ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 19th, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy?

Just as I expected the Korean media has begun to blame the incident on US racism and culture corrupting a poor Korean youth.

From the Chosun Ilbo:

Yu Bum-hee, Dept. of Neuropsychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, said, “Virginia has a reputation for having comparatively strong white supremacy movements. It’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. “It’s an enormous tragedy,” said Lee Jie-eun, 24, who is planning to apply to graduate school next year in the United States. “I am worried that the proportion of the killings will make things harder for me to get a visa or acceptance by an American university.”

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.

  • [GI Korea] Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? - USFK Forums
    5:45 pm on April 19th, 2007 1

    [...] [GI Korea] Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? Published: Thu, 19 Apr 2007 06:22:56 +0000 Just as I expected the Korean media has begun to blame the incident on US racism and culture corrupting a poor Korean youth. From the Chosun Ilbo: Yu Bum-hee, Dept. of Neuropsychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, said, “Virginia has a reputation for having comparatively strong white supremacy movements. It’s possible that Cho felt diminished by that atmosphere.” These [...] Read More… [...]

  • The Marmot’s Hole » Korea Blog Aggregator
    2:04 am on April 20th, 2007 2

    [...] Drop:  Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy?Posted 9 hours agoJust as I expected the Korean media has begun to blame the incident on US racism [...]

  • manford
    10:15 am on April 19th, 2007 3

    very well said and just goes to show that nobody on this planet, relishes playing the victim more then the Koreans.

  • usinkorea
    10:41 am on April 19th, 2007 4

    "I fought with white youngsters who teased me so many times. But I finally had to accept reality"

    Can I use this excuse for my actions today based on teasing I recieved (being a white, Christian male in the deep South) as a youngster?

    Youngster's teasing people for whatever they can think of to tease people —– "only in America", eh?

    I can't remember where I wrote this yesterday —

    —but, this event does have a chance of hurting US-Korea relations, but not like they think.

    A lot of people in American society are checking out anything related to Korea on the internet trying to gather info on the case and understand it.

    Traffic at my site went through the roof yesterday, and it has been significantly higher today….

    …and the more people look, the worse it will probably be for South Korea, because since 2002, even think-tanks and members of academia have taken anti-US habits in Korea seriously and written articles about it. It goes beyond the K-bloggers like myself.

    Then, web surfers will start hitting things like the Korean media and then the anti-US websites….

    The more digging that goes on, the more dirt will be found.

    But, any negative result from this will be based more on South Korean society than an ethnic Korean who was most likely fairly Americanized due to the amount of time he lived in the US starting at an early age who happened to flip out and kill a lot of people in a shoot spree which American society has experienced several times in the past going back decades.

    And lastly, "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?"

    A couple of days after 9/11, I went to a graduate level class in Korean Studies, and one of the Korean grad students kindly asked how I was holding up, then proceeded to explain how he and many other Korean grad students at this American university were worried, "That the US government would use this as an excuse to prevent Koreans who protest against the United States from getting visas to study in America."

    I was already too depressed to even get angry about it (at that time….)….

  • jion999
    11:21 am on April 19th, 2007 5

    They love to believe they are victims anytime.

    Koreans were victims of Japanese Empire.

    Koreans were victims of USFK.

    Koreans were victims of racism in US.

    Because they must be victims, they believe they have a right to criticize others.

    Even the shooter of VT believed he was a victim and he would die like Jesus Christ.

    I don't like to use VT massacre as an excuse to criticize Koreans.

    However, I feel disgusting to know they are trying to pretend victims again after VT massacre.

  • Tom Coyner
    11:32 am on April 19th, 2007 6

    Today, my Korean wife got sucked into reading more Korean blogs than she intended. She reported it a fascinating if unproductive use of time. She noted that a few Koreans have raised the parallel between the Virginia Tech incident and the Korea middle schools accident. Those postings, however, have generated immediate responses deflecting the comparison along the lines that the girls were "killed" by authorized American service men.

    In other words, there is no discussion of motive — which in a court of law would differentiate between voluntary or involuntary manslaughter and murder. But so far, apparently none of the natives of this peninsula are messing up their logic with this detail. It essentially comes down to "uri nara saram" vs. the "weigook-in" — and a failure to appreciate that sometimes a lone nutter does the unspeakable, regardless of nationality or ethnicity — and to add anything else to the story is only venting one's frustrations and hang ups.

