|Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|
Due to the length of this post I am publishing it in three parts. I strongly urge readers to read all three parts – they were written as one piece. Please see the introduction in Part 1 for comments on my bias.
Part 1: Kimono Wednesdays protest postmortem: media, public, critics
Part 2: Kimono Wednesdays protest postmortem: protesters
(continued from Part 2)
I wrote a lot about what I thought the MFA could have done to make Kimono Wednesdays better in my original post so I won't recap that here.
The protesters have claimed victory on two of the demands they made to the MFA - one was to stop Kimono Wednesdays (they felt that ending the try on was a partial victory) and the other was their demand for "a public discussion."
"[W]e demand that the MFA organize a public discussion where the organizers of this event and other community members and artists of color are invited as panelists. The MFA stated in its July 1 memo that “The Museum is a place for dialogue and we appreciate your feedback.” We demand that the MFA, then, honor their stated commitment to dialogue by holding this public discussion."The Boston Globe reported last month that "incoming MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum, who arrives in August, has announced plans for a future symposium, developed with input from MFA audiences, on art history and traditions of representation." When I spoke with Deputy Director Katie Getchell on July 22nd she told me that their plan for the symposium is to find published scholars to talk about these issues. The symposium will present the topic of representation broadly and will not be focused only on Asian art.
On July 15th, one of the protest organizers tweeted that the MFA "has agreed to hold a symposium about cultural exchange in the modern age!" "
I was very surprised with the MFA’s decision to allow the protesters to remain in the gallery for all six weeks of Kimono Wednesdays. I went on weeks 4, 5, and 6 and I felt there was significant tension in the gallery. Visitors would occasionally yell at the protesters and I talked to some who felt uncomfortable with their presence or just thought it was completely inappropriate to have a protest in a museum. (See "The Protesters" for more on the protesters' behavior in the gallery.) I was especially surprised that the MFA didn’t ask them to leave during week 6 after the incident with the staffer, though perhaps they realized the protesters would have a field day if they had kicked them out. The MFA did have increased security during Kimono Wednesdays which the protesters complained about and implied was a racist act. It made perfect sense to me. There were often a lot of people in the gallery and the MFA had no idea what the protesters were going to do or how the visitors would respond to the protesters. It was not the responsibility of the docents to keep their eyes on the protesters and with a gallery full of millions of dollars of art it was the responsible choice. Protective services mostly stood off to the side and didn't speak to anyone unless they had a reason to. From what I saw they were very professional.
The National Coalition Against Censorship was critical of the MFA's decision to self-censor and stop the try on portion of Kimono Wednesdays. I said before that I hope the MFA will adopt NCAC's Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy. I asked Ms. Getchell what the MFA planned to do and she said they are discussing "protocol for future situations." You can read the MFA's response to NCAC here.
It seems like social media played a big role in turning this into something and I think the MFA responded too slowly. I believe it was around two weeks between the time the controversy erupted on their Facebook page after they paid Facebook to advertise Kimono Wednesdays beyond their followers (I got this information from Ms. Getchell) and when they responded on July 7th with the change in programming. It's possible that a faster response still wouldn't have appeased the protesters and others who found Kimono Wednesdays offensive but these days with social media, organizations have to respond to controversy more rapidly. I hope that whatever protocol they come up with will include the ability for them to have a faster social media response.
On their now deleted original event page, the protesters said:
"The act of non-Japanese museum staff throwing these kimonos on visitors as a “costume” event is an insult not only to our identities, experiences, and histories as Asian-Americans in America, but affects how society as a whole continues to typecast and deny our voices today…A willingness to engage thoughtfully with museum employees and visitors on the bullshit of this white supremacist ‘costume’ event are [sic] welcome."This seems to imply that had the MFA put their Japanese and Asian American staff front and center that the protesters might not have been as offended. At the very least they wouldn't have been able to pigeonhole the event into their white supremacist narrative if Asians had been visibly involved. While I do think that it would have been nice of the MFA to try to involve Japanese people in the community, I agree with their decision not to ask their Japanese staff to participate in Kimono Wednesdays given that it fell outside the scope of their responsibilities. The event was planned by the Education Department in consultation with some Japanese curatorial staff according to Barbara Martin, Curator of Education. Why should Japanese staff be trotted out to represent their country? It seems disingenuous to say that authentic cultural sharing can only happen when an actual Japanese person is doing the sharing. (For more on this see "The Protesters".)
