Japadog? Really? Is The Los Angeles Times really promoting racism by playfully using a racist slur in their headlines to highlight a fusion of Japanese food and hot dog? What is a Japadog? Wasn’t the reporter, Jenn Harris, even thinking when she wrote the story that Japadog would be offensive? Obviously she’s Asian American, and possibly Japanese American, but doesn’t she realize that Japadog is offensive?
I wonder, if an African American reporter would have done a story in South Los Angeles, (a predominately black and African American neighborhood) about a person from the continent of Africa who created a fusion delicacy: Southern food with hot dogs and called it N*ggadog? I’m sure the editors would throw the story away and wouldn’t think about posting this online.
Yet the story Harris wrote, she being Asian and all, and the word Jap does not have the same bite as the “N” word…which would be OK. Well it’s not. We are not Japs and neither the editors nor some immigrants from Japan can speak for Japanese Americans and assume that Japadog is OK.
This is what happens when the so-called model minority is placed in second class status. We are either a successful ethnic group that transcends racism or our culture is no longer a culture but so Americanized that using the word Jap in Japadog is not a big deal.
Another thing that bothers me is when an immigrant from Africa wishes to be creative, they are silenced but it’s OK for an immigrant from Japan to be racist? Why, are black folks that weak? Well, they are not. Racism from any group is racism and must end. When Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said —
“Since there are black people, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans in the United States,” he said, according to Japanese TV and newspaper reports, ”its level of intelligence is lower on the average.”
— there was a giant uproar. Now, by pointing out the racism from The Los Angeles Times‘ article, I’m sure I’ll be accused of pulling out the race card like my last story —
— when I pointed out the racism by the Republicans. Apparently, there is a two-tiered system when it comes to racism, either out on main street or in the corporate world…like The Los Angeles Times.
Japanese Americans are People of Color and we are also minorities. We experience racism and violence and, get this, we are the second largest ethnic group behind whites when it comes to using social services.
Also, Asian American women and girls have the highest suicide rate according to the CDC…so much for the model minority, right? The damage is already done. The story is out and now people wanting to try this fusion of traditional Japanese food on a hot dog will now ask for a Japadog. Sadly, the term Jap will be acceptable and not a pejorative that needs to be removed from the U.S. and now world language lexicon.
Tim’s first experience into journalism was at East Los Angeles College. Then Tim was a stringer for a local Japanese American Newspaper in Los Angeles. He then completed his Bachelors in Business and RECEIVED his MBA, but his desire to seek the truth has not been assuaged by fear of the 1% or their followers. When Tim isn’t doing his liberal thing, he enjoys sitting back, relaxing and listening to Rush…the band folks!