I almost postponed December's column because I was so infuriated by what's taking place on the streets of the U.S. right now. It felt as if writing a profile of two Jamaican gentlemen living in Japan in the lap of safety was tantamount to treason.
It's bad enough that I'm over here basking under the rising sun as well, while black Americans — who could very well be my family or close friends — are living in constant jeopardy and dying at the hands of abusive power at a perpetually alarming rate, as an injustice system consistently invalidates their lives. Was this the right time to focus on a Jamaican brain drain — amid an American blood bath?
But, the thing is (and this is the thought that slightly alleviates my pangs of guilt), what's happening in the U.S., and the attitudes and belief systems that precipitate these tragedies again and again, are not unique to the U.S. That America has too many guns, many of which are wielded by untrained, mentally ill or fear-ridden people, is definitely an aspect of the problem. But that humans anywhere on this planet are compelled to protest aloud that "black lives matter" to societies who speak and behave as if they believe otherwise — this is a more dangerous comment on the state of our entire species than any gun could ever make. The ignorance and infectious fear of nonexistent threats that lead to discrimination, marginalization and violence plague the world, and Japan is by no means immune.