racism as a result of curiosity suppressed

The anti-racist dialogue engendered by recent events is making me aware of dynamics here, specifically re attitudes toward Japanese and possibly other East Asian cultures that share qualities of passivity, respect for others and more subtle modes of self expression


Recalling disturbing dynamics through my adolescence in the UK where curiosity and dialogue were suppressed, resulting in perpetuation of ignorance.

Naturally as a teenager I was concerned about not standing out, especially in conjunction with my Japanese heritage which emphasises humility. I dissolved to vanishing point as the implicit narrative in the subculture of my overwhelmingly white private school was that my Japaneseness did not matter. No one was interested. I literally cannot recall a single time someone directly asked me a question about Japan or being Japanese in my six years at school.


While yes i do wish to be treated as British, in so far as i have the social capacity to behave in alignment with British expectations, I also wish there had been *any* recognition or curiosity at all regarding my other half as I was growing up.


Any curiosity raised in the classroom was glossed over and avoided by teachers, as I presume they feared I would be offended, and they didn't have the means to facilitate a mature dialogue. But any spark of curiosity, even if it appeared "racist" (usually comments about my looking "different") really excited me because at least i was being recognised. A platform was being created for dialogue, even if it might have involved some discomfort and conflict. I felt excited when someone's curiosity spilled over the threshold of politeness but that voice was never given a space to explore or develop.


And so nor was I, stunting my understanding of my own culture and by extension stunting the validity I attributed to my existence.