2 weeks ago, I was in Tokyo to conduct another street interview after work. When I go to Tokyo for my job, I make it a rule to do street interview no matte what.
As always, I was hustling.
Go talk, rejection. Go talk, rejection. I just repeat this over and over again. Doing it, I meet someone who kindly takes my interview once in a while.
Rejection means nothing to me anymore, although I used to hate it before. I sometimes run into some people saying nasty or harsh things while walking away, but I’m now able to completely ignore it and just keep doing what I need to do.
But on that day, there was one incident I couldn’t handle with.
I was in a park and looking for a female interviewee. And I saw a beautiful black lady sitting on a bench, so went talk to her with a smile.
“Hi, do you speak Japanese?”
A black lady:
A black lady:
“OK, so I’m doing survey for my YouTube channel and asking people about dating in Japan. And I was wondering maybe you…”
While I was talking to her, she clearly noticed something and started casting severe eyes. She seemed very disgusted and looked at me as if I was a monster.
And she rushed to run away with angry eyes. I didn’t understand for a few seconds what was going on, but soon figured out why. She probably watched my black people videos. Yeah, it makes sense.
According to some 4chan, forums or some blog posts, I’m the worst racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobic and xenophobic Japanese person in Japan, and they say I’m definitely cancer and garbage for Japan making the country and Japanese people look terribly bad.
When I saw that, I was not surprised at all. In the end, it’s just internet people, so I shouldn’t take it seriously.
But when I actually see “real people” behaving like that in front of me, I get quite shocked. I try not to take it personally, but I have to say it does hurt me a lot deep inside. Unfortunately, my mentality isn’t that so strong yet.
That’s the reputation I’ve created over the past few months.
Because of the reputation, I recently noticed I often get rejected especially by other foreign YouTubers living in Japan or foreign residents when I ask them for interview. The interview got much harder than before, because it seems like the reputation already spreaded to them.
Nobita? Oh, I know him. That racist Japanese, right? I know his black people videos.
I really didn’t want to be famous in this way.
I’ve been putting out quite many videos and I think some of them are really good contents, but what makes me sad is that most people only remember the black people videos, not other Japan related videos.
But I absolutely cannot blame anyone for that. This is all my fault.
Because “I” decided to put out those black people videos. “I” decided to say something to make them pissed off. Nobody forced me to do that. I could choose not to make those videos in the first place.
Except I didn’t.
Because at that time, I “wrongly” believed that what I was doing was definitely worth for them. Seeing what’s happening in the black community, I seriously hoped the same things will not happen here.
Considering Japan is quite likely to take more foreigners and immigrants in the future, I seriously didn’t want to see their behaviour in Japan. And I thought maybe my videos could make a little bit impact on them just in case they come to Japan some day. I thought maybe I could contribute to Japan’s safety and public order.
I thought I’m doing something for Japan, but it was completely wrong sense of justice, looking back now (I’m gonna touch about this later).
And one day, that horrible incident happened.
Long story short, I had to take down all the videos related to black people.
In the fear that some people might attempt to do the same thing, I decided to delete other controversial videos as well that might trigger some people. I was so afraid of that.
Now, many people are still asking me what exactly happened to me.
Maybe they’re still worrying about me and just want to know what happened in details, but I’d rather prefer them not to ask me that anymore. Because I honestly don’t even want to remember it anymore.
All I can say is that it was very cruel and I really hope deep in my heart the same thing will not happen to anyone.
I got time to look back on the incident deeply and also reflect on all my black people videos I’ve put out (but later deleted). I looked into the reasons why that happened and what I went wrong.
At that time, I didn’t think about that. I was just disgusted by them and incredibly upset. “Why? Why do I have to delete my videos? This is not fair..”
I put so much effort and time to make those black people videos. I know most people don’t believe this, but at that time I seriously thought it’s a good intension. And I had no intension at all to make Japan look racist.
And I was thinking like,
“Why don’t black people understand me!? I’m doing this for Japan! I just don’t want them to behave like that in my country!!”
“I’m so sorry for myself..This is completely unfair..”
That’s right. Victim Mentality. And completely wrong sense of justice.
I know it’s so ironic because I often criticized the black people who play the victim, but turned out I’m the one who does it actually. How pathetic is that.
Of course, what the people did to make me take down the black people videos is not forgiven. Using the beloved ones is really cruel tactics you can never do to anyone no matter how much you hate the person.
After looking back on myself, however, I came to this conclusion in the end.
That is completely my fault.
