April 17, 2007 7:02 PM


Virginia Tech: Thirty-two dead. 21 wounded.
Treating each person as one, and not as a statistic just to be counted, may each one lost rest in peace.

I can't imagine the terror that they went through when they heard, felt, and realized what was happening. I can't imagine that of the families as they waited for the news.

May we keep them in our prayers.

What I can imagine is the terror that the Korean community, and the East Asian community, is feeling.

As if emphasizing his Asian-ness, the article or source names him with his last name first.

The South Korean government hopes that it will not “stir up racial prejudice or confrontation.”
"Saying he had known of a fatal victim of Monday's violence — a member of the Virginia Tech faculty who was Asian — Kaine downplayed the risk of ethnically motivated acts of revenge. “http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18153941/

According to Virginia Tech's site http://www.vt.edu/about/factbook/student_overview.php there are 1,523 Asian undergrads in an undergrad population of 21,937. That's a little under 7%. Do I fear for that 7%? Heck yeah. For the rest of the year, if not longer, they'll be stared at, condemned. Every move that they make will be observed. People will be listening for the foreign accent. Fear itself is a scary thing. People that are scared do awful things. Concentration camps (no, not the ones in Europe, the ones in the USA). And I fear even more the East Asian community because its difficult to set divides between nationalities. Last names overlap. All others see is that yellow skin and squinty eyes. Yeah, I still remember that Abercrombie "Two Wongs make it White!" thing and their white only hiring practice from years ago. Heck yeah I remember Rosie O'Donnell last December "Ching Chow" and her pathetic non-apology. I remember the times at school that I got called a chink. Or the time that I got stopped on the street by this guy who wanted to know where I was from...the answer of California didn't satisfy him. He went on to ask me why all Asians look alike.

So racism still exists. To deny it is to bury your head in the sand. Things aren't the same. And for Asians, there isn't a champion. MLK for blacks. (There's a street in Berkeley for MLK.) Chavez for Hispanics. (The student center is for Chavez) Asians don't have a champion because Asia isn't connected by any single language, culture, or history. There is no unity in the USA because the circumstances that bring Asians to the USA differ. All that we have similar is a continent (and a very large one at that).

K. Lee | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (1)

Comments (1)

It is a tragedy. I don't think that people will start looking down on Koreans, or the East Asian community. One bad apple doesn't hurt the reputation of millions of high-achieving, kind, courteous, hard-working people.

Posted by Tina | 2007-04-18

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