This weekend I celebrate Loco in Yokohama’s fourth birthday, and I just wanted to take out a moment to thank all my readers, followers, commenters and supporters. You guys have made the experience of being a “Japan blogger” one I will always cherish.
I still remember fondly the day I started this blog. I was enjoying a little success on my first blog, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, a blog I dedicated to all things Obama during his initial presidential run, when I decided it was a good time for a spin off.
There was quite a bit of covert and overt racism during that race, as you guys may recall, coming from not only the republicans but from the democrats as well…even Hillary Clinton wasn’t above insinuating, through proxies and innuendo that Obama wouldn’t even stand a chance if he weren’t black and tapping into the white guilt vote.
There was also a great deal of unconscious racism and, dare I say it, microaggressions being flung around during that campaign, and those are what were caused me to draw comparisons between what Barack was going through over there and what I was experiencing over here.
I was very impressed with how Barack stood up to it all, kept his wits about him and his anger in check. At first I wondered if it even affected him at all, he was so tranquil and focused. But, I knew, particularly after he gave the speech below in response to attacks on him that he was “un-American” for associating with a man who had been labeled a racist by the media, that he had indeed been affected. In this speech he managed to channel that anger into something productive not only to his campaign but for the psyche of the entire nation–at least for those who bothered to listen (it wasn’t as publicized, discussed or dissected as some of his other speeches were, for reasons that I can only speculate on). See for yourself:
To me, this is the most important, intimate and incisive speech he’s made in his political career and brings me to tears every time I listen to it. It goes without saying it’s the most poignant I’ve heard in my lifetime about racism in the US and more importantly in the hearts and minds of us all, and assuring me that he was the leader America desperately needed, and providing a bit of healing for my ailing heart.
It was the above speech as well as several other incidents and responses to incidents that lead me to Loco in Yokohama, and eventually to my book.
It’s been four years now, just as it has been for Obama…Will he have four more? Who knows…I hope so, for America’s sake.
Will Loco in Yokohama have four more? Again, who knows…
To be honest, while writing retains its thrill and appeal, blogging — particularly about Japan and the joys and challenges of living here — is a constant struggle. One I haven’t given up on.
I cherish your support of Loco in Yokohama, as I share my joys and confront these challenges and transcribe them for you to the best of my ability. It uplifts me and fills me with an abiding gratitude as I take this personal journey to being a better a human being.
And your support of my book, as well, overwhelms me.
Thank you so much.