a moment for the victims

Among those killed during the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech:
Henry Lee, a freshman majoring in computer engineering
G.V. Loganathan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering
Partahi Lumbantoruan, a doctoral student in civil engineering
Minal Panchal, a graduate student in architecture
Mary Karen Read a freshman majoring in interdisciplinary studies


Looking back at the last couple of days, I've noticed that media coverage of this tragedy general seems to reflect certain trends, obviously based on the information that becomes available. On Monday, it was obviously about the details of the shooting at Virginia Tech. The next day, it was mostly focused on Seung Hui Cho, "a student from South Korea," and trying to find out details about his background and what might've led him to such unthinkable. Wednesday, I noticed there was a great deal of attention to reactions from South Korea and the Korean American community in the United States. Take this story, for instance: 'Every Korean Person Is So Very Sorry' This confuses me. My first reaction to this headline... why? I feel a great deal of grief and sorrow for the victims of this terrible crime, and it's understandable that the Korean American community would find cause for concern in possible repercussions. But I am not sorry on behalf of Seung Hui Cho, and I feel no need to ask for forgiveness. He was a troubled, disturbed individual who chose to deal with his problems through a terrible, cowardly act of violence. Frankly, I'm angry at him. And I refuse to be indicted alongside him. This monster's crime was his, and his alone.

That said, there's no doubt that this incident has hit home for Korean American communities across the nation: Korean-Americans React to the Heinous Crime of One of Their Own (The article itself is okay, but is anyone else bothered by the accompanying doctored photo that places Cho's face against a background of unidentifiable Asian faces?). Here's a good opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times by Professor Edward Taehan Chang that takes on a more proactive perspective: Cross ethnic lines to stop violence. And of course, since this all started, there has been the underlying fear of backlash: Braced for Backlash. Unfortunately, this article opens by selectively quoting a random-ass comment left by an anonymous person at Sepia Mutiny. Without proper context, it makes it look like the entire blog is racist, and they've had to respond: This Blog is Not For Bigots.

I know there's been a bit of curiosity about Seung Hui Cho's family, who live in Virginia. I say this because I've noticed some traffic coming to this website from searches for "seung hui cho parents dry cleaner." It's been mentioned here and there that his parents run a dry cleaning business. Contrary to some incorrect early reports in the Korean media, they did not attempt suicide. They are, however, in the hospital due to shock: Cho's Parents Hospitalized After Campus Massacre. Cho also has a sister who reportedly graduated from Princeton and now works in the State Department: Va. Tech Shooter's Sister Works With State Department. It looks like whoever wrote that story just did a Google search or something for their facts.

Remember when all we had to worry about was a bad singer making a fool of himself on American Idol? I never thought I'd say this, but to quote my buddy Mike Kang: I miss William Hung.

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