In this entry I would like to refer to an article from Gil Asakawa’s blog Nikkei View. In his blog on August 9, 2012, Asakawa talks about how hatred against Japan pops up in the U.S. every time something negative thing happens to Japan. For example, when the great earthquake and tsunami happened in Japan in 2011, many Americans (mostly young and both and female according to Asakawa) tweeted the tragedy was the revenge for Pearl Harbor. The same tweets were observed when the U.S. national women soccer team defeated Japan in 2012 Olympic women’s soccer final. He wonders why this kind of comments stand out when something bad happens to Japan, and he concludes that it’s because Japanese looks different than dominant group of people in the U.S., rather than pure anger towards what Japanese army did on December 7, 1941. He also mentions that if his conclusion is correct, it also explains the decision of putting 110,000 Japanese Americans who were American citizens to concentration camps during the World War II.
His explanation of the justification of concentration camps is an example of forever foreigners. They could easily decide to put them in concentration camps because Japanese people look different from them (white) even though they were Americans. As long as they look Asian, they are considered as “different” people thus foreigners. Also, I think those ignorant and racist comments toward Japan relate to passive racism boosted by anonymity of internet. People leave racist comments like this because they think those comments are not big deal (it might because the target is Asian), and it is not considered a problem because readers also think it’s not so significant. Often times there would be even some people who agree on those comments.
Even if they are criticized, the criticism is online and most of the times it does not hurt reputation of them, so they can write whatever they want and probably that is their honest opinion.
Personally, I didn’t know that there were this kind of comments posted by many Americans when the earthquake and tsunami happened in Japan, so I was shocked how ignorant they are. This is clearly inappropriate thing to say when 19,000 people passed away or missing. Although racism has become less obvious, it is still everywhere in daily life for non-white people in the U.S., and the Internet is the best place to spit the racist comments because no one can accuse them in person. After reading this article, I feel racism really is deep and difficult problem.
Asakawa, Gil. “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the shame of racism”. Nikkei View: The Asian American Blog. August 9, 2012.