Playing the Blame Game Essay

1774 Words 8 Pages
When facing hardship, it is only natural to look to external forces to explain internal strife; this reaction is prevalent across virtually every gender, class, race, and nationality. This tendency to ascribe blame holds true in communities worldwide, including three in Latin America – Peru, Argentina, and Nicaragua. In Peru, the minority community of Peru’s nikkei has been held responsible for Peruvian strife. Immigrants in Argentina have been treated as scapegoats for problems in the Argentinean economy. Nicaraguans look to the bourgeois, the church, and the government as driving factors contributing to the hardships that they faced under the Sandinista regime, as seen in Roger Lancaster’s ethnography, Life is Hard. Often, those held …show more content…
Without evidence of wrongdoing, Japanese homes were looted and burned, and nikkei were deported. This response, though unfortunate, could be expected, as in hard times such as war, ascribing blame upon those that seem most likely to be guilty of causing the hardship is natural. The nikkei were again treated as scapegoats in the 1990s after the presidency of Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori was elected president in 1990; he was a nikkei, though much of the nikkei community did not support him in his election (Kushner 2001:32). Regardless of political affiliation, the community was blamed for Fujimori’s corruption, abuse of power, and human rights violations. For instance, Percy Takayama, a nikkei, has been accosted and refused service as “the Japanese have robbed the country blind” (Kushner 2001:29); this was stated because Fujimori’s corruption robbed the country of money. Another nikkei was physically assaulted by retirees because Fujimori made their pensions less secure. The nikkei are blamed for the misdeeds of one figure in government, because it is the obvious reaction. Peruvians are unable to take their anger out on Fujimori as he has been exiled and is a distant figure, but they do find a release by holding the nikkei of Peru responsible for one Japanese man’s wrongdoings. In Argentina, immigrants from Bolivia and Paraguay are blamed for the country’s social and economic problems. Argentina has

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