Although the protesters have assumed that an all white staff planned Kimono Wednesdays, that’s not something we know (I did not get a clear answer when I asked about the racial make up of the team that planned the event). One can guess that a diverse team would have planned the event differently but given the variety of opinion among Asian Americans I don’t believe that a version of Kimono Wednesdays planned by a diverse team would have necessarily satisfied the protesters. Much of their ideology seems to be outside the mainstream and museums have to plan their events with all visitors in mind, not just the white ones, on whom the protesters have focused their attention.
We do not know what the racial make-up of the MFA's nearly 1,000 employees and hundreds of volunteers is. My impression from my three visits last month was that like the rest of American society in front of house positions, people of color (mainly black people and Latinos) are largely employed in unskilled positions. I saw many people of color working in coat check, food service, and custodial. There were more white people in customer service positions (ticket booth, visitor information, docents) and protective services where fluency in English and possibly other languages likely plays a role in who gets those jobs.
The protesters are right that there’s not a lot of racial diversity in museology at the curatorial level but that is a problem the whole field is going to have to address, not just the MFA. I once worked for a graduate school professor who was often asked why there were no women in her research group. Her response was that she can’t accept them if they don’t apply. Museum studies programs will have to figure out how to attract people of color into the field since as the demographics of the US change, they will also have to figure out how to attract more visitors of color to survive. Core museum visitors are currently 91% white (see chart on page 5 of Demographic Transformation and the Future of Museums). Museums will have to figure out how to tailor their programming to a more racially diverse audience, something that a more racially diverse curatorial workforce will be better equipped to do.
A lot of people I know couldn't understand why I spent so much time following the protests and writing about them. When I was first asked by a reader how non-Japanese Asian Americans could help I felt a responsibility to respond publicly after seeing that no Japanese Americans appeared to be involved with the protest. I had initially planned to write only one post but I was frustrated by the protesters appearing to be speaking for me and by their continual dismissiveness of Japanese and Japanese Americans who tried to engage with them on Facebook and at the museum. I’m used to not having representation or being allowed to speak in white society/spaces but to have that happening with other Asian Americans was outrageous and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s totally unacceptable to be complaining that white people aren’t listening to you while you’re simultaneously refusing to listen to Japanese Americans, Japanese nationals, and other Asian Americans with differing opinions. If you’re complaining about oppression it’s hypocritical to then be oppressing others.
After talking to a few people who didn't agree with the protesters I wanted to make sure our view was represented since the media wasn't doing anything to share our view. I tried to keep an open mind even though I could see that I didn't agree with the protesters and tried to stick to boosting Japanese and Japanese American voices and combating misinformation on all sides. I tried not to make assumptions about who the protesters are or what they stand for but it became apparent pretty quickly that we approach the world very differently. I have become more critical of the protest and protesters in part because of the feedback I've received from Japanese, Japanese Americans, and other Asian Americans but also because I have felt compelled to speak out and say that I don't believe this group's ideology or values represent the views of most Asian Americans. I do accept that it's possible I haven't heard from enough people, but since I've talked to people both in Boston and across the country, I'm hoping I have a reasonable sample.
One thing I failed to pick up on when I was writing my initial response to the controversy was that the definitions of "racism" and "white supremacy" the protesters are using come from critical race theory and are echoed in black nationalism and Black Lives Matter. I've been criticized for using dictionary definitions. I think dictionary definitions are important because they tend to be the most widely accepted and used. If you're using a definition that is only understood by academics, legal scholars, feminists, and the social justice community, you can't expect the public to understand what you're talking about. I also have fundamental issues with critical race theory and don't accept these definitions but I'm sure it would have been helpful for the thousands of people who read my original post if I had been able to explain the protesters' definitions.
