Marketed racism

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TrooperMaximus, Jul 11, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TrooperMaximus

    TrooperMaximus TFW2K5 Sailor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Posts:
    158
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Likes:
    +0
    Disclaimer: This is meant as an opinion poll, not to outrage anyone. :) 

    So the other day I'm in Target and I see a Marvel Minimates package with "Gaijin Wolverine" and thought it very inappropriate; since I’ve been taught that the word gaijin is a Japanese ethnic slur it offended me slightly.

    My next thought was if the Marvel Company would produce an "N" word Blade figure to be Gaijin Wolvie's partner and maybe a Gringo Cable or Cracker Cyclops too. Does anyone agree or disagree?

    Why is it okay to market some ethnic slurs?
     
  2. Shin-Gouki

    Shin-Gouki Rebuilding Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Posts:
    9,937
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Location:
    Originally: Huntington Beach, CA, Now: Cincinnati
    Likes:
    +40
    That one depends on the setting used. Gaijin literally means outlander or foreigner, granted it's tended use is in the negative. If the setting is say Japan than Wolvie would be Gaijin in a literal sense

    "The use of the word gaijin is often a source of controversy. While the term is not necessarily pejorative, its use can be considered offensive in some circumstances, in part because it is a contraction (and thus less formal than other terms), and in part because of mixed perceptions of its specific meaning.

    For example, while a non-Japanese person might not object to being referred to as gaikoku no kata (roughly, a person from another country), in some situations—such as a business setting—gaijin would be inappropriately informal.

    Since there are specific rules for polite speech in Japanese, and since Japanese people are sensitive to differences in nuance of different speech styles, the use of the word gaijin is usually deliberate, that is, it is either deliberately deployed as a pejorative—as in the terms baka-gaijin (stupid foreigner!) or gaijin-kusai (literally, "it stinks of foreigners"); only used when it is assumed that any non-Japanese present will not understand what is being said—asoko no gaijin ("that foreigner over there"); or used only in situations where its intended meaning—whether neutral or otherwise—will not be ambiguous. The standard form in government and media is gaikokujin.

    Some non-Japanese also object to the use of gaijin as a form of address (as in gaijin-san). It is common in Japanese to address others by title rather than name. For example, customers are customarily addressed as O-kyaku-sama ("honourable customer"); a person who works in a bookshop might be addressed as Honya-san (Mr. Bookseller); a butcher might be addressed as Nikuya-san (Miss Butcher), and so on. However, addressing others by a physical trait is not usually seen as polite. For example, it would not be acceptable, in most cases, to address someone as Debu-san (Mr. Fatty) or Megane-san (Ms. Eyeglasses). The term gaijin-san is almost akin to calling someone Mrs. Foreigner and especially when combined with Japanese difficulties with intonation, can be objectionable to a neutral non-Japanese.

    Some object to the word gaijin on the grounds that it is inappropriately broad. Japanese speakers often use gaijin as a convenient catch-all descriptive term. Indeed, many foreigners in Japan refer to themselves and each other as gaijin in certain situations, such as in conversation with Japanese friends, just as many people might describe themselves as "Asian" when speaking English.

    Others object to the term based on a literal reading of the kanji with which it is written. While Japanese words, like English ones, are most often more than the sum of their parts, and while the etymology of the word "foreigner" is in fact similar (coming from the Latin foranus, meaning "on the outside"), it is felt by some that the term is overused in the Japanese context, whereas an English speaker might prefer other terms in certain situations. Specifically, since even long-term ex-pats in Japan are referred to as gaijin, many foreigners feel that the word symbolizes their cultural and social exclusion from the Japanese community and the reluctance of some Japanese to accept Japanese citizens of non-Japanese ethnicity and of the government to acknowledge persons of non-Japanese ethnicity as citizens even if they are born in Japan. In contrast, for example, a person from Japan who is a long-term resident of Canada might be called "Japanese-Canadian," "of Japanese descent," or even simply "Canadian." It is also pointed out that gaijin can suggest "stranger," "outsider," or even "enemy." This exclusion from the Japanese "we" can be especially trying to those who have made great adjustments to their behavior to conform to rigorous standards of Japanese etiquette and especially considering that other major powers such as the UK and the US have inclusive conceptions of social identity.

    Some English speakers point out that even in English the term "foreigner" or worse, "alien," can have negative implications in certain contexts. For example, it would not usually be considered polite to refer to someone as "the foreign man," or to describe someone as being "foreign," particularly when that person is a long-term resident or even citizen of the country. It is pointed out that such phrasing is often chosen for reasons of racism."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaijin
     
  3. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Posts:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Likes:
    +0
    Means 'foreigner', probably in a negative way... not quite an ethnic slur like the N word you compared it too.

