We love Japan. It’s home to the newest technology, some of the world’s greatest cars, Takeshi’s Castle, and even a giant city-destroying lizard.
But for every amazing thing to come from Japan’s industrious population something completely perplexing will emerge too. Pokemon, used underwear vending machines (yes, really), and the Daihatsu Mira Gino all probably fit into this category. It’s the Gino we’re featuring here today, looking like a sort of tragic copy of an original Mini, and… er, resplendent in Japanese Police livery.
We Googled the Mira Gino and luckily for the Japanese cops we didn’t find one image of it in crime-fighting form, so Seiji N‘s Lego recreation is hopefully only a work of fiction. But it does look kinda cute…
You can see more of Seiji N’s Daihatsu Mira Gino police car at his Flickr photostream – click the link above to make the trip.
Wow, what an incredibly racist, offensive, and insensitive statement! You must think Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the most hilarious thing ever!
Seriously, are you going to remove this article and post a retraction? I thought that this was a pretty respectable site up until now, but barring a response to this, you are about to lose a subscriber.
Thanks for stopping by.
We did wonder if the title ‘Cawr the Porice’ would cause offence, so we’re testing our readership with this one as we may well have missed the mark, although taking offence does seem to be very ‘in’ right now, and it’s not something we’d like to participate in if we can help it.
However, in defence of ourselves, ‘racist’ we think this post certainly isn’t. We’ve poked fun at Japan, France, Britain, Russia, almost all of Eastern Europe, North Korea, Germany, Australia and America, amongst probably many others. We’ve also shown our love for all these nations too. Our readership is totally international and our advertising revenue has been, and will continue to be, distributed to international charitable causes.
We would like to ask you though, do you think that ‘Fat Bastard’ from Austin Powers is ‘incredibly racist, offensive and insensitive’ to the Scottish? If we typed in a New York accent for a post about a yellow cab would you be offended also?
If so our apologies we’ve missed the mark and although we disagree with you we’ve re-written the title as we don’t wish for anyone to offended so severely by our musings. However, if such impersonation of other nations doesn’t offend you, and your offence is race-specific, we would argue that such a mind-set is racist itself, rather than our total-equality approach of poking fun at anyone and everyone.
Let us know your thoughts, we’ll take your steer on this, and if we’ve lost a subscriber many thanks for your time with us until now.
Awaiting your reply
1) Consider me “tested”
2) I guess we disagree about the definition of racism. In my understanding, racism is when you take a stereotype and apply it to an ethnicity. Your title basically says “Oh, look it’s this, all Japanese people talk funny,” and thereby elevating yourself and discriminating them – I’d wager it wasn’t really your direct intent, but that is effectively what you are doing.
3) Donating to international charities does not excuse racism, though it does show some kind of dissonance. Also, using the excuse that you try to offend everyone doesn’t make it less racist either
4) Using some kind of backwards logic and shaming me into being some kind of reverse or closet racist doesn’t make it less racist either
I totally recognize that, most likely, this was probably an attempt at trying to be edgy with humour, or something like that, and it has gone terribly wrong.
I think it would be best (not just for me, but for everyone, including your advertisers I’d bet if you were to ask them) to stop trying to defend it, and just change it.
Of course, you are welcome to ignore me and let me walk away, which is your right on the internet, and you can keep on believing that this is okay when it is pretty clearly racist.
But if you still need clarification on my preference, and what would probably just generallybe the right and reputable thing to do, it would be to change the title and stop defending racist practices and admit it was what appears to be a foolish mistake.
I guess that in the time it took me to type my response, you had changed the title.
I thank you, and I’m sure many of your readers will too.
Thanks for your reply.
We stand by the fact that no-one has complained before when we have mocked any other nationality, including our own, and also that to be offended by the mimicking of one accent, but not another, is the very definition of racist (we’re not saying you wouldn’t be offended if we typed in a New York accent for example, but we did ask you the question…).
In fact, this post http://thelegocarblog.com/2013/03/25/im-so-ronery/ garnered no response at all, but then we don’t like North Korea in the West so it’s OK to mock them, and this one http://thelegocarblog.com/2011/11/28/its-the-rozzers/ used the same title methodology, but towards a different culture – again to no response. (Do you see how one could construe certain responses claiming racism are themselves inherently racist?).
However, you absolutely do have a right to be offended by anything we post, and our intention is not to cause offence, so we are happy to have changed the title to one more accommodating of your viewpoint. We’re pretty amateur here at TLCB and usually in the wrong so it’s safe to assume we were in this case too!
All the best
I did understate my position on your one point in my previous response – allow me to elaborate.
What I should have said in point 4 of my previous post, when I was addressing what I referred to as your “backwards logic,”,is that just because nobody called you out on the previous bouts of racist humour doesn’t make them not racist. It reminds me of the saying that a crime is only illegal if you get caught (pro-tip: not true, crimes are inherently illegal, that’s kind of part and parcel).
The South Korean Tank article title is indeed also racist, despite the fact that it is a line in a popular movie. I don’t like the North Korean dictatorial regime, but it’s not because some people who are non-native English speakers have difficulties pronouncing rhotic consonant sounds in English. The blog could have easily written that article without the superfluously racist title, and it totally deflates any sentiments of concern the blog express at the end of your article. I don’t know how
I only started reading this blog about a year ago, and I did not thoroughly review every article for racist undertones, which is not something I typically look for in a LEGO blog. By the way, in future, pointing out that I failed to note more of the blog’s racism doesn’t make me look more racist, it makes the blog look more racist. Going back to the crime analogy, it’s like going into a court for one count of theft, and telling the court that you don’t see the problem because nobody ever caught you all the other times you stole – I don’t think that would hold up very well.
I shouldn’t have to state my opinion on every race to point out that something is wrong. I also don’t like misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, people who are cruel to animals, and a whole bunch of other things – but none of those things are relevant to the current discussion.
But to indulge you… My stance on making fun of Scottish or New Yorkers based on their stereotypes? This is not technically racism in the same way, as it is not labelling a race of people (though defining race is difficult, as it is a social construct), and also gets into other issues of white privilege, hegemony, and more complicated socio-cultural issues. My first impression is that by being a part of the dominant, cultural norm, these groups are not nearly so far disenfranchised through stereotyping. But ultimately,yes, I would still say that humorous stereotypes of Scots and New Yorkers, despite not being inherently racist and despite the fact that they are making fun of a culturally dominant group, are still harmful. In fact, I’m sure if you talked to someone native to Manhattan as if they had a Brooklyn or a Queens accent, they could be offended, because these are different subcultures.
I appreciate the changes you have made (note the URL still contains the original offensive title), and I encourage you to be more open-minded about flippant racist comments in the future.
Thanks for your reply.
All good points, and we totally underestimated the cultural variety of our readership when considering titles.
Where we are for example, mimicking the Scottish may be seen as harmful as it depends on your construct of a ‘culturally dominant group’, but in North America we doubt anyone would take offence. We also certainly see Japan as a ‘culturally dominant’ force themselves, and thus – wrongly – as fair game for mimicry. Perhaps this is not the case where you are.
Consider this one of our ‘Top Gear’ moments. There will likely be more, but the comments are here for our readers to put us right when necessary – such as in cases like this one.
Thank you for taking the time to correct us and our apologies that it was needed in the first place
I second Gramblor. You really ought to delete the post/url and apologize under your next post.
Hello Mr. Tortuga
Thanks for stopping by.
Apologies, we’d missed the URL, which has now been corrected.
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I came here from the Pantera post, and I have to say I fully support you and agree with your points 100%. I don’t think you should really listen to people who genuinely believe race is somehow a social construct.
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