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Bug #39895 closed:corrected

Racist Rant in Black and White

This bug appeared in a news report published by The Japan Times on Dec 3, 2014 by Gregory Clarke. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Ethical Issue

In a recent Japan Times commentary entitled, "Kick out the touts who rule Roppongi," Gregory Cark pens a tale of his experience walking through Tokyo's untamed Roppongi district. In the second paragraph Clarke bemoans the fact that "little has been done about the blight of the mostly African touts that infest the area." Now if that line alone doesn't send up red flags signaling ethical problems ahead, just read on (and don't miss the part about his disappointment over the fact that the police, "armed with pistols and handcuffs," fail to heed his suggestion about checking the immigration status of these men of color committing no crime, just for good measure).

The headline for this basically racist rant could have just as easily read, "White man vexed Japanese cops won't follow his orders to harass black man." Then of course, I might not have read it and discovered the lesson in civility these Japanese police officers could offer law enforcement in New York City and other places where a gun toting constabulary might be all too willing to follow Clarke's charge against unarmed black men not doing anything illegal.

While a number of readers have voiced their objections to Clark's article on similar grounds, The Japan Times lacks any specific official channel for addressing their concerns. If anyone needs policing here, it's the paper itself and there would be no one better to do that than a public editor armed with a pen, paper, and the ability to make a sound ethical judgment.


JT Cassidy has contacted The Japan Times and received the following response.

The Japan Times gave voice to the concerns stated here in this MediaBugs report by publishing my letter (entitled Racism in Black and White) in the December 31 edition of the paper.

Bug History

Dec 04, 2014 6:27 pm Open JT Cassidy
Dec 04, 2014 7:32 pm Open: Under Discussion JT Cassidy
Jan 01, 2015 8:36 pm Closed: Corrected JT Cassidy

Discussion Leave a comment


The Japan Times contributor is Gregory Clark, not Clarke (with an "e").

Dec 04, 2014 7:32 pm

Of course the "white man" and "black man" could be Japanese so maybe instead of "White man vexed Japanese cops won't follow his orders to harass black man," the alternative title should maybe read: "White man vexed Asian cops won't follow his orders to harass black man."

Dec 06, 2014 2:45 am