Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Xenophobia, anger, and healing

Unsurprisingly, there is a youtube video by someone who calls themselves "fuckorean" which lambastes a Korean newspaper's political cartoons for making light of the situation.

"The life of 33 people was killed at one time, our excellence of firearm technology was shown again. The event was used for FTA criticism."

Then it goes to a picture of Seung Cho's face and writes, "Is he an American? Know shame!!!"

Does anyone read Korean, is this an accurate translation? And Cho did a terribly vile thing, but he was an American.
In other related news, apparently Cho sent a video package to NBC of pictures and a rant. One of the pictures seems inspired by Oldboy, the very dark film by Park Chanwook. I haven't watched it, since I have no heart for gory films, or for watching people eat live octopi. But I hear the film is very disturbing. Naturally, not everyone who has seen the film goes out and massacres people, so the director should not be at fault.

Apparently, Cho also calls the Columbine shooters "martyrs." He's so angry and disturbed looking in these photos, so cold. An icy rage and defiance shoots out through the photos, most disturbing is the one where the viewer gets to see the barrel of a gun close up, and I couldn't help but think of the kids who saw that in real life and the terror they must have felt.

Here's a snippet of his rant:

You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.

Uhm, definitely not sane. Creepy and deluded.
the NYTimes has an article about how difficult it is for schools to notify parents of their children's mental illnesses because they have to have the child's consent. The instant i read the headline, I thought of Elizabeth Shin, an MIT student who utilized campus mental health services and wrote serveral suicide notes before burning herself alive in her room. and sure enough the article brings up her sad story. Her parents sued the university and won an undisclosed amount. On the other hand, GWU and Hunter College were sued for disclosing student's status and for barring them from their own dorms. So how can universities best help the students who they serve in loco parentis?

His parents seem really normal - the definition of the Asian American immigrant's story - own a laundromat, moved to the suburbs. His sister went to Princeton. People who want to pin this on Cho being a 1.5 generation American, son of immigrants, should remember the courageous professors and students who died who were also immigrants. Professors Liviu Librescu and G. V. Loganathan. They contributed so much to this country, and to teaching a future generation of leaders. Don't judge all immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants on this one guy's actions, just as you shouldn't judge all Koreans and Korean Americans based on this.

And one last thought - Cho actually wound up killing a fairly high number of Asian Americans - Professor Loganathan, Parthahi Lombantoruan, Henry Lee, Minal Panchal. This seems to refute Kenneth Eng's glee at Cho shooting 32 blacks and whites. Indeed, Cho did not seem to discriminate in who he shot - whites, blacks, Latinos, APIAs. My heart goes out to all the families and friends of the deceased, and to the whole VT community. May healing commence and sorrows subside, and community bonds grow stronger.


  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Sophia Yen said…

    why do the journalists keep calling the shooter Cho Seung Hui?

    his name is Seung Hui Cho and he liked to go by Seung Cho

    he was a green card holder aka permanent resident. he has lived here for the past 15 years. he has been here since he was 8 years old. He speaks English without any accent. he was an English major and used big words like "charlatan" that your average US high school student doesn't even know.

    so, why are they calling him like some foreigner?

    i am sure he signed his papers, checks, homework, etc as Seung Cho.

    They just want him to look foreign. This shooting was a product of American culture and America should stop "foreign-izing" it.


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