DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Bigotry ‘n’ Japan, Post-Tsunami

March 18th, 2011 | 10 comments | Posted by Jen & Diana

As you all know, a week ago, an 8.9 earthquake hit off the eastern coast of Japan, unleashing a 23-foot tsunami that so far has claimed 7,000 lives, with another 10,000 still missing (and feared dead). Nearly 400,000 people–a good number of them elderly–have been displaced and are living in shelters. Meanwhile, the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant raised its crisis level from level 4 to 5 out of 7, which, according to CNN, “indicates the likelihood of a release of radioactive material, several deaths from radiation and severe damage to a reactor core.”

In the outpouring of sympathy and support for Japan that came from all quarters, there were those who thought what was happening in Japan was…HILARZ.

There were those who thought what was happening in Japan was from God.

There were those who seemed more concerned with the fate of the Japanese Yen than the Japanese people, and then there were those who felt very strongly that Japan finally got what was coming to them. They took to Twitter with their talk of “payback” and “karma” for Pearl Harbor, atrocities committed against other Asian countries during WWII, the killing of whales and dolphins.

And the people expressing these sorts of sentiments haven’t just been randos with too much time on their hands, they’ve been well-known and famous, with huge followings on Twitter, radio, and TV.

Below is a list of the last week’s most notable offenders:


Tweeted last Friday by the rapper to his 4 million+ followers:

Later, when the situation in Japan appeared more dire, 50 clarified his earlier tweet:

“Some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value. Hate it or love it. I’m cool either way 50cent.”

Okay, then…HATE it. Also: If you insist on continuing to use the tired expression “hos”–alternately spelled “ho’s” and “hoes” but never “hoe’s”–perhaps it’s time to figure out how to write it at least?


Tweeted last Friday by the Family Guy funny man:

“If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll.’”

After scores of people–us included–reminded Sulkin of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki death tolls (150,000 is a conservative estimate), and the death toll predictions for Japan began to rise dramatically, Sulkin deleted the offensive tweet and followed up with this the next day:

Oh! So when 10,000 people have died instead of a couple hundred–what’s a couple hundred deaths, anyway?–then it’s NOT okay to be a dick?

Somehow, that apology doesn’t really make us “feel better.”


Haley Barbour’s press secretary joked in his press roundup last Friday:

“Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for his single, “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”. (Not a big hit in Japan right now.)”

After a rapid public backlash, Turner resigned on Monday night, emphasizing that his boss never saw the joke before it went out, and being one of the few people on this list to take responsibility for their words.

“‘If you feel the need to skewer someone over that, I’m the guy with the bull’s-eye on his back,’ Turner said. ‘There is one person responsible–me.’”

We couldn’t agree more.


Friday evening, CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow was pleased to announce that the human toll of the tragedy looked to be much worse than the economic toll, “and we can be grateful for that.

He later released an “apology” on Twitter:

We can’t quite figure out what his line was supposed to be, but by golly his apology does feel sincere! About as sincere as using a Groupon for funeral services.


Tweeted last Saturday by the NY Liberty guard:

“What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes.”

“u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less.”

To make matters worse, when someone questioned Pondexter about her meaning, she tweeted back: “r u jap?”

Someone else then had to inform Pondexter that “Jap” was a derogatory term and not just a fun acronym that the kids use like “LOL.” Then finally, FINALLY, Pondexter got around to apologizing to the people she “may” have hurt and claimed that the experience was a lesson learned. Or, um, something like that.


Perhaps the highest-profile offender in this whole disgusting mess is Gilbert Gottfried, who must’ve been laughing it up on Saturday and Sunday when he tweeted a slew of Tsunami jokes (too many to post here, all of which have since been deleted from his Twitterfeed):

It was all fun and games, of course, until AFLAC, the supplemental insurance provider represented by a duck that the comedian has voiced for years, quickly and publicly canned his ass before pledging 100 million yen to disaster relief efforts. In the aftermath, a contrite Gottfried offered up two <140character apologies, again via Satan’s social networking tool:

We’ll at least credit Gottfried with recognizing that his jokes were, at best, just a paltry “attempt” at humor.


On his Monday radio show, Glenn Beck pussyfooted his way into calling the disaster in Japan a message from God–giggling, no less [begins at 12:32 of the video below]:

“We can’t see the connections here. Now look, I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes. Well — I’m not saying that he — I’m not not saying that either.

