Basically I experienced the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16th, 2007. I strongly condemn Cho Seung-huia and mourn the 32 innocent deceased. And I felt it is necessary for me to express my own opinions on this terrible tragedy.
Administration of Virginia Tech
Although more can be deserved, there was no way for Virginia Tech to foresee this tragedy. They should not be blamed for what happened. Even if they sent out the shooting email earlier, I would assume that most people would still consider the situation should be under control and still go to Norris Hall for classes. If classes were cancelled, Cho might still shoot people outside classroom, or in the dorm, or somewhere else.
Media response is prompt. Coverage is huge. However the depth of the reports are mostly superficial. Reporters and talk show hosts quite frequently asked their questions in a way that tend to lure interviewees to answer questions the way the Network’s desired. For example, CNN frequently try to get answers like “I am very angry with Virginia Tech administration” or “I will transfer to another university”. Also, they fail to discuss the underlying possible causes of the tragedy. Even after AP reported that, according to Cho’s high school classmates, he was often bullied and laughed at, they are reluctant to discuss that the American society and culture played a role. I personally don’t believe Cho is a natural-born killer. I believe if people treated him differently or tried harder, this could have been prevented.
Virginia Tech Students and other Hokies
Virginia Tech students and other Hokies showed that Blacksburg is a strong community. I saw strong spirit. And I believe we will recover from the pain, remember our lost but move on strong.
Nikki Giovanni is a Horrible Person who does not deserve “Distinguished Professor” title
She first told the media that she immediately suspected that Cho was the shooter and would be surprised otherwise. And she called Cho as mean and troubled “crap”. She totally gave up on Cho and threatened to resign if he is not removed from her class. I understand that Cho was tough to handle, but Giovanni left so MUCH more to be desired. In another interview, she even describe Cho as “Bully”.
“I know that there’s a tendency to think that everybody can get counseling or can have a bowl of tomato soup and everything is going to be all right,” she said. “But I think that evil exists, and I think that he was a mean person.”
Giovanni encountered Cho only once after she removed him from class. She was walking down a campus path and noticed him coming toward her. They maintained eye contact until passing each other.
Giovanni, who had survived lung cancer, was determined she would not blink first.
“I was not going to look away as if I were afraid,” she said. “To me he was a bully, and I had no fear of this child.”
I was originally shocked to hear what she first said. Then I was even more shocked. Bully? Funny. Because according to Cho’s high school classmates, Cho was the underdog. And I believe that it is likely that Cho’s all kinds of experience are causes of what he has become, including Nikki Giovanni‘s cruelty, irresponsibility as a teacher, and pretence.
I think Giovanni just tried to be a heroine, who “fight” with this killer even before he became a killer, by removing him from class, and “would not blink first” while having “direct eye contact”. This is absolutely disgusting.
Giovanni also consider Cho’s writings as the following besides disturbing and violent, source from here:
His work had no meter or structure or rhyme scheme. To Giovanni, it was simply “a tirade.”
However it has been reported on MSNBC that the Prof. Lucinda Roy who helped Cho one-on-one found Cho as “intelligent” and “gifted writer”. She even gave Cho an “A”. Roy said, in the end, Cho managed to finish assignment and produce results. So I was wondering, if there are more professors here at Virginia Tech are like Prof. Lucinda Roy.
Is Cho a Victim Too?
To me, Cho seem to an victim too. Hey, I don’t mean his crime can be forgotten simply because he’s victim too. But when we cannot change what have happened, we should also look into the causes that made him such a terrible person. This is what American media fail to do. For exmaple, even there are already evidence to show that Cho was bullied, they are still saying that he just “imagined” all those enemies. Now some crappy psychiatrist is saying Cho is gay but he tried to disprove it by stalking girls. These are what American media are focused on right now.
Americans are just afraid to admit that Cho might the results of high school bullying and possibly racism as well. They would rather take him as natural-born killer, and the system in USA is perfect. But apparently many people, especially non-Americans, would think otherwise. But here is an example from someone’s blog, who was also been bullied when he was young. Americans just don’t want to face the fact, it seems. Cho was not alone.
I would say, Cho is also a victim. And he is victim before he committed crime. And victim of another kind after he became a criminal.
Again, being a victim does not make his crime go away. But it is sad.
What went wrong in America?
Possibly these are wrong:
- Lack of effectuive gun control, especially on campus
- Unwillingness to face racism or at least suppression upon Asian groups
- Unwillingness to face the fact that Bullying in schools is a potential problem. Like they said, a lot of kids were bullied but they turned out to be fine. But we all know how crappy this argument is.
- They tried to render Cho as natural-born killer and evil. They were simply avoid to explorer the social context a little further.
We are all in sorrow. We are all shocked and we were not prepared. It is probably time to heal. But I believe we want to know why and need to learn. What’s the most important thing is that instead of just put all the responsibilities on Cho, we can reflect on ourselves.