The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony director, Kentaro Kobayashi was fired for a holocaust joke he made 23 years ago. If his pattern of behaviour since 23 years ago has been the same, then I would understand his firing. However, if his pattern of behaviour since 23 years ago has evolved, then I don’t get what was so bad about it. Yes, the holocaust was terrible. I am not denying that. However, how does one joke that happened 23 years ago, when he was a stand up comedian, find him guilty of being anti-semantic today?
The joke he said was, “Let’s play holocaust“, while dressed as a clown on a stage with another comedian, 23 years ago. I still don’t get the outrage. I didn’t hear him say that the holocaust was good. I didn’t hear him say to kill Jewish people. I didn’t hear him support the holocaust. So, what’s the problem?
When I was a teenager, I have made racist jokes, but they were jokes not meant to diminish the people I joked about. For example, I am of Chinese ethnicity. In the recent past, I put a basket on my head, put my arms in my sleeves, dimmed my eyes, and revealed my two front teeth over my lips, pretending to be a typical Chinese person shown in western media. Does that mean I am anti-Chinese? No. It means I was having a laugh of the absurdity of how we are portrayed. In a different instance, while in front of two of my East-Indian friends, I spoke in a stereotypical East-Indian accent and made a gesture with my raised hand like I am screwing a light bulb. They both laughed their asses off. So was I being anti-India there too? No, I wasn’t. So I am just wondering, how did Kentaro Kobayashi saying “Let’s play holocaust” during a comedy act 23 years ago, make him antisemitic? Has he donated to right-wing racist groups who support the killing of Jews? Has he stood up in celebratory support for being anti-semantic? Has he since continued to joke about the holocaust?
Of course, the reason I am even posting this, is because I came across the cursed comment section. More specifically, note Yehon_M’s comments that everyone who is defending common sense, must also be defending antisemitism. No one who isn’t a racist asshole is defending antisemitism. As you can clearly tell from the entirety of my blog posts, I am for racial equality. I don’t see people for their colours. I see them for their individual characteristics and deep-seated political alignments. However, no matter what we say, Yehom_M and SurbQuestionsEverything insist that we’re antisemitic or we’re defending antisemitism.
During a Zoom conversation with Tom about a year ago, he reminded me that there are very unreasonable people in this world. I just have to realize this absolute truth and simply suck it up. However, while I constantly tell myself, “This is not my battle.” and scroll away from the majority of the super unreasonable, very ignorant, extreme injustice of the thought processes of many people, sometimes, I just can’t scroll away. It’s not so much that I need my voice/words to be heard/read. It’s more about showing other people who are sitting on the fence on what to do, how to think, what to think about, as well as for those who are making reasonably sound responses, that I am also there with them. That I also see the injustice being committed here.
You might argue if I would be just as forgiving if Kentaro Kobayashi made a joke about the Japanese soldiers and scientists that committed cruel atrocities with Chinese people during World War 2. Yes, I would, because it was one joke that happened 23 years ago. If since then, he has gradually evolved to become a better person, then what’s the problem? EVERYONE has said something hurtful at least once in their entire lives. NO ONE is a saint. NO ONE. So to condemn someone’s current well being for something they said many decades ago is ridiculous.
It’s exactly like right-wingers in the USA that condemn President Biden for being friends with Senator Robert Byrd. Far-right-wingers and obnoxiously-simple-minded left-wingers love bringing up Senator Robert Byrd, because he was a member of the KKK and for awhile, he was quite racist against coloured people. However, he started to renounce his old ways since the 1970’s. You know how long ago 1970 was? About 50 years ago. So basically all of these right-wingers and left-wingers, as well as people like Yehon_M and SurbQuestionsEverything truly believe people don’t ever change, or at least, change very little. You know why? They are projecting themselves as people who don’t change or change very little. Just because Yehon_M and SurbQuestionsEverything changed very little since they were kids, doesn’t mean other people are the same. Fortunately, not everyone is as bigoted, close-minded, and rigid as they are.