Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as 'yellow, slant-eyed dogs' that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what's going on today?"Amazing. Yet another example of the self-loathing mindset of some Western liberals, who see the glass of Western culture and history 1/5 empty rather than 4/5 full. Through Hanks we see the liberal dogma of the evil in Western culture and white guilt over past racism, real, exaggerated, or imagined.
Hanks is breathtakingly ignorant of history. He sees racism as a significant part of the American spirit during the war, but ignores how we fought beside and in defense of many East Asians, including, to name only a few, Chinese, Polynesians, Filipinos, and Burmese. How could it possibly be that our motivation to fight the Japanese was based on racism against East Asians? He also ignores or is grossly ignorant of our massive, expensive, and successful effort to rebuild Japan after the war. We rehabilitated the Japanese at great expense even though we wanted to “annihilate” them because they were “‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods”? This is astoundingly incoherent and without historical foundation.
Then, to compound his felony, he projects that same imagined racism on our current war against radical Islamists, implying Americans are fighting this war out of racism toward Muslims, showing more ignorance of many things, not the least of which we fought in the Balkans not long ago to protect Muslims against European Christians.
John Hinderaker of Powerline Blog asks “Does Hollywood Make You Stupid?” (link).
Historian Victor Davis Hanson, in a post at Pajamas Media titled “Is Tom Hanks Unhinged?” (link), writes:
… Hanks’ comments were sadly infantile pop philosophizing offered by, well, an ignoramus. Hanks thinks he is trying to explain the multifaceted Pacific theater in terms of a war brought on by and fought through racial animosity. That is ludicrous….
Despite Hanks’ efforts at moral equivalence in making the U.S. and Japan kindred in their hatreds, America was attacked first, and its democratic system was both antithetical to the Japan of 1941, and capable of continual moral evolution in a way impossible under Gen. Tojo and his cadre. It is quite shameful to reduce that fundamental difference into a “they…us” 50/50 polarity. Indeed, the most disturbing phrase of all was Hanks’ suggestion that the Japanese wished to “kill” us, while we in turn wanted to “annihilate” them…. In short Hanks’s comments are as ahistorical as they are unhinged .…The interview in Time is by liberal historian Douglas Brinkley and carries the astounding and risible title of “How Tom Hanks Became America's Historian in Chief.” The Hollywood liberals and their media jock-strap sniffers just won’t stop denigrating the United States.
John M Greco
“The Pacific” Premiers – In the First Hour, American Racism & Torture, and Moral Equivalency