Saturday, April 21, 2007

Virginia Tech

Last night I went out for the Smash's going away dinner at Buco De Beppo with Mad Mikey, Conservative Liberal, Da Goddess and some other family and friends (great dinner BTW). Our friend Gracie of commenting fame, who was sitting next to me put this out, why haven’t any of you guy’s blogged anything about Virginia Tech?

I’ve had a blog post sitting in my head that’s been forming for a while about Seung Hui Cho, following the stories that have come out of there and it’s still mashing together into a whole.

You see, for a time in my life, I was a Seung Hui, I was the outsider, the only Asian kid in a sea of white folks, I was nerdy, wore thick glasses, my speech was sometimes hard to understand because I was one of those fast talkers who didn’t enunciate his words enough. Getting jumped by bigoted jocks was a weekly event for a few years of my life. Even though I was born and raised in Arizona, from my looks, I earned nicknames such as Chinaman, Zipperhead, Chink, was tripped, pushed and if I had a gun for a few of those times when I was jumped… Well things could have turned out different but I’m very glad that I didn’t have one. Then there was that day when I stood up for myself against two of my tormentors in front of a large group of people and that was the last time anyone ever picked on me physically.

Unlike Seung, I wasn’t isolated though, I had friends and an amazingly wicked sense of humor to fall back on. I could bounce back from anything and had to actually work hard to stay mad at anyone. Eventually I got to a point in life where the names didn’t bother me.

As someone who’s lived though part of his journey, knowing how kids can be, I can see how things could have turned out different in our lives. I bet there is a bully out there right now looking at the TV and thinking to himself, “hey, that’s the little punk I used to beat up.” I have to admit, times have changed sine I was in high school. Politically correctness has taken hold and it’s a rarer event that kids are singled out because of their race or for just being a geek. It’s not as much of a stigma to be a geeky nerd these days.

Other then traveling down some of these same paths, our lives have branched away from there since then. It sound’s like Seung did not have that ability to bounce back, this was a guy that held all of his anger in it. You read about his life, it sounded like he didn’t have a friend in the world. He didn’t talk to anyone and when that bubble of anger he held inside burst. He literally went out and laid waste to the countryside.

This is a tragedy and there is no doubt about it. This kid was so twisted by the box that he and society put him in that he grew into a monster. Looking back at this, there was not an easy way to stop it from happening. This guy was disconnected from his family and peers, there was no one to talk to, he was intelligent and obviously had this planned out in advance. He probably spent months roll playing the scenarios and re-living each move he was going to make and when the time came, he was a machine, an angel of death.

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