The Washington Post

Japan: Gall in the face of suffering

Pick up a rock in the woods, and you're bound to see all manner of gross critters scurrying beneath it. Let a major disaster happen, and you're bound to see the same gross critters in human form. While most Americans gasped in horror at the devastation roiling Japan on Friday, there were heartless creeps who took to the Internet to say that the earthquake and the tsunami were payback for Pearl Harbor.

I was alerted to this by a Tweet that read, "Don't click unless U want to be disgusted by humanity." Warning: the language in some of postings, especially the earlier ones, is atrocious. The attitude that fuels them is disgusting. No one deserves to have their life literally washed away. No one deserves to suffer. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that the dolts believing in a karmic backlash for Japan don't seem too worried they'll suffer in some way for their stunning lack of sympathy, empathy or plain old decency.

If/when you click that link, you'll notice something else, however. Newer postings are flowing in from people equally horrified by the hate. Sure, some are using language as salty as that from the Japan-had-it-coming crowd. But gall in the face of suffering deserves such a response.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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