Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Asian American Community Responds to Virginia Tech Massacre & Media Hysteria

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vanessa Hua today noted the anti-immigrant and anti-Asian backlash beginning in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre :

The Asian American Journalists Association, headquartered in San Francisco, questioned stories and online comments posted Tuesday morning that highlighted Cho's race and immigration status because that emphasis suggested those factors played a role in the shootings.

In fact, Cho was like many school shooters -- about three-quarters of whom have been white boys and young men, according to a 2000 report from the U.S. Secret Service. Cho appeared to feel marginalized and angry, according to criminologists and psychologists such as Louis B. Schlesinger, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York...

Some of the people posting to blogs and chat rooms online Tuesday blamed Cho's actions on his "foreign" status. Others dismissed such arguments as preposterous and asserted that the massacre resulted from easy access to guns, violence in the media or the popularity of violent video games. Still others theorized he was a member of al Qaeda, carrying out a terrorist attack. He was an English-as-a-second- language student depressed about finals, according to another theory.
Longtime LA Times reporter K. Connie Kang also reported on Los Angeles' Korean American community's reaction to the massacre:
The disclosure today that the gunman suspected of carrying out the Virginia Tech massacre was a South Korean national made the killings all the more shocking and painful for Los Angeles' huge Korean American community.
"My heart sank when I heard the news," the Rev. John J. Park, president of the Council of Korean Churches in Southern California, said at a hurriedly called meeting of community leaders in Koreatown.
Park was joined by about a dozen community leaders this morning to express their condolences to families of the victims and to discuss what the Korean community should do in response. Many feared the killings would reflect poorly on the community. They also expressed a sense of shame and responsibility because of their shared ethnicity....
The community leaders said they hoped that the incident will not trigger a backlash against Korean American students.
The leaders noted that the suspect, Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, arrived in the United States as boy. They said that, from a cultural perspective, many Koreans might be reluctant to seek out mental health counseling. They urged Korean Americans to be vigilant about seeking counseling services if they or family members need help.
During the hourlong session, community leaders prayed for the families of victims, for healing of the wounded and for the Virginia Tech community. Community leaders also announced a 4 p.m. candlelight vigil and service Koreatown.
Also, an immigrant advocacy group, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, released a statement saying it joined "all Americans in mourning the lives lost as a result of the school shooting that took place yesterday."
The group, with affiliates in Los Angeles and Flushing, N.Y., added, "This unspeakable tragedy hurts all of us. As a community, Korean Americans will come together to provide the support and resources needed for the students, their families, the faculty and the staff at Virginia Tech to overcome the grief and pain that overwhelms them all at this moment."


Anonymous said...

On Sunday, April 15th, our local newspaper ran a wire report on the discovery of a letter pertaining to the massacre at No Gun Ri, S. Korea, in 1950 where Korean civilians were apparently killed by G.I.'s. The exposure of the letter, which appeared to put the lie to the official American position that there had been no US official sanction for firing on civilians at any time in the Korean War, was understandably received with outrage in S. Korea. The subsequent massacre at V. Tech by a young S. Korean is the weirdest sort of coincidence. It seems likely he was psychotic, possibly schizophrenic to judge by his isolation, penchant for violent writing, and odd affect. Nevertheless, there may have been something that triggered him to act on his violent impulses at a particular time. I can't help but wonder about this....

tim said...

An interesting article by Tamara Nopper on this:

The Internet Marketing Student said...

Such actions are the results of people who feel deprived and left out in society.

A year ago, I watch the movie, The Secret. In this movie, The Law Of Attraction is used as a metaphor to describe a philosopy that anyone can used to create abundance in their lives.

Could this philosphy have prevented what happened at VirginiaTech? Did The Secret or any material on the Law Of Attraction reached Cho?

Bob Proctor, on of the teacher in the Secret just release a report
AttractionAcceleration which makes the Law Of Attraction easy to understand and apply. This report is free.