The writers(teens) at LA Youth speak out about the VT shooting.


I woke up at nine during my second day of spring break because my mom kept chattering about something. I didn’t know what it was about so I went outside and heard my mom talking about some dude who shot people at his college. I didn’t really care. Shootings around the world were a typical issue and I heard it everywhere, in the news and newspapers. But the mention of a Korean boy stopped me from going back to sleep. I wasn’t being nationalist or racist or anything, but to hear that a Korean boy had done something like that in America was crucifying. My mom kept going on about what she’d heard on the radio. A Korean student in his 20s shot people at Virginia Tech. My mom predicted that he was lonely boy who had been betrayed by a girlfriend or his friend. I thought my mother had watched too many Korean dramas. The news must be mistaken, I thought, it must be a Chinese or Japanese man, or any other kind of Asian that had done it.
    My sister and I were curious to find out more, so we searched the Internet. It turned out that we didn’t even need to search. As soon as my sister typed www.nytimes.com, there was Cho Seung-Hui’s picture on the front page with headlines that read “Virginia Shooting Leaves 33 Dead” and “Virginia Gunman Identified as Student.” It was bizarre. Every news web site had his picture and every Korean radio station was talking about it. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history and it had been committed by a Korean. My mother and sister talked about our reputation as Koreans. “How will we raise our faces to society?” my mom said. “I’m Chinese!” my sister yelled as a joke. My mom said we should pray for the young people that died and Seung-Hui as well. I didn’t think he would like that very much seeing that one of the things he resented was his religion, Christianity.
    Looking at the headlines now, I think the people that wrote them are overreacting: “Chilling picture of Virginia Tech gunman emerges” to “Like Something Out of a Nightmare.” I didn’t think he looked scary and people should’ve been more kind to him. I also don’t think it right that the newspapers should call him “a sullen loner who alarmed professors and classmates with his twisted, violence-drenched creative writing.” “He was a loner,” school spokesman Larry Hincker told ABC News. I don’t think they even knew him and his life so they had no right to say that. Loners don’t become loners because they want to; I believe it is society that does it. I don’t understand how, now that he’s killed and committed suicide, people are recognizing who he is.
    As endless information is being revealed, I pity Cho Seung-Hui and the people he killed. Both of them were victims; Seung-Hui of society and the ones killed were victims of Seung-Hui’s acts. I don’t agree with what Seung-Hui did nor do I approve of his acts, but I do think something should’ve been done to help him. Sure, I read of professors who were concerned, but no student really tried to reach out to him.
    In the news, Koreans are worried that their reputation might be ruined and foreigners will discriminate against them. I don’t think that’s right. If a Korean person does something, it doesn’t mean all Koreans are madmen. It also doesn’t mean that because Afghanistan terrorists bombed the World Trade Centers that all Afghanistan people are terrorists. People are way over-reactive about races and should get a reality check on their stereotypes.
—Jisu Yoo, 14, Wilson MS (Glendale)

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2 Comments on Teen Take on Virginia Tech Shooting

  1. I can complete relate with Jusu’s writings of the feelings that not only was Cho’s victims betrayed by society but also Cho himself. It’s always sad that the only attention people probably have given Cho is because he snapped and killed others. It’s sad that a 14 yr. old can see through the media circus to the deep dark truths that lay behind this tragedy. I wish others would and help prevent things like this from happening again.

    • B.E.M. says:

      *nod* Amazing insight like Jusu’s is why I love working with teens so much. They have not been sold the bill of goods like most adults. They are fresh, honest and real.

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