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Virginia Tech and Ethnicity 17 April 2007

Posted by Todd in News, Race & Ethnicity.

Update: A couple of smart commentaries have appeared about race/ethnicity and the shootings. Here are my two favorites.

Killer Reflections, on Salon.com & Virginia Tech, Day Three, on Positive Liberty.

First and foremost, my thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones to this tragedy. I don’t want to tread upon their grief.

Second, I’ve noticed an increasing trend in the news to refer to Cho, the assailant, as South Korean, and I’ve even seen a few news reports speculating on how Korean culture could have been behind this terrible event.

This begs some clarification. Cho came with his family to the United States when he was 8 years old. He was raised here, spoke English without an accent, and was a student at Virginia Tech. He wasn’t a foreign exchange student. He wasn’t an immigrant in most senses either. Research on young people who immigrate before age 10 is pretty clear: they are de facto second generation, and function in the society as Americans.

Cho was an upper-middle class, suburban AMERICAN, although his race may have played a role in his alienation, or whatever ennui it was that led to his becoming a brutal murderer. But for god’s sake people, he was a second generation American by culture, regardless of what his passport says. Get off the ethnicity angle and start asking the hard questions about why things like this happen in America.



1. Arizona Awakening - 19 April 2007

It seems to be a coping mechanism, you see he’s not American, all is – all is well.

2. chloe - 20 April 2007

why does it happen in the US? cause they sell arms, people are just as violent in other places, but they can’t go in and buy a gun, hard to kill 32 people with machetes.

3. JL - 20 April 2007

we americans hold ourselves to a higher level of responsibility, rather than expecting our government to run and dictate our lives, as a result we live in freedom and thus have the capacity to do greater – whether that be good or evil. please do keep in mind that we are the most successful nation on this planet and of all time, we must be doing something different and right

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