Past sports competitions between the U.S. and Japan have elicited some racist remarks on Twitter, and Sunday’s World Cup showdown between the two countries’ women’s soccer teams was no exception.
Some examples, compiled by the blog You Offend Me, You Offend My Family:
“S/o to the USA women’s team for dropping the third bombs on the japs #merica” (kyle service @Swervice34)
“Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and now the World Cup final. Dropping bombs on the Japs all day baby #USA” (Dirty Dan @downs_danny)
“USA bombin on them Japs like the USA did in WWII! #merica #gotgoals” (@Tygayga21)
“Time to get revenge on the Japs again for Pearl Harbor! #USWNT #adaywhichwillliveininfamy” (Chayce Bolli @BolliChayce)
“Surprised the japs lost, with their super human radioactive powers they received from Fukushima and all.” (Mothergoose @JoeDpomeroy)
“#USA BEATIN THE JAPS SINCE 1945.” (Naomi Hollywood @naomihollywood)
John Sasaki, a reporter for KTVU-TV in the Bay Area, did a search for “japs” and found tweets such as the following:
“Payback for Pearl Harbor you stupid japs US US US” (Eric Wood @HollEwood_19)
“That one was for Pearl Harbor #japs” (Marty Walsh @walsh_marty)
“Not the first time U.S. has dropped two quick on the Japs” (Ryan Sellers @RyanSellers21)
“Never should’ve touched Pearl Harbor ya japs” (Quint @QuintCollins)
“Dropping bombs on the Japs. No pun intended, too soon? #ithinknot” (Al @alexmendez141)
Sasaki also found a cartoon of Uncle Sam battling Godzilla.
“What I found didn’t totally surprise me, but it sure disappointed me and it made me loathe certain parts of our society once again,” Sasaki wrote on his Facebook page. “…There are dozens of others like them posted by men and women. These people are the ones who are stupid enough to post their racist idiocy publicly. And you can bet there are thousands (more?) of others who turned to their friends while watching the game and said similar ignorant xenophobic things.
“Once again, we see that our nation is far from the post-racial state some people want us to believe exists.
“And this isn’t just predictably ignorant jerks spewing this kind of drivel. The cartoon showing Uncle Sam (and the military) beating up Godzilla to represent what Team USA did to Japan was posted by one of my print journalist colleagues. Another one of my colleagues (at a different TV station, who happens to be black) tweeted, ‘it’s not really PC, but I love it!’ No, it’s not PC. It’s completely racist … I wonder how that TV colleague would have reacted to a similar cartoon representing the USA beating Nigeria (or another African country) …
“World War II ended 70 years ago this September. And Japan has been one of our strongest and most important allies ever since. Oh, and the (atomic) bombs those tweets referenced killed as many as a quarter million innocent men women and children in horrendous ways ranging from vaporizing them to burning them so badly their skin literally melted off to causing radiation sickness that killed them in days to years. Is that the kind of thing we joke about now?”
BBC News found some tweets that were critical of the World War II references:
“Of course Pearl Harbor is trending now. Did you think we could get through an international sporting event without being racist?” (Churlish @Cryptoterra)
“Awful people have managed to somehow make the #USAvJPN game about #PearlHarbor. The world can always count on (USA) to be the fool.” (@canoecanoa)
“Everybody making Hiroshima/Nagasaki jokes … y’all wouldn’t appreciate if Japanese made Pearl Harbor jokes when they beat the US. Think.” (Camden Jones @camden_jones7)
“Pearl Harbor isn’t funny. Hiroshima isn’t funny. Nagasaki isn’t funny. This isn’t WW2. This is a women’s soccer match in 2015.” (Taylor Perry)