Don’t get me wrong. What they did to me is wrong, but it wouldn’t have even happened if I didn’t make the black people videos in the first place or at least my videos were more decent for them. I’m the one who made them do that. In other words, I am the whole root of the incident.
Not only that, but all the hate emails, intimidation, bad reputation, dramas and losing my American friends is because of what I’ve done. It is not unfair. I’ve realized I do deserve the treatment.
You may be thinking,
“What are you talking about? It’s your channel, right? You can talk about whatever you want. The black people get triggered by your videos are wrong!”
Here is my reflection and thoughts now on my black people videos. I wish I knew these things earlier.
Watching those black people videos now, I’m really embarrassed. It’s not because my awkward heavy accent or ugly face.
The way I spoke in the videos was completely wrong.
I looked insanely angry and arrogant like giving children a scolding. My face just looked so sick.
Maybe it’s because I was very serious at that moment about the issue, but I should have definitely been more calm and be careful more about my language.
It is not called “passionate”, but it is just crazy or stupid, which I didn’t realize at that time. No wonder so many people took the videos as a hate speech. No wonder nobody takes it seriously.
The fact English is not my first language isn’t an excuse. I should have more practiced to talk calmly and made more effort to increase my vocabulary.
What if I delivered exactly the same opinion with more calm and freindly speaking way?
I’m still confident my opinion itself wasn’t necessarily bad. I believe I made some good points here and there by using a lot of statistics, data and actual my experiences. I still don’t think my opinion itself was completely ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense.
Although I’m sure many people still would disagree a lot, I don’t think they would get offended and send me a plenty of hateful emails if I talked more calmly in a respectful manner, which I didn’t.
If I speak aggressively like that, people will react aggressively correspondingly. And peaceful conversation will never happen.
No matter how passionate and serious I was, I needed to talk calmly.
I really needed to show my passion in a different way. Being passionate is not about yelling or speaking loud with aggressive language and angry face. Because as much as what you speak, how you speak has a huge impact on people’s reaction.
I initially started my channel as a Japan and dating YouTube channel.
But what if a crazy angry Japanese guy started talking about racial issues in the US all the sudden on the channel?
It just doesn’t make sense to black people watching my channel.
It’s like a cooking channel turned into a fitness channel suddenly. They just get confused and don’t understand why I’m talking about the black community issues, which they think it has nothing to do with a native Japanese guy living in Japan. And eventually they start thinking, “This guys is psycho. Just another racist. Let’s go attack and put the channel down!”
On a side note,
Especially after I started teaching Japanese at a local Japanese language school one and half year ago around, I was losing interest in dating and relationships. And I just wasn’t feeling like talking about dating in Japan, although that’s what I’m supposed to do. Instead, more and more I was getting into politics and social issues like immigration or race problems in the west.
OK, I think it’s nothing wrong to make a video that shows what Japanese people think of the black community issues like BLM or black on black crime. In fact, when I put out street interview videos asking Japanese people about those hot political topics in the west, I usually don’t get much backlash. On the contrary, I get pretty good reviews.
But they don’t want to see just one individual Japanese guy who never lived in the US peaching about the black community issues and making it look like I’m absolutely right. Making it look like I’m the representative of entire Japanese people and that’s the way you should follow if you come to Japan.
That’s a really bad YouTube channel.
At least, I should’ve showed other perspectives as well, someone opposing my views.
Nowadays, there’re a plenty of American politics channels on YouTube criticizing about black people. So I think talking about the issues itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, whether you’re American or not.
I’m sure some people are curious about Japanese perspectives from outside on the issues, so I don’t think it’s wrong me as a native Japanese person talking about that.
But my YouTube channel name is “Find Your Love in Japan”.
Most black people assume and expect the channel must be about Japan or dating/relationships stuff. And I’m supposed to stick to those contents.
If I still wanted to talk about that, I should have set up another channel and name it looking like American politics channel. (which I actually knew about this, but I was too lazy to do that.)
I found many politics channels don’t get backlash and hatred as much as I got, I guess that’s because their contents are exactly what the audience expect and want, and more importantly their delivery is way better than me.
In the end, I have no influence on the black community issues.
So it’s basically just meaningless no matter what I speak to them.
Only American people can solve those issues in the US, just like only Japanese people can make Japan a better place. The US is a country for Americans. Likewise, Japan is a country for Japanese.
Nothing wrong with giving one’s perspective as an outsider, but there’s no way for me to make a change on the deep issues connected to the history, like racism or white privilege. I needed to realize earlier it’s just too deep areas.
Data and statistics alone don’t tell you everything. It doesn’t show you the people’s struggles and effort in the country. There are so many things you can’t tell from outside.