    The japanese use to describe 'outsiders'... it is not a negative term about japanese people.
     
  4. TrooperMaximus

    TrooperMaximus TFW2K5 Sailor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Posts:
    158
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Likes:
    +0
    Not about Japanese people but about 'foreigners' as you said. So it's exactly meant to be derogatory. I understand nuances are the key, but why is it acceptable?
     
  5. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    15,170
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Likes:
    +4
    I didn’t realize you had copied that as I was reading it and I was thinking to myself “Who dose this guy think he is wikipedia or something?”
     
  6. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    10,521
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +127
    As stated in the long article Shin-Gouki pasted, it's not always offensive. It depends on context. Even when it is offensive, it's not a racial slur. Think of it like calling someone an "alien" in English (and not meaning from space). In this case, it's being used to emphasize Wolverine's status as an outsider in Japan, so it seems fine to me.
     
  7. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    15,170
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Likes:
    +4
    I’m guessing because it’s not specific to a race or nationality. They are not calling Wolverine gaijin because he is Canadian or white but because he is not from Japan.
     
  8. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    10,521
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +127
    Exactly. It covers more than race. Wolverine didn't grow up immersed in their culture and speaking their language, doesn't think like them, etc.
     
  9. ambushbug74

    ambushbug74 Stroke me, Stroke me! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Posts:
    7,750
    Trophy Points:
    241
    Likes:
    +0
    I never knew that it was considered a slur of any kind. I just thought it meant foreigner. But I can see what you mean, the could go right ahead and make an "N" word whoever and say they were using the actual definition of it "an ignorant person". Rather then the ethnic slur it has become today. As for the "actual definition" part, I'm not 100% positive, but I had read that someplace, and can not back up the claim at all.
     
  10. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    10,521
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +127
    you heard someone making shit up. It comes from the Latin for "black".
     
  11. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    15,170
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Likes:
    +4
    As it has been pointed out it depends on the context, much like with the word ‘foreigner’. One can say “Oh him? He’s a foreigner, I think he comes from (enter your favorite country here).” And there is nothing bad in there, or one can say “That damn dirty foreigner is taking away all my jobs!” and then it’s negative.

    I was under the impression the “N” word was a bastardization of Nigerian and was always intended as a harsh name given to a group of people.
     
  12. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Posts:
    10,521
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +127
    Nope. It wasn't always derogatory. I'm pretty sure Nigeria gets its name from the same Latin root word. If so that would effectively make "Nigeria" the same as "Blackland" or something close to that.
     
  13. TrooperMaximus

    TrooperMaximus TFW2K5 Sailor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Posts:
    158
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Likes:
    +0
    Okay so gaijin is open to interpretation. My fellow sailors have been the recipients of its negative connotation, so it's (only) slightly offensive to me.

    More to the point why is it okay to sell products that blatantly use racist but acceptable words in society: Cracker, Gringo, Wetback . . . etc as opposed to words like the "n" word.
     
  14. Jux

    Jux Please, call me Steve. Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2002
    Posts:
    22,664
    Trophy Points:
    296
    Likes:
    +0
    What products have you seen that use those terms?
     
  15. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    15,170
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Likes:
    +4
    That’s sort of what I meant, where unlike gaijin the “N” word is specific.

    http://www.mashby.com/images/posts/cracker_box.jpg
     
  16. Jux

    Jux Please, call me Steve. Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2002
    Posts:
    22,664
    Trophy Points:
    296
    Likes:
    +0
    I LOL'd.
     
  17. ambushbug74

    ambushbug74 Stroke me, Stroke me! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Posts:
    7,750
    Trophy Points:
    241
    Likes:
    +0
    You know, Ritz Crackers, Gringo Oil and Wetback Baby Wipes.
     
  18. TrooperMaximus

    TrooperMaximus TFW2K5 Sailor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Posts:
    158
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Likes:
    +0
    Posters, apparel, action figures (for if it's even a tiny bit offensive in today's world...)

    Oh yeah and the cracker link, kinda funny!
     
  19. Orodruin

    Orodruin @deathformer TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Posts:
    11,393
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    286
    Likes:
    +5
    They may also be using it to emphasize the character's less than sociable nature. Not just an outsider from the perspective of Japanese society, but such a loner that he's an outsider pretty much anywhere.
     
  20. Shin-Gouki

    Shin-Gouki Rebuilding Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Posts:
    9,937
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Location:
    Originally: Huntington Beach, CA, Now: Cincinnati
    Likes:
    +40
    It's not like the figure said baka-gaijin (stupid foreigner!)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page