Mr. James & racial karma
Arudou Debito’s campaign to shame McDonald’s into dropping its “Mr. James” ad campaign by encouraging international attention has hit a stumbling block: Americans who apparently believe that that the emergence of the advertisements is an example of karma.
Over at the Huffington Post, a pair of Asian-American women who call themselves Disgrasian has written a short article about Mr. James. The authors seem offended by stereotypes of Asians they witness in American ad campaigns and they’ve also expressed disgust with stereotypes of Asians they believe were present in a recent Marie Claire article about Asian trophy wives. When they look at the Mr. James commercials they recognize the same kind of stereotyping, but don’t care because “Karma’s one wacky bitch, isn’t it?”
In the comment section of their post, user darintenb responded with the following:
So let me get this straight…
Something happened in America that was offensive to Asian people, thus something that happens to un-related white people in an Asian country is ‘Karma’, thus these new victims deserved it? Is that what you are saying?
All your sources about these disrespectful acts towards Asians in America are speaking out against them, correct? So if these acts of disrespect towards Asians in America are wrong, and you say this act of disrespect towards whites in Asia is the same thing, shouldn’t it also be wrong as well?
I can almost hear you chanting, ‘nah, nah na na naaa!!’ as you wrote this post. The appropriate way to go about this would be to try and use act in Japan as an example for Americans as to why this type of stereotyping is disrespectful, and thus try and gain further understanding and cooperations by both parties to put a stop to this type of stuff. But unfortunately, you are instead finding joy in other peoples suffering, which in fact contributes not to the greater good, but the greater evil.
One can make a number of good arguments to counter to the complaints being brought up by those who do no like the Mr. James advertisements. Gloating over the discomfort of a white minority in another country and claiming it is “karma” is not one of them.
A note to those coming here from Disgrasian’s response post:
I stand by everything in the above post. Your feeble attempt to backtrack and explain your karma comments doesn’t change the obvious message of your first post.
Don’t make assumptions about how foreign residents of Japan needed their eye’s opened to racial issues. Both your original post and your follow-up post continue to assume that white residents of Japan are ignorant about the existence of racial stereotyping in the countries they used to live in. Are you really so stupid?
Meanwhile, the issue seems to be giving birth to even cruder crap. I noticed the following comic this morning on twitter:
- Akihabara News – Gadgetry from Japan (Subscribe)
- dannychoo.com – Your portal to Japan (Subscribe)
- Kirainet.com – A geek in Japan (Subscribe)