I know this sounds really stupid, but at that time I seriously was trying to make a change on the black community issues. I seriously wanted to make the liberal black people wake up. How stupid is that looking back on now.
When I saw the crime rate first time, I seriously thought it was a joke.
“Just 13% commit more than 50% of the crime..Wow..”
I just couldn’t believe the insanely high crime rate among the black community, especially after learning about black lives matter movement and many liberal black people accusing about racism and white privilege.
“Why don’t the black people do something about the own issues first before complaining about the police brutality?? Why don’t they try to fix the crime rate first?? Why don’t they talk about black on black crime??”
A lot of questions and frustration were piled up in me, especially given the fact I’ve had a lot of interactions with black people and my very first student was an African American. That led me to end up posting many videos about black people. I thought at least I needed to do something about it.
But I should’ve realized the black community issues aren’t that so simple. It’s too complicated issues more than I think.
Looking back, I’m so cringed myself thinking like, “I will make the liberal black people wake up!”
That’s a very wrong mindset and intension.
A Japanese guy living in Japan who never lived in the US cannot do the job and doesn’t need to do that in the first place. There are still so many things I cannot see and know.
Just putting out some cold statistics, data and articles means nothing to the black people. They will never listen and it will never resonate with them.
On the contrary, it makes them angry or possibly dislike Japan and entire Japanese people.
Again, the black community issues are only American people’s business, so why not just let them alone? Only American people can make a change on that, just like only Japanese people can make a change on Japan’s issues.
“When something bad happens, you should look back on yourself first before complaining about other people or society. You can’t control and change other people, but you can only change yourself”.
This is my words. I made this statement on one of my past videos vocally. But as you already know at this point, I do not have the right to say that.
When the incident happened and I had to delete all the black people videos, I was so frustrated and saw myself as a victim.
But no, I was not a victim at all.
All the hate emails, response videos, dramas and losing my American friends, everything bad has happened to me is because of my videos. I do not have the right to blame them.
Reflecting on my failures and mistakes wasn’t easy for me. So often, my bad ego comes in and I just justify my bad actions. And I happen to play the victim.
I think it’s important for me to keep in mind that you cannot improve yourself unless you acknowledge your mistakes first. Making mistakes is totally OK. We are all not perfect. What matters is, however, learning from the mistakes.
Now, a lot of people are still requesting me to talk about black people again and fight back against them.
But I have to say I will never talk about black people again on my channel.
OK, I might still talk about other controversial or political topics. I might ask other Japanese people about black people and just let them talk, but at least I myself will never talk about that.
I’m sure some people start unsubscribing my channel after knowing this because I know that’s exactly what they wanted me to talk. Maybe they are so disappointed at me and saying,
“Wow..Nobita just gave up freedom of speech. He just surrendered SWJs.. Disappointing!”
I’d like them to understand that it’s not only because I’m scared of intimidation, but also because it really breaks my heart every time I see people saying like this;
I try hard not to take it personally, but have to admit I can’t. Those kinds of comments really kill me a lot. And I have to say I had the responsibility making them think like that. My videos made those people think like that.
As much as I’m still passionate and into the black community issues, I really don’t want to see anymore people who got afraid of coming to Japan or even disliking Japan and Japanese people. So I do choose to be silent about that.
And as long as I don’t talk about that, hopefully intimidation is not gonna happen.
I know it’s kinda too late though.
Especially the black people who watched the video “The black people may be DANGEROUS for Japan” probably got a very bad impression on Japan and Japanese people. Maybe they thought Japanese people are racists.
If those people were reading this, I would like to say this to them;
Don’t worry, most Japanese people are definitely not like me. And all my black people videos will never come out in the search on YouTube. They no longer exist.
Many my black friends I’ve lost for this 6 months will never be friends with me again. My best black friend I used to hang out together a lot will never talk to me again. Because in their mind, I am the worst racist Japanese, and that will never change.
This is the price I have to pay and that’s all my fault. I really wish I could delivery my message in a different way.
But unfortunately, I can’t change the past, so why not focus on the future?
All I can do now is that just putting out valuable contents and making effort to improve the content quality as much as I can.
I should focus on the people who still remain on my channel and are looking forward to my next video.
The fact they are still remaining on my channel after everything happened means a lot to me.
I just want to provide something useful or interesting for those people. I want to show them my channel is still worth to watch. Let’s focus on that now.
I know it will take a lot of time to clear my bad reputation and get back trust, but hopefully my channel can bounce back some day. And I just need to be more hustle.
Thank you for taking your precious time to read this. Have a nice day!
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