Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Why doesn't The Nation do something on the recent arrest of a teenage kid for writing a "disturbing" essay in his high school English class? An Asian American kid. It's outrageous,racist post-Va Tech hysteria and a violation of the First Amendment. Why nothing in The Nation? See http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ local/chi-070426essay-update,1,1939754.story?coll=chi-news- hed

Rob Riley

Chicago, IL

Apr 27 2007 - 10:24pm

Web Letter

Dear Mr. Shapiro,

I was really glad to have read your article on the massacre. I woke up this morning really confused about everything that I am reading in the news. It was helpful that you pointed out the many story lines that are emerging as this mystery is unfolding before us. I have been resigning from debating societ for quite some time now and was able to avoid reading any kind of news, etc because I just got really disillusioned, until this massacre happened. I couldn't deny it and couldn't escape it because he was an asian man like myself. Now, the one question that I haven't read about is the search for the causes of Cho's misplaced rage and/or fantasies of revenge. As someone who has endured racial discrimination for being Asian growing up in Wisconsin and in the South, I can attest to the fact that I too have had those 'deranged rage and/or fantasies of revenge. But, I guess the times are different now. I never carried out those fantasies or will I because I now know better. And thank God. It took a while for me to be awaken to the fact that I am a spiritual being having a human experience in an Asian boy. What I am driving at is that I have yet to read about an article or a news report where the author is asking the deeper questions of why did he become mentally ill and where is all this anger coming from? Could it be that we are all ignoring the big elephant that is in the room? You know, I had this nagging guttural feeling when I read some of Cho's quotes in news report that he has a bone to pick and his message has a political undertone to it. That maybe, in the deep south like Virginia maybe he was enduring racial discrimination that drove him to the breaking point over time. That maybe what Cho was referring to when he said that we all have blood on our hands is that we as a culture still accept racism against Asian-Americans in this country. And that maybe we can all take a look at changing our behaviors by not participating in making racist asian jokes, or making fun of Asian accents. Those kinds of behavior makes a person feel isolated and victimized and they want to fight back. Like many newsreport was quoting Cho as saying that he felt like he was cornered. I don't know if my writing will have any kind of negative impact on my personal life but I thought it would be worth a shot to break the silence in this whole trajedy. Please don't get me wrong. I do feel a deep sense of compassion for the victims and their families who have fallen because Cho had decided to take these people's lives without their consent. It just took me a while for it to hit me because I was so numbed by all the horrors of the recent past, what with all the 9/11 trajedy, the Afghanistan and Iraq war. Maybe there's a question that we should be asking ourselves, are we all responsible to some degree?

Sincerely questioning,-Anonymous Asian Guy


Los Angeles, CA

Apr 21 2007 - 1:05pm