Here is a good concept from the mid-19th century American North, which flowered in the mid-20th century, and is getting beat up in the early 21st . . .
Two weeks ago, I wrote about a Japan-side spat between a couple dozen people who are heavy into one part of the expat blogging world there. (This was the Debito-Tepido spat, refer here. This was based on another blog piece from the Tepido site, linked here. Comments allowed to be posted here were enough to get a small gang of people and their modest readership all riled up.)
I have pretty much ignored the Tepido site all year, after the blog owner, Ken Yasumoto-Nicholson, rejected my advice to move it away from being a slam blog. Maybe it’s entertaining to make serial blogs that try and capture the attention of the English language readers in Japan, but the Tepido one–as I have said before and am bored of saying–focuses too much on slamming another writer in the blog world. These kinds of formats do not last very long, and it becomes a waste of time for everyone.
Now, of course, I have been watching the Tepido site very closely in the last 10 days or so . . .
In the comments, there has developed a pissing-match-within-a-pissing-match between stateside “Left Behind” fathers who are involved in the Japanese kidnapping issue, and a gentleman from New Jersey who is in Japan, and lost custody and visitation rights to see his daughter. (I have linked to his website here and in my permanent links to the right, below.)
Tony DelVecchio is fighting in Japan for the right to see his daughter, who, naturally, is an American. Lately, if you visit his blog–and I suggest you do–he has also had to fight characters on the internet, working in coordination with the BACHome group, here, who don’t like Tony’s site! Eric Kalmus and other, unidentified person, are the people behind the CRN site.
Now, on one hand, there should not be a dispute. People affiliating with both groups want to have joint custody honored, and be able to see their kids. Isn’t this, in the everyday circumstance, what the law should allow?
But are they in the exact same predicament? No. One group of fathers is outside of Japan, and their children were spirited into Japan–sort of like the exchange of royal families during the Edo era, except the kids aren’t sent back after a year. In Tony’s case, he is in Japan–still with his U.S. citizenship (good for him)–and the Japanese government gave sole custody to the mother, from what I understand, because that is what usually happens to Japanese fathers.
Some clown posting has said that Tony’s treatment, thus, is “equal”. That poster totally missed the fact that men and women are supposed to be given equal rights under the 1947 Japanese Constitution, which was one of the deals in the bargain that led to the 1951 San Francisco (Peace) Treaty. It’s that fallacy that some Western expats in Japan promote: that if you can find a Japanese who didn’t get the benefit of a law, “then, see, everything is equal!” Or like, in the American Deep South up until about 1970, if a black person suffered police brutality, and some white people did, too, then, “see, everything is equal!” and no need to inquire about racism. (Of course, now, at least officially or post Jim Crow, race-based animus is wrong.)
What stuns me is that no one over at the other board has even put forth the notion that the CRN group (fathers outside Japan) deserve equal protection AND Tony does, too! As well as the Japanese fathers who didn’t get joint custody.
Why can’t all the parents have equal protection of the law?
I really wish certain people would spend more of their internet time reading on the internet, and less of it bickering on the internet . . .