On occasion, I still get asked this question: Of what value is a column dedicated exclusively to black issues — particularly here in Japan?

Generally the query comes from the kind of people who, upon hearing "Black Lives Matter" proclaimed, want to answer "All Lives Matter." People optimistic enough to think that we are headed steadfastly toward a global recognition of human equality, or perhaps cynical enough to believe that inequality and discrimination persists because all human beings are not created equal.

I hear these people out, of course. I try to keep my mind open, to be ready to question even my most fundamental premises and assumptions. The impetus to do this is the drive to live outside your sphere of comfort, a gift that living in Japan just keeps on giving. But nothing I've heard to date has made me question the notion that breathed life into Black Eye in the first place: that the more available knowledge about the diversity of blackness here in Japan there is, the better for all.