UC-Davis Apologizes For Fat Shaming and Cultural Appropriation After Sumo Wrestling Contest

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[The Aggie] – ASUCD hosted its Block Party on the Quad, where the association offered a myriad of activities for students to participate in as part of its Student Appreciation Week closing celebration.

Among those activities was an attraction in which students could dress in sumo suits and wrestle each other. The activity immediately drew criticism from members of the student body, who accused ASUCD of fat shaming and culturally appropriating Japanese culture.

According to the students who raised this issue to ASUCD, the sumo suits trivialized Japanese culture and the history of Japanese rikishi or sumo wrestlers.

Let me start off by saying, as someone who has two very close personal friends who have participated in the beautiful art of rikishi and dedicated their mind, body and soul to the craft, I too am offended by these college pukes making light of it.

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These rich entitled white college kids really have no limits anymore. They’ll do literally anything they want, whenever they want, and don’t give a shit what the mental and emotional consequences are. I mean, putting a big puffy suit on to simulate fatness? Nobody even stopped to think how that would make the people who don’t need to inflate themselves in the morning to be fat feel? And what about the appropriation of Japanese culture? Let me guess, you all went out and ate sushi afterwards too? Spicy tuna rolls slathered in soy sauce and spicy mayo. Savages.

It’s disgusting is what it is. Need an apology before my head explodes from the insensitivity.

Once the issue was brought to ASUCD’s attention, ASUCD’s Executive Office, consisting of President Mariah Kala Watson, Vice President Gareth Smythe and Controller Francisco Lara, immediately issued an apology for the incident and commended the students that brought the issue to light.

“We’d like to apologize for any harm the ‘Sumo Suit’ may have caused you all. This lapse in judgment is completely ASUCD’s fault and responsibility alone,” said ASUCD’s Executive Office in a Facebook post. “We are thankful to the student who courageously brought this issue to our attention […] This was an egregious oversight and it will hopefully not happen in the future.”

Ok thank you. I feel better now.

This guy Scott though? Still not happy.

Scott Tsuchitani, a Ph.D. student in cultural students, believed the incident was evidence of the lack of awareness of the racism against Asian and Asian American students.

“My overall impression is that this conversation is in itself an expression of white supremacist anti-Asian structural racism. If people are genuinely concerned with the needs of Asian Americans, then why are Asian American voices not front and center in this conversation?” Tsuchitani said via email. “Instead, Asian Americans are treated as mute, hapless victims, devoid of agency, a.k.a. the ‘model minority’ stereotype. That is what I see being reinscribed by this conversation.”

Tsuchitani went on to say that he was not pleased by ASUCD’s apology and called for more action from the association.

“It is pitiful that the ASUCD would pathologize the so-called victims as in need of treatment instead of reflecting more deeply on what is needed to address ASUCD’s own failure in this situation,” Tsuchitani said. “From my limited perspective, I would suggest that the foremost need for treatment might well be for cultural competency training for ASUCD itself. That is much more relevant here than any Orientalist history of sumo wrestling.”


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I’m almost 100% certain that the Facebook comment they quoted in this article was being sarcastic.

“To be honest, I was shocked. February 19 was Remembrance Day for Japanese internment during WWII, and some of my Japanese friends were heavily traumatized by seeing their culture mocked in such a clearly racist fashion,” Jones said in a Facebook comment on the Block Party’s event page. “Not to mention, as a Heavy-American, I don’t appreciate the blatant Fat-Shaming involved with caricaturing one of the few sports traditionally enjoyed by Heavy individuals. I honestly feel reparations payments are in order to affected individuals, and that those responsible for the grossly negligent oversight should immediately resign from their ASUCD posts.”

Dude seemed very normal and very funny on Facebook after 5 seconds of digging, something a writer of an article should probably do. But then again, you can never be too sure these days.