    So, in a way, this incident does give some insight into the current Korean psyche. It certainly doesn’t look like much progress has been made in the collective thinking being able to consider matters beyond the limits of half a peninsula.

  • Kate
    11:45 am on April 19th, 2007 7

    The Koreans wanted to be victims of the Americans. That's why the middle school incident, a tragic accident, became such a big deal in Korea. There are traffic accidents daily in Korea.

    But this one, bad American soldiers kill innocent Korean girls and get away with it. USFK was its usual courageous self by ordering a court martial for the soldiers even after its internal investigation found they did nothing wrong.

    And, of course, the court martial only got the Koreans more worked up.

    The Koreans will eventually spin the VT story into how they are victims of America again, they can't help it, it's hardcoded into their very souls.

    The Koreans aren't unique in this. It's global. A anonymous Italian bureaucrat becomes retroactively a national hero when he's accidently killed by Americans.

    But wait a minute, it's not an accident. The Americans killed him on purpose and now we have the murder trial to prove it. We Italians are victims but we'll have our trial of the evil GI (sound familiar?)

    It's tedious but there is nothing America can do right now except let the rest of the world grow up.

    One step: we don't need 35,000 troops in Korea:


  • OneFreeKorea » Best of the Blogs
    5:49 am on April 20th, 2007 8

    [...] Drop Korean Movie Inspired V.T. Killer? Air Force Pay Could Be Cut Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? Fishing for the Next No Gun-ri Red Devil Fan Base Expands Korean Student Identified as V.T. Shooter [...]

  • usinkorea
    1:04 pm on April 19th, 2007 9

    Those postings, however, have generated immediate responses deflecting the comparison along the lines that the girls were “killed” by authorized American service men.

    In other words, there is no discussion of motive

    At the time, the mainstream media in Korea told the society the soldiers killed the 2 girls on purpose. They constantly described it as a "murder" rather than accident. MBC had a former Korean tank driver come on air and using disgusting pictures of the dead bodies, describe how the track marks on the bodies could "only" have been made that way — if some GI was standing outside on the ground directing the tank driver how to maneuvre.

    Next, I think USFK made a mistake putting the soldiers on trial.

    If they felt there was enough reason/evidence to do so – fine – they should have done it.

    If they didn't, they should have rode the anti-US phase out instead of holding a trial. There was no way in hell even a conviction of the GIs was going to stop Korean society as a whole milking the incident as long as they could. It was also EASILY predictable that if a not guilty verdict were given, it would make Korea go nuts and feel justified.

    Lastly, one thing that still pisses me off about the events is — how the Korean media went out of its way NOT to report things USFK did — they did not report the monetary settlement reached between the parents, SK gov, and US gov less than 30 days after the accident. They did not report the base high ranking officers going to the hospital the day of the accident and giving the family the small amount of "bereavement" money that is customary in Korean culture. And they did not report the candlelight vigil USFK held on base with SK, US Embassy, and USFK VIPs attending as well as many GIS – held within a week of the accident.

    Instead, the press kept repeating and repeating that USFK would not "accept responsiblity" for the event – which they described as a murder.

  • Dan85
    2:26 pm on April 19th, 2007 10

    Umm… the only thing close to racism that I had to deal with as a Korean-American growing up in America was "Korean kids are really smart." But wait, I'm only half Korean so that doesn't count.

    To quote my mother, who moved to the U.S. when she was 21, after marrying an *evil* G.I. "I was really closed minded about a lot of things before I had lived in America for a long time. I don't really think I could ever live in Korea again." One of my aunts also married a U.S. soldier, and neither marriage was not looked down upon in the family. My Grandfather was a ROK Army officer, and graduate of Korea Military Academy. He was staunchly pro-American, having lived through the Korean War, and having visited the U.S. a few times. He raised his family with this mindset, and for that I am very thankful.

    There's a lot of things about Korea that bother me, now that I am stationed here in the U.S. military. Some of the things the general population believe border on the absurd, or just are.

    It amazes me how it's possible for anti-American sentiment to be so prevalent here. I guess it takes a good 40-50 years for a country to completely forget the sacrifices people made for this country… just look at France. Back then, not many people had heard of Korea, much less being able to point to it on a map.

