Book Review — Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am A Racist
We at SAKURA HOUSE have been very fortunate of having the author Baye McNeil as one of our guests. Since he has recently released his book “Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am A Racist”, we thought it would be appropriate to read it.
This is the first time I’ve come across a book that openly brings up the issues surrounding racism in Japan.
This issue certainly is a well-protected one avoided by both foreigners as well as Japanese.
Everybody is trying to maintain the image of Japan being a country of constant kindness and hospitality. Don’t get me wrong. Japan is a very hospitable and friendly country, but the situation is that Japan is a country that have a long history of being well-protected and closed against any outside interference.
As history teaches us, Japan used to be completely closed during the Edo period and only after being forced to open up through the Meiji Restoration it has done so rather slowly.
Obviously, this has shaped and strongly influenced people’s attitude toward foreigners.
The book teaches us to deal with our own racism, no matter if you believe you possess such feelings or not. According to the book, everybody have feelings of racism, active or unconscious. I have never thought about myself as a racist, but I can not deny that I have feelings of, for example, danger toward groups of people that I haven’t been in any particular contact with. I guess it basically comes down to our fear of the unknown.
I believe it is very important to think about and confront these feelings in order to treat people with the proper respect they deserve.
Well, I think I should let the book itself further develop on this subject. If you are a foreigner living in Japan, or Japanese wanting to deal with the subject of racism then this book is perfectly targeted toward you.
In other words, read the book! It will definitely be worth your time!