Tadataka Unno, a Japanese jazz pianist living in New York, was badly beaten last September by thugs who used racist slurs against him. After the life-altering attack, a friend started an online campaign to raise money to help pay Unno’s medical bills.
Soon, messages came flooding in from Asian Americans talking about their own experiences of racism, he tells The New York Times, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ex-President Donald Trump repeatedly blamed on China.
Fast-forward six months and a high-profile killing of women of Asian descent in Atlanta sent the hashtag #StopAsianHate viral, with U.S.-based Japanese athletes Naomi Osaka and Yu Darvish both speaking out about rising race-based discrimination targeting Asians.
But racism is not just something that happens over there. Last week, the younger brother of Washington Wizards ace Rui Hachimura, revealed an online message he received targeting the two with anti-Black insults. Rui’s response? “Messages like this come almost every day.”
Much of the worst racism in Japan, though, is aimed at Koreans. But as Philip Brasor notes in Media Mix, when the head of a large corporation makes anti-Korean comments, ad-hungry news outlets prefer not to talk about it. Luckily, there are exceptions.