ACCOUNTABILITY AND HOLDING MULTIPLE TRUTHS AT THE SAME TIME. A note from host and producer @sarahemilia : Stories have the power to challenge and change the way we see the world. As storytellers, we must commit to the responsibility of holding multiple truths at the same time and carefully embracing the complexity of the narratives we weave.
The Japanese in America were wrongly incarcerated during World War II. Yet at the same time, the Japanese committed serious, horrific atrocities across Asia. Both are true and neither justify the other.
In our most recent episode of #OutsideVoices , we failed to name this complex history. I want to take a moment to own the impact this had on our listeners, especially folks who identify as non-Japanese API. When referring to Japanese in America, we weren’t specific and frequently reverted to “the Japanese” as a blanket term. We brought up stereotypes about Japanese in America being seen as complacent and submissive, yet this only reflects the white gaze. Such perspectives don’t acknowledge how other folks—especially people who identify as Chinese, Korean and Filipinx to name a few—might view Japanese people. But most of all, our failure to name this history is an act of erasure that compounds the silence of the Japanese, who to this day continue denying centuries of colonization and genocide. This should have been addressed, especially because I clearly named that my ancestors lived in Japan during WWII and were not incarcerated in the U.S.
As someone who is Japanese-Filipinx-Chinese, I often think about the complexity of my identity, yet my blinders very clearly affected the making of this episode and the impact it had on others. I want to send my gratitude and appreciation to folks who already have or anyone willing to give generous feedback on how this episode and previous episodes landed. On top of all that, I'm eager for this to be a start to many discussions about the nuance and complexity of our identities, beyond black and white. As Asian-Pacific Islanders, there is a WORLD of diversity within that identity alone. Let’s end the silence and talk about it. #UseYourOutsideVoice
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