From the bottom of my heart, I feel grateful that there are many in this country, the world at large, and not least, Rollins, who have been willing to help Japan and its people during their time of crisis. As someone who was born in Japan and lived there for 12 years, I have a sentimental connection to this nation. The bold people there are not the kind to panic aft er even this kind of disaster, and I am proud to have Japanese blood running in me. I extend my gratitude to all those who showed compassion and concern.
That being said, there are still too many people in this world who do not seem to understand that the Japanese people do not deserve to be the targets of irrational racial hatred in the real world and cyberspace, especially today. In the spirit of the free speech discussion all abuzz on campus, one should take a look at some fi ne examples of free speech derived directly from networking sites: “Who bombed Pearl Harbor? Karma’s a bitch;” “If they didn’t bomb pearl harbor this wouldn’t have happened. Gods way of tell Japanese people there gay [sic].”
There is one thing I see right away in these kinds of statements that simply hold no water. In my experience, I have heard similar arguments pertaining to the atomic bomb years before the earthquakes and tsunami happened. To paraphrase some quotes I have gathered on the subject, “Hiroshima is karma for Pearl Harbor.” In 2010, a Holt student who came crying to me about a class on the Holocaust was deeply distraught about it to the point where he could not tolerate the word “Nazi.” However, when I brought up the atomic bomb (and I have spent a decade holding back my emotions about the treatment of the issue) to the same student on the same night, he shrugged it off , stating, “Well, you guys started it.” I would not be surprised if this person has similar views on the recent natural disasters.
The death toll of the Pearl Harbor bombing was 2,402 people: tragic enough. According to the Radiation Efforts Research Foundation, the death toll of the Hiroshima bombing was between 90,000 and 166,000 and the Nagasaki death count was between 60,000 and 80,000. The recent death tolls, still climbing, have been said to surpass 10,000. Imagine if I had said, “9/11 is Karma for the atomic bombs.” Needless to say, it would not have gone over very well, and I do agree it would be an asinine remark on my part, which brings me to my next point.
I will say again that I am grateful for those who have done what they can to help the Japanese people. I bring this subject up, however, because I feel this irrational negativity which, long after World War II and even long before, never really ceased, has reached a new low in today’s age, and the issue clearly needs to be addressed seriously. The Rollins population should feel free to take my words apart and discuss them; I am certain you will find something here to off end you.