal with other foreigners, and most of the foreigners are on the left, and this circular social construct means they never need to take a meaningful look at what’s really happening in Japan. Japan is partly responsible for this by insisting on treating most foreigners as semi-permanent guests, as opposed to citizens who should pony-up and take on their fair share of the burden. This is good for those would be social justice warriors, because it means they never need to actually DO anything. Many of these progressives who now lament the current state of the union in America, and live tucked away in their safe space here in Japan, are the same ones who went dashing to the nearest accessible airport in 2011, post-earthquake. When the time came to double down and actually risk something alongside the people and country which had supported them and played host to their squandered better years, they instead went running.
For better or for worse, and always by my own folly, I’ve been put in situations where I did in fact have to take a more meaningful look at realities in Japan and then deal with them.
One such example (one of many) would be my situation in the summer of 2011, which is relevant and illustrates well the hypocrisy of the self-made snowflake. In 2011 Japanese immigration conducted a crackdown and round-up of immigrants who had “overstayed” their visas. If you don’t know already, I was picked up in this round-up. I had multiple legal precedents for being in Japan, had been in touch with the immigration authorities regarding the situation, but I’d missed one phone call from them while away in the summer, and that was it: a gang of cops showed up in the morning and took me in.
Now, during that situation I had guests in jail, all friends, and obviously, I eventually made my way through that. However, at the time and since that time, never once, not one time, has anyone ever said or even hinted that it was anything other than my own fault for overstaying my visa and violating the terms of my permission to stay in Japan.
This includes the dozens of people I’ve seen post on social media, or have heard decry America’s immigration policies, which are far, far more liberal than Japan’s. Nobody ever said “How cruel they were!” in my case, despite the fact that I lost my job, lost my home, inconvenienced many friends and family, incurred several thousand dollars in debt due to violating my lease agreement and had to spend an, at the time, undetermined sentence incarcerated, and then eventually was literally dumped out on the street in Shinagawa with a see through garbage bag full of my belongings. No one has ever said “How dare they!”; No one. In fact, people have told me plainly, people who are very “Fuck your wall, Trump!” online, that it was nobodies fault but my own.
But, where were all these social justice warriors then?
Now, with social media especially, it’s easy for anyone to whip up a tweet pontificating about how “brave” some group of people are, and to expound on the faults of the easiest target on planet earth: The United States of America. There’s no easier target for ridicule as there’s no other issue, or collection of issues, on which one can so effectively mount the podium and proceed with coitus interruptus, basking in the glory of virtue confirmations golden showered down upon you by other like-minded, non-action taking evangelizers who, borrowing from Nasseem Taleb, have no skin in the game.
Although I often disagree with people heading to this march or that protest, I can at least respect their commitment to something beyond themselves. You, however…you untested and unchallenged opportunist of the lowest order, performing the moral equivalent of purse snatching from a grandmother, and then attempting to leverage this into some kind of light you are entitled to shine?
Well, you can Virtue Signal my balls, Gaijin. We both know, because you’ve already shown your true colors, when the safe spaces fracture and fall apart, you go a running.