  • Dan85
    2:28 pm on April 19th, 2007 11

    *edit: neither marriage was looked down on

  • Where The Hell Am I?: Collective Korean Sorrow and Guilt Over the Virginia Tech Massacre
    8:24 am on April 20th, 2007 12

    [...] at times, but it’s often one-sided and very hypocritical here in the Land of the Morning Calm. In Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? at the ROKdrop blog he tackles this hypocrisy head on Sorry this [the US] is not Korea where a [...]

  • Japan News for April 20, 2007 » Japan Probe
    8:45 am on April 20th, 2007 13

    [...] ROK Drop has an interesting update: Is the South Korean media race baiting the Virginia Tech tragedy? [Link] [...]

  • Korean Movie Inspired V.T. Killer? at ROK Drop
    9:14 am on April 20th, 2007 14

    [...] However it will be interesting to see how the Korean media reacts to this latest development when yesterday they were blaming American culture, white supremacists, bullies, and everything else to deflect [...]

  • Ismail Ax and anti-Americanism? « Old Atlantic Lighthouse
    9:47 am on April 20th, 2007 15

    [...] We also have the post: Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? [...]

  • OneFreeKorea » Virginia Tech Shooter Was Cho Seung-Hui, a U.S. Permanenent Resident From Korea
    10:34 am on April 20th, 2007 16

    [...] basements and keeping their kids home from school over the fear of reprisal attacks.  See also GI Korea’s extensive post. [...]

  • PSL
    12:52 am on April 20th, 2007 17

    While I agree with GI and most of the follow up threads here, the theory is not entirely without merit and it is not only the Korean media that is fanning the flame:

    Not that I think CBS is necessarily the beacon of truth, but here are some quotes from the article:

    "Va. Tech Killer Picked On, Classmates Say"

    "As soon as he started reading, the whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, 'Go back to China,"

    "There were just some people who were really mean to him and they would push him down and laugh at him,"

    BTW, I am in no way excusing his actions and I am still agreeing there is a bit of race-baiting going on. I am just trying to show the flip side of the coin.

    I knew plenty of Asians who got picked on while growing up and as far as I know none of them went crazy. Cho was just a very sick guy.

  • Jerry
    3:16 am on April 20th, 2007 18

    Did anybody notice the broken English in the photo of the banner in the Chosun Ilbo article? If not, then you've been here too long.

  • empraptor
    3:19 am on April 20th, 2007 19

    “As soon as he started reading, the whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, ‘Go back to China,”

    Have you read some of his so-called plays? They aren't worth the paper they're written on. But the laughing, pointing and "go back to china" bit makes me think these classmates of his should have stayed in high school a few more years.

  • empraptor
    3:23 am on April 20th, 2007 20

    Ah, sorry. These are former classmates from high school. Gun nuts want concealed weapons on university campuses. Maybe we should let high school kids carry concealed weapons. Choi's of the future may decide to strike back immediately instead of waiting till college.

  • ZERO
    10:39 pm on April 20th, 2007 21

    [...] onto Japan.Come to think of it, I think Korean people are also projecting in case of VT incident.RokdropMarmot Korea may be a mirror for Japan.In this sense Korea has something we can learn from .Let’s [...]

  • The Golden Rock
    2:11 am on April 21st, 2007 22

    [...] doing. The man has been in America so long he’s more Americanized than I am, for crying out loud), the Korean media has also taken a “it’s America’s fault” approach as well. (Thanks to Japan Probe for the link)- Back to more relevant news to this blog, the Cannes [...]

  • Mudville Gazette - Mobile News Page
    6:59 am on April 21st, 2007 23

    [...] Is the Korean Media Race Baiting the Virginia Tech Tragedy? — [GI Korea] Just as I expected the Korean media has begun to blame the incident on US racism and culture corrupting a poor Korean youth. From the Chosun Ilbo:… [...]

  • Peter Kauffner
    4:07 pm on April 20th, 2007 24

    This is the polite phase. Within a few weeks, Koreans will tell us what they really think — that Cho is a national hero, driven to suicide by 32 vicious American racists.

