My fellow Americans,
Allow me to begin by saying how proud I am of you for tearing your eyes away from Charlie Sheen for a moment to witness the heart-wrenching events unfolding in Japan. Nevertheless, stocking up on radiation pills because you live on the West Coast is madness. You are like the neighbor who stands in their own backyard with buckets of water at the ready because the house down the street is burning down. This is Japan's emergency, not ours.
Do we lack all historical perspective? Have we forgotten that the U.S. dropped not one, but two atomic bombs on Japan during WWII after which California didn't even sneeze? Perhaps this is a bad analogy to current events. I am no nuclear physicist--but I'm pretty sure you pill-hoarders aren't either.
To be fair, it's not all your fault. The U.S. media is uncomfortable covering stories that don't affect the everyday American. This why the headlines read "2 Americans injured in a bus crash" while 20 non-Americans were killed in the same accident. This is why the next story after the revolution in Libya is about gas prices. This is why the media is covering Americans stocking up on radiation pills. Although, to be fair again, why does the media feel the need to present stories this way? In the words of Daily Show correspondent John Oliver, "If a tree falls in a forest and it doesn't fall on an American, did that tree really fall?"
Even worse than simply covering the story, however, reputable media outlets such as NBC and CNN have been discussing whether radiation pills are needed rather than informing why they are not. In a situation where tone is everything, the tone I hear in covering this story is questioning rather than quelling. After NBC Nightly News' segment on the radiation pill story, a particularly unprofessional NBC affiliate in Arizona ran a teaser commercial that asked, "Should you and your family be stocking up on radiation pills? Tune in at 10!" I have to wonder if the human desire to go see a horror film is somehow linked with the desire to watch the local news.
My fellow Americans, you are part of the world, but you are not the world. There are both tragedies and triumphs out there that have nothing to do with you.
My fellow Americans, you are part of the world, and you need to learn more about it.
My fellow Americans, send the money you would have spent on radiation pills to Japan to the people who really need it.