One random Japanese American on the Internet called my Japanese American cred into question because she seemed to think that all I was doing was parroting the Japanese view and that since I found the protesters' behavior rude I was, "Typical Japanese". I really didn't know what to do with that. It's not her business to classify my identity anymore than white people should be questioning the identities of people of color. She refused to believe that some Japanese Americans aren't offended by the MFA's actions and didn't think that Kimono Wednesdays were in any way racist. This controversy has unfortunately caused or perhaps revealed all sorts of divisions among Asian Americans. I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise that we don't all share the same views, but it's beyond disappointing to me that Asian Americans think it's okay to attack others and police the identity of others within our own community.
It was troubling to me that a blogger who writes mostly about ramen (me) was the most vocal Japanese American/Asian American commenting on the controversy. I would have liked to have seen more people, especially academics, Asian Americans in the arts and in the media, and community leaders and organizations weighing in.
One critic called the protesters "extremists" and I remember when I read that something clicked into place for me. They seem to hold a fringe viewpoint that the majority of Japanese Americans and Asian Americans I talked to don’t hold and their call to action to protest the MFA for four additional Wednesdays even after the MFA made changes to Kimono Wednesdays is an extreme way of dealing with what I see as merely an inappropriately marketed minor event.
It's difficult to assess whether or not the protests were successful since no one really understands what their goals were. They did not stick to their main point, which I think was that the MFA was contributing to the stereotype of Japanese women as exotic (and by extension, all women of East Asian descent who are mistaken for Japanese) and that they were demanding the MFA correct and address this transgression in a very specific manner that didn’t allow room for the Japanese view, the dissenting Japanese American view, or any other views.
Looking at their "LIST OF DEMANDS AND CHARGES" the protest had mixed success. They demanded:
- "An apology" – This demand was not met. They didn't accept the MFA's statement as a sufficient apology although it was characterized as such by some media outlets. They demanded, "a formal apology through multiple media outlets and on social media," which was never going to happen.
- "Stop “Kimono Wednesdays”" – Although they acknowledged that their demand to have people stop trying on the uchikake "was met July 7" they complained that, "The updated event, which invites people to “touch and engage with [the kimonos],” continues to be inappropriate without proper mediation and acknowledgement of the Orientalism of cultural appropriation of dress and the implications of the Orientalist gaze on often-exotified and thus dehumanized femme bodies especially given the past three weeks of museum-facilitated Orientalism. Though the replica uchikake may be a work of art in itself (the Orientalist underpinnings of its commission remaining highly problematic), a partner AAPI organization might facilitate this type of hands-on knowledge-exchange with careful curation." The event carried on for the remaining four weeks so their efforts to stop Kimono Wednesdays altogether were unsuccessful. It isn't clear to me and many others how NHK's commission of the uchikake has "Orientalist underpinnings".
- "Change the Spotlight Talk from “Flirting with the Exotic” to a
more critical public discussion" – This demand was partially met. The
title of the Spotlight Talk was changed to "Claude Monet: La Japonaise,"
and the content of the talks was expanded to include some topics that
the protesters wanted to see included. The MFA will be hosting a
symposium "on art history and traditions of representation," per The Boston Globe
but although the protesters claimed victory on their demand for "the
MFA [to] organize a public discussion where the organizers of this event
and other community members and artists of color are invited as
the symposium that is being organized is not on this topic, nor are the protesters involved in organizing it as they have claimed. (Update 1/15/16: The MFA changed direction on the symposium and worked with the protesters to plan it.)
- "Change the placards to acknowledge and explain the history of the museum’s art" – This appears to be a broader demand relating to all of the museum's art since the acquisition of La Japonaise is not controversial and wouldn't shed any light on its history. The MFA has given no indication that this demand will be met.
