Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Japanese Legislator Under Fire for Obama ‘Slave’ Comment

Kazuya Maruyama
Kazuya Maruyama

*A Japanese lawmaker made a remark linking President Obama to the “blood of … slaves,” and is now under pressure to explain exactly what he meant by it.

Kazuya Maruyama, a legislator from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party, was attempting to highlight the dynamism of US society while speaking in parliament in Tokyo when he made the remarks, which instantly backfired, according to the AFP.

“Now in the United States, a black man serves as president,” Maruyama told lawmakers on Wednesday, adding that Obama “carries the blood of black people.

“This means slaves, to put it bluntly.”

He then described as “unthinkable” at the time of the founding of the United States the idea that a black man could become president. “It is a nation that transforms itself in dynamic ways,” he concluded.

Obama is not a descendant of slaves but rather the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black Kenyan father who travelled to US as a student.

When reporters approached Maruyama after the parliament hearing, he apologized and said he would ask for his remarks to be omitted from the official records. He said he was trying to argue that Japan must learn from the U.S. and had not been aware of the tone of his comments, according to local media.

His apology, however, did nothing to stem the widespread condemnation. The remarks made national headlines and caused opposition lawmakers to submit a motion to the upper house of parliament urging Maruyama to resign.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said that Maruyama “must fulfill his obligation to explain himself” in comments at a regular briefing.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. American African’s history does not begin with slavery. People for get about the Berbers, the Moor’s, etc. If it wasn’t. For African blood Europeans may have remained in the Dark Ages. Talk about that.

  2. I think he meant well. He just mispoke. But I like the fact Japanese society is sensitive enough to react, even overreact.

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