    Within a few weeks after 9/11, pretty much all of Korea had decided that the attacks were America's fault. Koreans would ask me who I thought was responsible; you know, was it Bush, America, the CIA, or the Jews? I would answer that Bin Laden and Saddam were responsible and they'd look at me like they had even thought of the issue that way before. An incident at the Winter Olympic in Salt Lake City a few months later that year inspired an anti-American frenzy. Bin Laden was no longer "that guy who had nothing to do with 9/11" — he was a hero.

  • Getting it all wrong... « m a r k a n d e y a
    12:26 pm on April 21st, 2007 25

    [...] discussion I’ve seen of scapegoating Asian students has been here in the Korean media, who GI Korea believes actually wants race to be front and center in the debate so as to shift the focus away from the (Korean) shooter and to racism in [...]

  • Tim
    11:58 pm on April 20th, 2007 26

    I think that Dan85 makes some very good points about most Koreans that emmigrate to the U.S. I have personally witnessed the transformation a lot of Koreans go through, including a number of Korean women who have married "GIs", once they have lived in the U.S. for a few years. It's like a fog bank gets lifted from their minds once they leave Korea. So many things that they did not realize they were being lied to about the U.S. get discovered. Most, if not all, end up hating to have to go back to Korea, especially the women, after they have gotten a taste of American society and how they are treated on the whole.

    Someone else pointed out here that Koreans love to play the victim. Sadly this is true. In my view, Korean society thrives on adversity. Tragedy is so much a part of Korean daily living. Just look at their movies. I defy you to find a Korean movie, TV show, book or anything else that does not have a tragic element to them. Hell, they even work a tragic element into comedies sometimes. Most Korean movies have what I like to refer to as their "boohoo" moment.

    I digress, however, this VT student had all the perks of living in the U.S. and attending a prestigious U.S. university but chose to play the victim instead of concentrating on his studies and making something of himself. That, above all else associated with this story, is its tragic element.

    Tim in Angeles sendzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Sonagi
    12:12 am on April 21st, 2007 27

    Tim wrote:

    "this VT student had all the perks of living in the U.S. and attending a prestigious U.S. university but chose to play the victim instead of concentrating on his studies and making something of himself. That, above all else associated with this story, is its tragic element."

    There is compelling evidence – documentation of erratic behaviors, brief hospitalization, and the videos – that Cho had some kind of mental illness which seems to have worsened considerably in the last few years of his life. Mentally ill people do not "play the victim." They are ill. Mental illnesses aren't "in your head." They involve brain chemisty problems with physiological causes.

  • Dan85
    7:24 am on April 21st, 2007 28

    Holders of concealed carry permits are generally law-abiding citizens. If there were people carrying concealed weapons on campus, this tragedy could have been lessened in scale or averted.

    Relying on the police and military to protect you at all times is being part of the "sheep" mentality. The majority of the time, the closest police response will be 2-10 minutes away. There is a large difference between feeling safe (laws) and being safe (actions). Take this into consideration: There are sheep and wolves. Most people are, and want to be sheep, and that is fine. Then there are sheepdogs. They guard the flock, but when the wolves aren't around, they remind the more timid sheep of the wolves. The sheepdog are not truly appreciated until the wolves strike.

    While the "sheepdogs" are typically the police and military, not all regular citizens should be relegated into being Sheeple.

    Nut cases that kill 30 people don't wake up in the morning thinking about gun laws. After Columbine, most schools in America were declared "gun free zones". All that does is make it easier for a maniac like this to slaughter innocent people.

    High school students carrying guns? Of course not. The age for concealed carry permits pretty much everywhere is 21. A teacher with a gun? I have ZERO problems with that.

  • Sonagi
    4:25 pm on April 21st, 2007 29


    I agree with you that people who go to the trouble to get a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon are law-abiding citizens. There are a few points to consider:

    1. Not all shootings happen in the course of a premediated crime. Imagine how otherwise responsible young men and women might use their handguns in the evening after a drinking binge.

    2. YOU may not have a problem with teachers carrying handguns, but community parents might. I am a school teacher, and I strongly suspect that while a large majority of the people in my community support the Second Amendment, they would not wish to see me or my colleagues keep a handgun in our desks.