A critic posted this Stephen Fry meme with a quote from a 2005 interview with The Guardian to the protest Facebook page.
"It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?"It’s harsh, but it’s a good question. In a piece for Little Atoms titled, "The dangerous allure of victim politics," Jamie Bartlett, Director of The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media quotes Dr. Ian Buruma, currently Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College, from a 1999 piece titled, "The Joys and Perils of Victimhood" (pdf):
"Victims, he said, “cannot escape a momentary feeling of vicarious virtue”. ... What he spotted was a bigger trend at play, where ‘communal identity is based on sentimental solidarity of remembered victimhood’. People were increasingly desirous to wear the scars of others, almost as a badge of honour."While we should never forget the trauma faced by past generations of Asians and Asian Americans in the US, I don’t think that every act of racism or cultural misunderstanding should be linked back to the Japanese American incarceration, Hiroshima (another one they brought up), or other historic events. We would be better served by doing things like expanding K-12 curriculums to include Asian American history as part of US history, to go after Hollywood for their continual perpetuation of Asian and Asian American stereotypes, and to speak out against politicians who scapegoat Asian immigrants and Asian Americans.
Bartlett also ties together general victimhood with being a victim of Internet trolling:
"Of course feelings do matter, but how someone feels about something should not be the sole arbiter of how decisions are made. Of course it's difficult to understand what it’s like being a victim unless you are one (there's a bustling academic literature on 'micro-aggression' about this). But this makes it incredibly difficult to make reasoned judgements about who is and who is not a legitimate victim, since everyone can find a way to feel oppressed, either historically, vicariously or presently."
"I suspect the internet makes this worse, because it provides unlimited opportunity to find reasons to feel victimised and assert that claim to the world. Take the modern scourge, internet trolling. Many people – I’ve documented some of them in my book The Dark Net – are genuinely tormented and terrorised by trolls. Others appear to almost revel in it. If you’re not getting trolled, you’re obviously not famous enough. It is very rarely mentioned that the victims of trolls are often far more often privileged, wealthy, happy, and successful than their perceived oppressors, who are often frustrated, jealous, and lonely."The protesters were accused by some critics of wallowing in their victimhood. It wasn't clear to me initially that they were doing that, but over the course of the protest it did appear that they were incapable of presenting themselves as anything but victims. They were victims of the MFA, the white power structure, the trolls, and any white guy who had ever said "konnichiwa" or "nĭ hăo" to them. They used all of these examples as proof they were on the right track in speaking their truth. Although they claim to want White America to stop othering them, by claiming the mantle of victimhood they set themselves apart, which likely prevented the public from gaining any understanding of the issues at hand or of what the protesters have been through as Asian American women, something which Dr. Buruma theorized about:
"I think the tendency to identify authenticity in communal suffering actually impedes understanding among people. For feelings can only be expressed, not discussed or argued about. This cannot result in mutual understanding, but only in mute acceptance of whatever people wish to say about themselves, or in violent confrontation."I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out what I was missing about the disconnect between the protesters and most of the rest of society and then I stumbled across an interesting piece (tl;dr: see appearance on CNN) by Dr. John McWhorter this week (via his appearance on The Glenn Show). His theory is that "Antiracism is now a religion."
"To say one is not to question is not to claim that no questions are ever asked. The Right quite readily questions Antiracism’s tenets. Key, however, is that among Antiracism adherents, those questions are tartly dismissed as inappropriate and often, predictably, as racist themselves. The questions are received with indignation that one would even ask them, with a running implication that their having been asked is a symptom of, yes, racism’s persistence."Using Dr. McWhorter’s analogy I think the critics are akin to heretics from the protesters’ point of view and this also explains why the protesters were unable to answer basic questions about flaws in their logic.
