The mass killing at Virginia Tech yesterday is on everyone's minds. It is hard to understand the why, but I found some of the information released in today's news to be disturbing -
The suspected gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, Cho Seung-Hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from South Korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say. ...
A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus....
Timothy Johnson, a student from Annandale, Va., said people would say hello to Cho in passing, but nobody knew him well.
"People are pretty upset," Johnson said. "He's a monster; he can't be normal. I can't believe I said 'hi' to him in the hall and then he killed all those people."
Two things struck me. How Cho's suppossed "reasons" for the attack parallel some of the reasons given for 9/11. And then the response of the fellow student. Just the assumption that to be nice to someone who is abnormal or even evil is so out of the question.
I in no way want to justify Cho's actions or blame the victim's for his choices. I know we don't know much about Cho and what other issues he was dealing with. But I have to wonder at how people like him are pushed to the edge. When normal people won't interact with the guy who's a bit off, when one sees valid concerns in the structure of society and feels powerless to have a voice against them - what then are constructive ways to work for change?
I know I get frustrated by how the normal response to me by my friends is just to roll their eyes or make fun of me when I go off on one of my liberal hippie jesusy rants. And on the national scale when countries don't change the way we want them to, we go on killing sprees with bombs. I guess that's what my rambling is leading to - trying to figure out how to change the world effectively without resorting to violence or despair. That's what's running through my head as I reflect in shock on the recent events.
Labels: Culture, Reflections