    3. Everybody is talking about guns and nobody is looking at other ways of staying safe. What struck me about the shootings was that no one was able to lock the classroom doors. My classroom door is lockable only with a key. There is no inside latch. I keep my door locked but slightly ajar. If I were to hear gunshots, I would immediately pull my door closed and huddle the kids against the back wall, which is out of view of the door. Unless the killer has high-powered weaponry, there's no way he's going to get in or shoot through two layers of concrete block between us and the hallway. If my classroom is the first place the killer hits, well, we're finished anyway because I would probably be shot before I had time to retrieve my gun out of a locked desk.

    Right now, our buildings are accessible to visitors only through the front door, which remains unlocked during school hours. Our district would like to install a set of locked doors between the front lobby and the rest of the building, which would physically require all visitors to stop by the office first.

    We can do what we can to stay safe, but I really believe that ultimately, someone bent on killing is going to do just that. Cho took the time to chain the doors before he began his spree. I don't think the possibility of his fellow students having guns in their backpacks would have deterred him because I don't think he cared if he walked out alive.

  • ROK Drop Weekly Ling 16-22APR07 at ROK Drop
    11:11 am on April 22nd, 2007 30

    [...] Koreans are Our Friends, Why Do They Dislike Us So Much?", I’m beginning to think that USinKorea’s comment that the backlash against Korea won’t be because of Cho, but rather from more people becoming [...]

  • Dan85
    9:10 pm on April 21st, 2007 31

    Accidental (negligent) shootings are tragic. Education and training are the best defense against them. Now for someone using their firearm after drinking… I personally don't carry a weapon if I go out drinking. It's ingrained in my mind that using a gun is a serious decision. I don't think the "using firearms in a drunken rage" angle is common or likely enough to be a real reason to not have a gun. Besides, I'd prefer to be able to defense myself and my family from the drunk you speak of.

    I'm working with a reservist right now that's a school teacher in civilian life and we had a similar conversation. After Columbine, most schools came up with these "Lockdown" procedures. It doesn't take much for an armed person to get through a locked door. Most doors that aren't very heavy and/or deadbolted can be kicked in with some effort, and a gun, especially a shotgun, can get you through most doors. Hiding under desks or some similar drill is probably not a good idea. I would open or break a window and run away in a zig-zag pattern. This is if I was on the 1st floor, or think I could get down from a 2nd floor safely.

    Deterred or not, some lives may have been saved if Cho wasn't facing helpless people. The presence of armed citizens might deter some, but those that still decide to do something stupid will still do it. The extent of damage they can do may be lessened.

    Remember Beslan? I've been expecting something similar to happen on American soil, and as it stands, there's not much to stop it. If we as a society aren't willing to pay for real security at our schools, then we're asking for trouble. A lot of college campuses would be nearly impossible to fully secure. Buildings are mixed in with cities and towns etc. Especially in rural areas, police response time may be pretty long. Who's going to protect you before they get there?

    This is all just my opinion of course. I just feel that my opinion in the case is mostly correct.

  • Tim
    12:50 am on April 22nd, 2007 32


    While there is compelling evidence that Cho developed a mental illness, and it was that illness that lead him to commit these dastardly deeds, my point that Korean society trains people to "play the victim" stands. Put it whatever way you want, "Root for the underdog", "Champion a cause", etc. Korean society teaches that it is not only honorable but expected to put yourself in an inadventagious position so as to be able to fight out of that position and prove that you are the better person for doing it. This stems from Korea's longstanding history of being conquered by China, Japan, and yes, the United States for a time, although most of my fellow Americans would say that we were only there to help Korea, and with that they were always able to battle back and win the day as a people.

    Bottom line, if Koreans find themselves in an inadvantagious position, it is ingrained in their collective psyche to battle back against whatever they feel is oppressing them.

  • ChickenHead
    2:53 am on April 22nd, 2007 33


    Here is what happens when students are armed… although the "media" will never report it.


  • Sonagi
    3:54 am on April 22nd, 2007 34


    The Appalacian School of Law shootings are frequently cited by opponents of gun control, so apparently, some 'media' reported it or it wouldn't be so well-known.