"It is inherent to a religion that one is to accept certain suspensions of disbelief. Certain questions are not to be asked, or if asked, only politely—and the answer one gets, despite being somewhat half-cocked, is to be accepted as doing the job."I think the protest probably speaks to larger issues of disenfranchisement among some Asian Americans. I realized as the weeks went by that people seemed to be asking all the wrong questions. The public was very focused on the identities of individual protesters and the ways in which some of them seemed to engage in hypocritical behavior in their own lives. Critics tried to understand what within the protesters would drive them to protest – imagined family grievances towards Japan, mental health issues, boredom. People demanded that they address these questions but no one was asking what is it about American society that would drive these Asian Americans to protest at the MFA.
Do we have race problems in the US that involve Asians? Absolutely. Are some of those problems rooted in structural racism and historical inequality? Of course. Do I think that means that primarily white-run organizations such as the MFA shouldn’t be permitted to have events about the art of my homeland? No. Do I think white museumgoers shouldn’t be permitted to don a theatrical kimono replica for five minutes without receiving a detailed history lesson on racism against Asians in modern day America and 19th century France, kimono-making techniques, and the cultural significance of kimono in Japan? No. I think the protesters and I may agree on some of the larger issues, but I won't ever be able to support their tactics. This was not a life and death situation warranting extreme action. This was a minor mistake by an art museum. I think sometimes it's more important to spark curiosity than to force education upon people. I'm more than certain that Kimono Wednesdays could do that for those who didn't already have an extensive knowledge of Japanese culture. I think that treating people with respect, even those you consider to be an adversary, is vitally important. I'm a firm believer that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
It seemed that most white people dismissed the protest because they felt that since most of the protesters were non-Japanese Asian Americans and white allies they weren't really qualified to be demanding how the MFA should present Kimono Wednesdays. But I also read some commentary from people who felt guilty after hearing about it or who are so afraid of being accused of being racist that they stuff yukata and kimono they've received or bought deep into their closets when they're back in the States. That makes me sad.
I don’t believe the answer to all perceived racism is that all events should be shut down, people’s free speech rights should be infringed in the name of political correctness, artists' artistic expression should be curtailed so as not to risk the dreaded cultural appropriation. I think instances of perceived racism should be used as a vehicle for sparking dialogue on all sides, not just the offended side. Too often, offended parties aren’t interested in hearing why offending parties did what they did or said what they said. Bartlett writes that "progressives sometimes attribute a kind of superior virtue or presumed authority to those who are victimised, and a reluctance to disagree with anyone who claims to feel like a victim." The oppressed often assume the rightness of their cause because "racism."
Maybe the actions of the offending parties are inexcusable but I see a lot of Asian Americans imagining that they know what white people think which is as ludicrous as white people imagining they know what we think. We have to be willing to listen to their side as well and if there are gaps in their knowledge that might help them understand why what they did was offensive to some then we should attempt to educate, but understand that no amount of education can force a white person to adopt antiracist behavior. We're all at different stages of ethnic identity development and we all develop in our own time. White people also have to develop in their own time.
Something I noticed since I started following the controversy was how little white Americans understand about Asian American identity and culture. I saw a lot of commentary written by white people imagining what they thought we think and feel. They did seem to understand that Japanese Americans are distinct from Chinese Americans and other ethnic groups, but they didn't seem to understand that Asian American experiences can vary wildly depending on your location (Hawaii and West Coast Asian Americans who live in high Asian population areas have a very different experience from those of us who live on the East Cost and in other parts of the country), what (immigration) generation you are, your level of educational attainment, your class, what field you work in, and the choices you make about what degree you want to assimilate into American society versus sticking with your own kind.
