Still Processing This

Y’all bear with me here.  I’m working a few things out “aloud”

We now know who the shooter at Virginia Tech was

The gunman who killed 30 people at Virginia Tech’s Norris Hall before turning the gun on himself was student Cho Seung-Hui, university police Chief Wendell Flinchum said Tuesday.

He was an English Major.

There’s so much that comes to my mind.  For instance, most Americans have no idea how much emphasis is placed on education in South Korean culture.  Education, not money, looks, or fame, determines social status.  Kids are under enormous pressure there, but it’s different from the Japanese pressure to succeed.  It’s all about social status.  It’s everything.

And then there’s this.  Yesterday, when I could no longer hide the news from my children, my son heard the reports for the first time that the shooter was Asian.  The very first words out of his mouth were, “Maybe he’s North Korean”.

This was such a loaded statement.  We’ve had conversations before, when tensions between North Korea and the US were high, in which I explained that, although the North Korean people were “good”, the North Korean government was “bad”.  North Korea as a country, is one of the “bad” countries because of its government.  So, one one level, I understood why Zaphod said what he said.

But, it seemed to me that when he heard the shooter was Asian, he very quickly tried to disassociate himself from him.  It’s hard to quantify, it’s just a feeling I got when he said the words, but it amazed me that he felt the need to defend himself and his birth country.

I’m not exactly sure how to deal with this.  I’m not sure I should ‘deal’ with it at all.  Maybe I’m overreacting.  It was just a side of my son I’ve never seen before.

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5 Responses to “Still Processing This”

  1. Katherine Coble Says:

    I’m betting you’ll need to deal with it a lot in the coming days.

  2. Mr. Mack Says:

    That breaks my heart. I can’t figure out exactly how to say why it does, other than the fact that he indeed felt the need to differentiate, coupled with the fact that he does indeed differentiate. Does that make any sense?

  3. malia Says:

    Is the news media getting this man’s name right? I’m sure many people don’t feel it’s relevent but I sort of do. My husband told me that Korean names are backwards from English names with the “first” name being last. So how exactly should his name appear in print/on tv and how exactly should it be said? Is he Mr. Cho or Mr. Seung-Hui?

  4. Slartibartfast Says:

    Malia, unless I’m totally off my rocker, “Cho” is his last name.

    Think comedians Henry Cho, and Margaret Cho.

    It’s amazing his name isn’t Kim or Park, which are Korea’s Smith and Jones.

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