Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Resisting xenophobia

My heart sank this morning when I saw that the shooter at Va Tech was one Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean native who has lived in the U.S. since 1992. I'm not the only one whose first thought was what was going to happen to the rest of the Asian population on campus and in Blacksburg. So today, a moment of silence for race relations, if you please.

Preliminary reports indicate that Cho was a cipher, one of those students who disappears into a public school like VT and emerges either broken or not, depending on luck and personal capacity. At least the creative writing dept. was sensible enough to refer him to counseling, but somewhere and somehow he slipped through the cracks. This is not the fault of the school, of course. Even at their best, colleges and universities are too large to connect personally with every kid on campus. And it sounds as though he was not plugged into to the South Korean community all that much, so one potential source of community was not there.

Anyway, let's focus on the fact that he was crazy and not on the fact that he was from Some Other Country.

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