I think it's unfair to hold the MFA responsible for futhering dialogue when this is something that many of us don't do ourselves. Rebecca Carroll, opinion writer for The Guardian, thinks that the reason we don't include white people in conversations on race is because "for the most part, they are not conversant on the subject." I think the reasons are much more complex than that. Some of us don't talk to white people about race because we're busy trying not to draw attention to our foreignness. Some of us don't talk to white people about race because when we try, they seem uninterested. Some Asian Americans may not be that conversant in the subject themselves. We all have lived experience that we can talk about, but not everyone has studied Asian American history and it's rarely covered in K-12 curriculums. If our families and friends don't educate us and we don't take an interest in it ourselves, we might not know much about the historical treatment of Asians in America from racist immigration policies to anti-miscegenation laws to the history of the Citizenship Clause in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution to the Japanese American incarceration.
I didn't realize when I started blogging three years ago that with the choice of my subject, "Japanese & Japanese American stuff around the Greater Boston area & beyond," I was demanding to be seen as Japanese-American. Many of my friends expressed surprise after reading a few posts and said, "But I don't think of you as Asian." What? Have you seen me with my thick mane of silky black hair, my round face, and my large but still almond-shaped eyes? Not one day of my life has gone by when I haven't been aware of my Japanese-ness. Whether it's feeling weird when I have to wear shoes inside someone's house, craving ochazuke when I'm sick, or my preference for Japanese office supplies, there's always something to remind me that I'm not entirely American. It's taken me many years to be comfortable with who I am. I couldn't have written this blog 10 years ago.
Writing the blog has caused me to stop self-censoring as much around my white friends and acquaintances. Some have been open to it and happy to learn, while others have been hostile and told me that I think and talk too much about race. I don't think I think and talk too much about race, but then, I don't have the luxury that white people have of being able to say, "I don't want to think/talk about race." The Daily Show made this point in a great segment last August after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri started. I think the vast majority of us think about race every day, even if only on a subconscious level when we’re watching stereotyped portrayals of our people on TV or walking into a room where we’re the only person of color or when our coworkers are telling racist jokes and thinking that's okay. Apparently there are some people of color who manage to escape racism for most of their lives, but most of us face it on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
If you're Asian American and don't talk to your white or other non-Asian friends about race, try it some time and see what happens. If you're white and your friends of color don't talk to you about race, ask them if they're willing to share their thoughts and experiences with you. Try to approach the conversation with an open mind and to approach your friends with respect. Do not assume you know what their life experiences are. The conversations may not be comfortable but you're guaranteed to learn something.
– The Dalai Lama
It is very likely that there may be parts of the controversy I didn't touch upon in the postmortem either because I forgot or because I didn't hear or read about it. If you think there is something that I have missed, please leave a comment. If there's enough to do a follow-up post I'll consider writing one.
There are a lot of people I should thank but I think some of them might prefer not to be named so rather than ask permission I just won’t name most of them. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to me and share their thoughts and those of their friends and acquaintances. Thanks also to local community leaders for taking the time to talk and email with me about what was going on. Thank you to the couple of protesters I’ve spoken with, all the MFA staff who spoke and emailed with me, and to Timothy Nagaoka for organizing the counterprotest and ensuring that Japanese voices were heard. Thanks to my dear friend Izumi from whom I’m always learning new things about kimono! A very special thanks to Barbara and Jan for helping me think a lot of things through. Their contributions are scattered throughout my blog posts. Without their friendship I would not be sane after the past couple of months. :)
I must also thank Jim Monsonis, my former sociology professor, for seeing a gap in the curriculum and teaching an Asian American studies module. And thank you to my parents for sending me to college and insisting I stay in school when I wanted to quit to work at an NGO in a developing nation. Kids: stay in school!
My coverage would not have been possible without Google Search, Google Translate, Wikipedia English & 日本, and many other websites. Hooray for the Internet!
- I decided early on that I would not name the protesters, post photos of their faces, or link directly to their personal social media accounts or specific posts they made on Facebook. I know that the protesters have chosen to put their names and faces out there, but as I became aware of the level of harassment they were facing I tried to balance my desire to continue writing about the protest without contributing to the harassment. I talked with one of the protest organizers on July 22nd and explained my policy and they thanked me.