    I know both pro and anti-gun control advocates are fond of using statistics, but I think this risk chart puts things in perspective much better than individual incidents:

    The probability that any school age child will die this year from*

    Any cause 1 in 3,000

    A traffic accident 1 in 8,000

    Homicide, away from school 1 in 21,000

    Suicide, away from school 1 in 28,000

    A firearm accident 1 in 200,000

    An act of nature, including lightning 1 in 780,000

    Any adverse effect of medical care 1 in 1,300,000

    Homicide at school 1 in 1,700,000

    Yes, that's right. A K-12 school child is more likely to be struck by lightning that to be murdered at school by any weapon. A child is far more likely to die in a firearm accident than to be murdered at school. Maybe the real problem isn't violent rampages on school campuses but fear of a horrible headline-grabbing event that is actually extremely rare.


  • Sonagi
    3:56 am on April 22nd, 2007 35


    My classroom is on the second floor, so asking my first graders to jump out the window probably wouldn't be a good option.


    I lived in Korea almost ten years and speak fluent Korean, but thanks for the cultural brief anyway. I know you meant well.

  • The final cut
    5:59 pm on April 24th, 2007 36

    [...] Professors Association would be unwilling to write a letter of condolence after this atrocity?USinKorea’s comment IT A VERY INTERESTING LITTLE READ.Now for What I feared would happen…. NET WARThe revelation that [...]

  • David M.
    6:15 pm on May 6th, 2007 37

    I met a couple of Koreans in a YMCA Hostel in Italy a few years ago. Both of them were martial arts psychos who considered themselves superior to the human race. It seemed as if hurting, even killing ‘weak’ humans was a perfectly natural act to them. They came across as ruthless killers. One of them boasted he had once killed three burglars armed with knives who had broken into his house.

    A year or so later, on a Korean Air flight from Tokyo to Seoul, I witnessed more psychos in action; one of them nearly killed a fellow passenger, a middle-aged American male. As the plane landed, the victim who was sitting next to me got up to join the exit line. A Korean passenger who had already left his seat across the isle yanked his heavy luggage out of the overhead compartment as violently as he could, knowing full well there was no place for it to land except on the American guy’s head. He hit the Yank on the side of his head and neck and nearly knocked him out. The two native attendants who were standing nearby just looked at each other, as if nothing out of routine had happened. The brutality of the incident and the Korean air attendants’ attitude appalled me. How could they just ignore what was a serious assault on a passenger in their care? I vowed never to fly Korean Air again.

    After the passport inspection, passengers had to undergo a body search. Another martial art nutter (it was difficult to miss his oversize blackened knuckles,) holding a large metal detector in his hand, was literally assaulting all American/European passengers with his rugged gadget as he searched them. I vowed never to go back to Korea.

    The next time I see a Korean ‘martial arts expert’ walking toward me, I will Shoo* first and ask questions later.

    Caveat Lector!

  • Koreans Arrested in New Zealand
    8:57 pm on April 21st, 2008 38

    [...] assault, and torture have not adjusted well to kiwi culture.  I guess they adjusted better then this Korean did to American culture. More over at the Marmot’s [...]

  • Donna
    4:41 am on May 21st, 2008 39

    The VA Tech shooting was one of the worst tragedies since Columbine and I do not think American racism was to blame for the events.

  • shattered
    6:39 am on May 21st, 2008 40

    I have heard Koreans blame American racism for the mass murder by Cho Seoung Hui, but I tend to think it is becuase of the Korean sense of entitlement and thier persucution complex.

    I think it will happen again unless the US Police keeps a watchful eye. It almost happened again in LA with loony Korean named "Michael" Cho. Thank god the police killed him first.

  • kangaji
    2:16 am on April 27th, 2011 41

    I remember the day after a lot of the Koreans I knew were coming up to me scared about people retaliating against them for Cho Seung Hui. I was like "Nobody is going to blame Koreans for this. You don't have anything to be afraid of." It was kind of weird seeing them worried that the people in the US would freak out about it.

  • Retired GI
    4:59 am on April 27th, 2011 42

    Heard only about a 5 min spot on the Local news here. Few in my town even know where Korea is. Much less that there are military bases there.

    It never came up in conversation. Just another nut-job.

  • Tom
    5:12 am on April 27th, 2011 43

    Since these kinds of shootings are so common in America, everybody probably thought "what's another shooting going to make any difference"?

  • Retired GI
    9:06 am on April 27th, 2011 44

    What? Korea? Where is Korea? Oh yea! That little extention of China. Damn Chinks! :)

  • tom
    9:14 am on April 27th, 2011 45

    #44, it's a good thing Koreans gave the credit to the Chinese. LOL..


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