On August 9th, Dr.Ely in Richmond gave us an important lecture, which is on race relations in the U.S. After his explanation of the history through Civil War to president Obama, the lecturer stated his opinion. Namely, he pointed out that today’s discrimination is the mixed problem of both race and poverty. For example, there exist a group of “Black” people in lower standard of living. Relating to this statement, what I recall is a Korean school near my home town.
The school mentioned above is located about 1 hour away from the nearest station by car, which is in an unreasonable environment. Besides, all of the facillities of the school are obviously inferior ones to these of normal public elementary schools in Japan; the local goverment has split much less portion of their budget to the education of Korean children. Therefore, Korean children (at least, the Korean children in the school above) are forced to grow up within poor surroundings, with education level lower. Korean children not being able to enjoy educational equality means that they and their second generation may not be able to gain adequate chance of employment. These are phenomena called “chain of poverty”. This is what I suppose to be the counterpart instance of his saying “mixtuture of poverty and racism”.
Additionally, relating to his lecture, I would like to point out common misunderstanding prevailed in Japan , and maybe in other countries. That is, Japan is a multi-ethnic nation; so called “Japanese” is not an unique component of this nation. For example,in Hokkaido ,nothern part of Japan annexed at the end of 19th century, there exists a ethnic group called “Ainu”. They have been segregated in enrollment of educational institutions, been exploited by modern Japanese enterprises, and been restricted to marry “Japanese” . it was not until 1990’s that the protection law for “Ainu” had passed in the congress of Japan. Even after that, tacitly racism, such as marriege constraints and bullying in schools, is severely exists. Based on his lecture, although not enough, the citizens of the United States have persistant and great effort against racism. Meanwhile, a majority of Japanese are not concious of the fact mentioned above, needless to say, neccessity of any social reform.This must be the biggest difference between the United States and Japan, I suppose. I strongly believe that this ethical segregation should be harsh lighted in Japan.
To sum up, Japan has a same kind of segregation as the United States but unlike the U.S., Japanese society has not enough proceedings for equal society. Therefore, the civil history of America lectured has greater meaning even than the majority of Japansese citizens expect.