- You may have noticed a lot of links for terminology and idioms in this post. I added those to help non-native English speakers and people unfamiliar with those terms.
- I follow Densho's terminology convention for referring to the "Japanese American internment" as the "Japanese American incarceration."
- I used to use the term "African American" because I thought it was the correct term, but after doing some reading last year I learned something completely obvious – not all black people living in the US have African ancestry nor are all black people American so "African American" is not an appropriate term for them. I have done my best to follow the conventions in the National Association of Black Journalists's Style Guide. It should be noted that individual black people may identify in different ways, just as Asian Americans do. Also, public perception sees the term “black” more negatively than “African American” according to a study published last year in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Reports, Statistics, and Guides
- White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Critical Issues Facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Pew Research Center: The Rise of Asian Americans
- Japanese American Citizens League: When Hate Hits You: Asian Pacific American Hate Crime Response Guide
- The Community Tool Box: Organizing Public Demonstrations
- Beyond Intractability: Creating Safe Spaces for Communication
Articles and Papers
- Teaching Tolerance: On Racism and White Privilege
- RACE: A project of the American Anthropological Association: The History of the Idea of Race... and Why it Matters by Dr. Audrey Smedley
- Social Policy: Making Art, Making Change: The Tactical Use of Guerrilla Intervention by Scott Tsuchitani
- Text and Performance Quarterly: Anger, Irony, and Protest: Confronting the Issue of Efficacy, Again
- The Japan Times: Of kimono and cultural appropriation
- The Asahi Shimbun: SURVIVAL OF KIMONO: Saving the disappearing fashion goes political
- The Edmonton Journal: Malala Yousafzai and the healing power of forgiveness
- The Daily Beast: Antiracism, Our Flawed New Religion by Dr. John McWhorter
- Little Atoms: The dangerous allure of victim politics by Jamie Bartlett
- The New York Review of Books: The Joys and Perils of Victimhood (pdf) by Dr. Ian Buruma
- nippaku: I'm Sorry For Apologizing
- National Coalition Against Censorship: Kimonos and Controversy: What the Boston MFA Got Wrong
- Artblog.net: Boston Kimono Alarms Culture Crusaders (and A Note to Whom It Alarmed) by Franklin Einspruch, author of The Federalist piece on the protest
- Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec: Looking East: Western Artists and the Allure of Japan (the exhibit that La Japonaise and the uchikake toured with in Japan)
- Twitter: #MyAsianAmericanStory where Asian Americans are telling their stories.
- The American Alliance of Museum's Center for the Future of Museums
- International Museum of Women: Women, Power and Politics exhibition and Toolkit
- Wikipedia: Identity politics
- United Nations: Malala Yousafzai addresses United Nations Youth Assembly
- He Named Me Malala Trailer
- Independent Institute: Losing the Race: Black Progress, Freedom, and Independence talk by John McWhorter
- 9/2/15: Added link to John McWhorter's appearance on CNN Tonight
- 9/8/15: Added link to NCAC's Kimonos and Controversy: What the Boston MFA Got Wrong
- 1/16/16: Updated that the protesters demand #3 was met. They worked with the MFA on the symposium.
- Monet's La Japonaise Kimono Wednesdays at the MFA
- Protests continue at the MFA
- Japanese people talk about whether it's okay for foreigners to wear kimono
- Counterprotest this Wednesday @ the MFA
- Japanese American and Japanese reaction to Kimono Wednesdays
- Part 1: La Japonaise replica uchikake @ Kimono Wednesdays
- Part 2: Protest and counterprotest @ July 15th Kimono Wednesday
- Myths and facts about Kimono Wednesdays and the protests
- Center for Art Law and NCAC critical of the MFA's decision to modify Kimono Wednesdays
- List of Kimono Wednesdays protest issues, concepts, and related history
- Part 1: AARW/NAPAWF Kimono Wednesdays Panel @ MassArt
- Panel: Kimono Wednesdays: A Conversation @ MFA