warning: this is a really long post.
i don't know. i just don't know.
i've been thinking too much lately. thinking about what we are doing here, on this island, in this country. i know the immediate reasons but the long term? i am uncertain.
i've been considering racism and bullying in japan. wondering if things will ever change. wondering if it is better to give up or stand up.
every generation always says the next generation will have it better. that things are better than they once were. but on this island, we live as in amber. there is no change.
the argument that rises when people question racism, discrimination, condoned school violence is that it is their country. they get to choose.
is it just my happy-go-lucky white american view of multiculturalism and globalization?
does this explain why i feel that everyone around the world needs to let go of prejudice and accept that we are all in this human mess together?
is it better in america?
i don't know. my america is the american south, a region riddled with racial tension and tremendous prejudice. a place where even in my last part-time job, i saw a girl get fired because of "cultural differences" that didn't mix well with the team. aka she was black. i defended her but i didn't quit over it. i needed the paycheck. which made me feel part of it.
which brings me back to japan. we are the token whites. our children are fair and nico looks like a kewpie doll (he gets called kewpie-chan all the time). people give them money, presents, and snacks just for being cute. nico gets it more than sebastian this time. sebastian no longer has red hair but nico's blond is still shining bright, fitting into the stereotype of ideal foreign-ess. he gets a ridiculous amount of attention for his looks. luckily he's not very aware of it, for being two he naturally expects everyone to treat him like the sun. in general, toddlers in japan do get a lot of attention but nothing compares to this.
and yet, is it acceptance? no, it is just the blond hair. so again, i feel in our own way we are supporting racism since it works in our favor right now.
do i have the right to make my children the discriminated against minority? should i gamble that sebastian and nico will be the lucky ones? that they will have good friends and supportive teachers, unlike many others? it's not the minority status i fear, but the institutionalized racism that allows bullying to flourish. the fact that so little is done to amend it makes me wonder, what am i doing here?
at times like these, i try to put on my objective lens that i crafted during my undergraduate studies. but the mama lens refuses to be removed.
raising the kids bilingually and biculturally has to be worth it, right? we have to hope so. but maybe we are wrong. are the benefits of bilingualism enough to overcome what could potentially be a traumatic childhood? i am just being neurotic i suppose but i have to get this out here and ask you, what do you think? seriously, i really need some perspective. thank you.