Just as I expected the Korean media has begun to blame the incident on US racism and culture corrupting a poor Korean youth.
Yu Bum-hee, Dept. of Neuropsychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, said, “Virginia has a reputation for having comparatively strong white supremacy movements. Itâ€™s possible that Cho felt diminished by that atmosphere.” These are difficulties all Korean-Americans face as a minority in the U.S., and especially the 1.5 generation. Joseph Oh (34), who lives in Los Angeles, said, “As I grew older, I realized the ethnic barrier. I fought with white youngsters who teased me so many times. But I finally had to accept reality.” In some cases, the situation can lead to crime. New York Police estimates that a significant number of crimes in the Queens Flushing Koreatown are committed by ethnic Koreans under 18.
Here is more from the Korea Herald:
“Through this experience, parents should think twice before sending their children to foreign countries to learn English,” said office worker Lee Jae-hoon, 30. “The feeling of alienation and loneliness can cause severe mental distress to vulnerable students and lead to tragic incidents like this one.”
To further deflect some false sense of blame on the Korean community which doesn’t exist, the media has continued to fan the flames of racism against Koreans in response to this tragedy:
Just two days after the shooting occurred at Virginia Tech, it became our own problem. Many Koreans are concerned about various issues, ranging from the less urgent, like U.S. entry visas, to the excessively worrisome, like the ratification of the free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S. They’re worried that Korean students might have a hard time in the U.S., or that the U.S. might deny Korea the visa waiver program. They’re worried they’ll be attacked if they visit America, or that the FTA will be canceled.
This same sentiment was also expressed by Koreans interviewed in the Joong Ang Ilbo:
Koreans expressed concern that the killings would have a chilling effect in various ways. â€œItâ€™s an enormous tragedy,â€ said Lee Jie-eun, 24, who is planning to apply to graduate school next year in the United States. â€œI am worried that the proportion of the killings will make things harder for me to get a visa or acceptance by an American university.â€
This is what the Korea Herald had to say:
While the nature of the deadly crime is considered irrelevant to the shooter’s nationality, the gravity of the loss could be strong enough to shift the remorse towards South Koreans, observers said. Some also raised concerns that it could influence the alliance of the two countries and other pending issues, such as the on-going effort to waive U.S. visa requirements for South Koreans.
What type of warped and shelter world do you live in where the first thing you think of in response to an incident like this is how this tragedy will effect the US-ROK alliance, entry visas, and a free trade agreement? This will have absolutely no effect on any of these issues. 99.9% of Americans do not even know about the visa waiver and FTA issues with Korea to begin with, why would people suddenly begin protesting against Korea over these issues due to the Virginia Tech tragedy?
Additionally what evidence does the author of the Chosun article for example offer that Koreans are going to be attacked if they travel to America? Internet chat boards of course:
These worries are not unfounded. Since the culprit was identified as a Korean, American websites have been inundated with hate messages. “Wretched Koreans, go to ruin,” one says. “In Korea, young men are obliged to serve in the Army or in the police force. Under these circumstances, this kind of man is born,” says another. “I know Korea well because I lived there for five years. The Korean government is encouraging anti-Americanism in the schools. We need to send letters to the Korean Embassy so that they will stop this immediately,” another says.
Sorry this is not Korea where a traffic accident led to assaults on Americans and foreigners on the streets, anti-US hate signs on doors and windows, as well as stabbings and kidnapping of US soldiers with the added addition of being paraded around on national television with no Koreans ever being held accountable for these crimes. When this happens to Koreans in America then we can start talking about racism in the US, but all this talk now just sounds like the media is actually hoping there is a backlash against Koreans so they can turn the subject on racism in America instead of on the shooter. The ridiculousness of this article only gets better:
Many ordinary Americans are fearful for their security and wary of others. It’s pointless to try to tell them that their fear is politically incorrect. This misunderstanding and distrust might lead some people to commit unjust acts against Koreans. Then Koreans, feeling victimized, will become more anti-American and the vicious cycle will repeat.
But other American Internet users have reacted differently. “If a white man had been the culprit, he would have merely been branded a psychopath. But the moment the culprit was identified as a Korean it became a race incident.
Who is dwelling on race other than the very same Korean media printing this garbage? What the Korean media is missing in all of this is that no where in the US media have I seen any evidence suggesting that the US public is holding Koreans accountable for the actions of one crazy man. Everyone in the US media is now considering this guy to be a mentally disturbed person. The US news media is hardly even mentioning that he was a South Korean male other than basic biographical details. The US news media has been harping on about how his mental illness was allowed to go untreated for so long, the gun control debate, and how security at the campus failed to notify students of the earlier shooting. I haven’t seen one US media outlet dwell on the fact he is a Korean other than Korean news media.
Reading crap like what this journalist Park Eun-joo from the Chosun wrote is more likely to cause offense to Americans about Koreans than the actions of the one mentally ill student at Virginia Tech. Park is labeled as an entertainment journalist and maybe that is what he needs to stick too because his foray into Op-eds is nothing but uninformed ramblings of innuendo and stereotypes directed against Americans. Cho was nuts, but Park appears to be a race baiter and he probably doesn’t even know it.