Korean Students Shouldn't Have to Fear Backlash

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Korean Students Shouldn't Have to Fear Backlash

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By: Martha Kim
Issue date: 4/24/07
Section: Letters to the Editor


To the editor:

As a Korean-American, I am appalled at the media's focus on the fact that the Virginia Tech killer was a "resident alien" from South Korea, even though he has lived in the U.S. for 15 of his 23 years of life.

Had Cho Seung-Hui been born in a Western European country, his nationality would not have been a focal point of the news coverage.

I feel that Koreans in America, or even those in Korea, should not feel the need or obligation to apologize for the actions of one man.

Cho did not speak or act on behalf of Koreans everywhere, and he most certainly does not represent the attitudes Koreans have. My parents emigrated from Korea and many of my friends are also the children of Korean immigrants, yet none of us feel any desire to repeat what this man has done.

So why should the Korean community in America fear a backlash? Should this group feel the need to make amends for a stranger's actions?

As a Virginian, I grieve with the families and peers of the victims. I have many friends who attend Virginia Tech, and I was terrified for their well-being, both physically and psychologically, upon hearing the news.

But I did not feel the necessity to apologize for his deeds. Had he been from Kansas, should all residents of Kansas have felt compelled to apologize?

Yes, he was a resident alien from Korea who was socially inept and shunned by his classmates, but there are other aspects of his character that should be addressed instead of his ethnicity, such as the fact that he was mentally ill or that he was suicidal.

We should be focused on recognizing signals of a troubled person and preparing to handle it appropriately instead of hounding on his race.

I felt no shame to be Korean after this incident. Why does the world insist that I must?

Martha Kim

Class of 2010

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.emorywheel.com/media/storage/paper919/news/2007/04/24/LettersToTheEditor/Korean.Students.Shouldnt.Have.To.Fear.Backlash-2875982.shtml>Emory Wheel - April 24, 2007</a>

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Martha Kim

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Emory Wheel

Date

2007-07-11

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Sara Hood

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"Christopher H. Megerian" <cmegeri@LearnLink.Emory.Edu>

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eng

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Citation

Martha Kim, "Korean Students Shouldn&#39;t Have to Fear Backlash," in The April 16 Archive, Item #690, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/690 (accessed July 23, 2014).