God — what God does is God’s business, I have no idea. But I’ll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus — there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just sayin’. “

Emphasis on pussy, by the way. If you’re gonna call a natural disaster that affects hundreds of thousands of people God’s message, fucking call it God’s message. May as well take a cue on boldfaced blaming from Jerry Falwell.

The next day, after playing a clip of The View‘s ladies discussing his comments, he attempted to clarify (we guess) his position:

“It’s not as a punishment to the Japanese, not as a punishment to us. It’s just a signal that these are the days. Are they? I don’t know. I will tell you this: man’s actions don’t control the planet’s earthquakes, but man’s actions do control the earthquakes that are happening in our society. The riots — the exact opposite of what the Japanese are doing right now. The riots, the tearing each other apart, all of these things, those are earthquakes from our soul. There is something wrong.

So what is it that we’re doing wrong? It’s not that we need more government or less government or anything else, it is that we need more personal responsibility. We need faith in something and adherence to universal principles. What do you say we start with those top ten? Those are the ten. I think we should do all ten. What do you say? I mean, I’ve got the thou shalt not kill thing down. I’ve got it down. I haven’t made any false idols lately.”

Is it too much to wish that one of the Ten Commandments was to STFU?


On Rush Limbaugh’s Tuesday show, a caller asked:

“If [the Japanese] are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did Mother Earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster?”

To which Limbaugh responded:

“He’s right. They’ve given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are recycling their garbage.” Then he laughed and said, “And yet, Gaia levels them! Just wipes them out!”

Limbaugh later claimed he was making fun of Diane Sawyer’s news reports about Japanese refugees recycling while in a shelter and NOT the refugees themselves. (Because we know how much Limbaugh loves him some Asian peoples.) He also said he was just “cramming it down the throats of liberals.”

Sounds like a bunch of garbage to us. Garbage not even worth recycling.


Here’s what we wonder: As the radiation plume from the Fukushima nuclear plant reaches the West Coast of the United States today–for now, US officials are assuring us that we’re safe–how are the Japan haters going to explain this one to themselves?

Will they dare to call it karma, too?

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10 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Bigotry ‘n’ Japan, Post-Tsunami”

  1. IraeNicole says:

    Well for Beck and Limbaugh at least they can say it is karma on west coast liberals getting the radiation.

  2. Hello Kitty says:

    If radiation reaches U.S. shores the Anti Japanese racists will call it Pearl Harbor v.2.
    It’s a wave of anti Asian sentiment, not just Japan, but China, and Korea too, all lumped under the term Asian.

    My personal rant: http://persephonemagazine.com/2011/03/theres-something-in-the-air/

  3. xxTLKBxx says:

    I think it should be socially acceptable to change the saying “I think therefore i am” to “I think therefore i am not Glenn Beck” (Insert any other name you like)

  4. Crystal says:

    I guess that 11th September was also message from God, wasn’t it?
    Good joke, huh?

  5. [...] I read the recent post from DISGRASIAN titled “Bigotry ‘n’ Japan, Post-Tsunami” I was embarrassed, appalled and then scared. Are these famous people really saying these [...]

  6. I’m so embarrassed that socially aware black people made such comments. You’d think they’d be more empathic. Overall I’m shocked at people are being so disrespectful. Yeah usually people are rude and insensitive but at a time like this you’d think they’d hold off on the hate.

    Your post inspired me to blog – Racial Intolerance for Japanese, Mixed Asians and Who else? http://wp.me/pH5C1-7p

  7. V_V says:

    Sometimes when people say stupid, bigoted things I assume they have no intention on broadening their brains and want to stay inside their bubble of ignorance, and instead of actually getting off their butts and take any sort of action and helping their fellow man, they make up excuses as to why they shouldn’t.

    Also, enough with the Pearl Harbor comments, ok? Hiroshima and Nagasaki was more than enough “karma” for Japan, and those cities rebuilt themselves and pretty much moved on. Japan and the US are best buddies. We should do the same.

  8. aptkane says:

    What gets me is how “Pearl Harbor” is a buzz word now. People who are ignorant of the situation fall back on a word they vaguely remember from High School and feel that is sufficient research to post some half-baked comment on a social media that is slowly making us all dumber anyway.

  9. Jen says:

    @aptkane A little levity: Do you think this is going to get people to revisit Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor”?

  10. droc2pus says:

    They fined Kobe Bryant for FF, I don’t see how the WBNA isn’t fining this idiot for being ridiculously insensitive!

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