“F*** Japan, Remember Pearl Harbor.”
“If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, (G)oogle ‘Pearl Harbor death toll.’”
These are just two of the many social media messages littering the Internet days after a deadly earthquake-induced tsunami hit the nation over the weekend. Similar sentiments in an array of colorful words promote a level of hatred I’ve rarely witnessed and are increasingly spewing on the Web.
Americans, including a writer of the television show Family Guy (who tweeted the second quote above) appear to believe the deaths occurring in Japan are not tragic due to some political vendetta, some even claiming that the Japanese “deserved it” or to look at the “scoreboard,” which apparently is now 3-1 (Hiroshima, Nagasaki and tsunami).
In reading these messages, which left me wide-eyed with horror, I had to wonder if we’ve seriously come to the point when we openly and sincerely wish death upon innocent people simply out of spite. Some people’s vengeance has come to the point that they are discouraging the sending of aid or relief efforts to Japan as a sort of revenge for past acts of war, even criticizing President Barack Obama for encouraging Americans to help.
This level of hatred leaves me disturbed, confused and quite frankly shocked at my fellow Americans, who have so easily forgotten the many people American acts of war have killed as well. When it comes to humanitarian needs, regardless of what happened 70 years ago, I would like to believe that any human being’s heart would be wrenched at the sights of bobbling cars and buildings swept up by the ocean’s ferocity.
It seems as though the writer from Family Guy, along with the others, do not give merit to Ghandi’s warning that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Who ever decided that the death of one person nullifies the death of another? The death of innocent Japanese will not avenge the deaths of those 70 years ago, nor will their healthful lives deny the horror of the events of Pearl Harbor — the two sets of lives are completely disconnected.