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January 21, 2006

Comments

Ke

Hey, this is Faizah from blacktokyo!

I just wanted to say you are ON POINT with this entry.

When I watched Bobby O on TV and all my ( American and Japanese) friends laughed, I just felt that they were buying into the stereotypes of black people.

It's crazy to think that these images still exist, but we gotta fight them and stand up for ourselves!

Peace!

Winnie

Well said.
Santos is a great counter example. I refuse to defend Sapp or Ologun when I know they could do something else, but don't seem to want to.

JAmericanDude

Well, it can be argued though that the whole way of Japanese celebrities whether one race or another is 99% of the time what we call selling out. Lenny Kravitz and Smashmouth got hit hard for putting their songs on commercials. For most Japanese celebrities this is the only way to make ANY money.
Japan is a land filled with stereotypes and people looking merely on the outside (like the rest of the world is any better) but I've noticed that Japanese people seem to perceive Black people as primitive and unintelligent.
There's a whole book written about this side of Japan and I wish they'd translate it into English so I could look the whole thing over without having to look up every other word. If you can read it then I think you'd find it interesting. Translated it means "Japanese people throw your common sense out"

Tiago James

I agree with this blog. I think those two black men could "acting" in a different way. To each his own..., but I think if black people is perceived as a bad or uninteligent people, it's necessary a reaction. No violence, of course, but show to them the true value of african people.

Reality Bytes

I dunno. When I see Bob Sap, I first see a HUGE human being. Intimidatingly large. The size of Godzilla. That alone makes great TV. The fact he's black is inconsequential to me. He could be any race and still be very entertaining for his sheer size and personality.
Aren't there positive sides to the "stereotype" in the video? Eg. that black men are strong, that black men have a soft side?
I assume you are objecting to the association with gorillas, but I would argue that is more a function of size than skin color.
People, in reality hate clowns. We love anyone who can be laughed at and laugh at themselves. That is not in and of itself a crime. It is also not easy to do. Consider Charlin Chaplin for instance. If you want a more positive intelligent pop figure, how about Tiger Woods? He's famous in Japan, why single out the buffoon? Tiger Woods might make interesting TV, but not entertaining TV.
For the masses entertainment trumps, always.

"In this case, they like to laugh at the big, black, dumb "all brawn-no brains," images on the screen.

Why add black to this sentence? What does it have to do with it? Why not add foreigner or man? As a male, I could complain that men are being negatively stereotyped. However, I wouldn't because I wouldn't be concerned about the association. I am nowhere near the size of Bob Sap.

I suppose you could say that Hollywood's negative stereotyping has had a residual affect on Japanese perceptions.

But seriously, I don't entirely get what being black has to do with it.

I didn't watch the other video, but there your probably right...

hmfan24

Well, I understand, but sadly America would put the same thing on TV. Really...

Jamasian

Actually I can totally understand why a black person can be upset by this. I still live in America but i like involving myself in as much Japanese media as possible. So when i first saw these men i was like "woo hoo! they let black people on tv!!" [i want to pursue acting in Asia as an American. Black American.]So of course i laughed in the beginning, but after that i could only think "Can they really speak Japanese? Do they ever do anything smart/serious? Why did they go to Japan?"

To the random men. I think it seems worse because they are not just foreigners. They are not just men. They are black men that are rare in Japan, meaning the average Japanese person may only be able to look to these two to determine how black people really are.

It's like family. Would you want only your family member who loves to act crazy be your families representative?

Jamasian

Actually I can totally understand why a black person can be upset by this. I still live in America but i like involving myself in as much Japanese media as possible. So when i first saw these men i was like "woo hoo! they let black people on tv!!" [i want to pursue acting in Asia as an American. Black American.]So of course i laughed in the beginning, but after that i could only think "Can they really speak Japanese? Do they ever do anything smart/serious? Why did they go to Japan?"

To the random men. I think it seems worse because they are not just foreigners. They are not just men. They are black men that are rare in Japan, meaning the average Japanese person may only be able to look to these two to determine how black people really are.

It's like family. Would you want only your family member who loves to act crazy be your families representative?

samuel  welsh

Africian people are great lets
avoid any nasty sterotypes.

Landyn

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BlasianJapan

Amen! I'm a "Blasian" Afropean in Japan, I have come into contact with many people who immediately call me "Bobby" upon seeing me (I look nothing like the man); I've old men scowling at me in public and young women laugh and say "kowai kowai, Bobby ya!" (scary scary its bobby!) on the train, despite the highly professional image I put out to and from work; I've had teenagers say "kimoi, kokujin ya! Bobbu mitai!" (Oh Gross, its a blackman! He looks just like Bobb (Sapp)!) and laugh in my face with the majority of adult onlookers not telling them to be quiet, but actually sniggering in agreement with them.

THIS is the experience of many black men in Japan. The antics of black talentos like the two B's are by and large the cause of our sometimes negative treatment in this country: Let's be honest about that. Its high time we voice our concerns instead of continuing to fool ourselves into thinking we are treated similar to our Caucasian or Asians counterparts (who are either positively viewed for their "desirable" features or are largely invisible to the native population) and that we are all equally viewed as "Gaikokujin".

Why must people like Bob Sapp or Bobby Ologun continue to denigrate the image of the blackman when they are well aware of the discrimination they faced before and even after hitting the limelight? Selling themselves for a few laughs and dollars equals more discrimination for us all.

Bunny

@ Reality Bytes: (Yes, I know you wrote this in 2007, but I don't care) Ugh, after reading this I KNEW there'd be a denier in the comment section, don't even know why I bothered reading.

I don't get how you could read that entry and not take in the part historical association with black men/women and gorillas/coon and buffoon stereotypes and see why this type of presentation is a problem. And then you have the audacity to ask how 'black' is relevant... Really?? Did you even read the whole thing? So you probably think she's just making this up, or looking for reasons to be offended.

I swear, whenever race comes up you white people act as if you're all reading from the same script. It's disgusting. I hope something snaps you out of your fantasy world eventually...but sadly, it probably won't happen

ANYways, thanks Takara for this entry!

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After reading this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this post together. Once again I find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting.

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