I’m getting increasingly concerned that the media’s identification of Cho Seung-Hui as “South Korean,” combined with the apologies of South Koreans in America and the South Korean government, will lead to a public conclusion that Cho’s deranged mind and violence were products of Korean society – essentially letting America (and its virtually nonexistent gun-control laws) off the hook.
But there are two key things to remember here: 1) Cho spent his developmental years in the U.S., arriving here in ’92 when he was only eight, and 2) The apologies offered by South Koreans are taken out of cultural context. Korean society is collectivistic, based on the central notion of “we”-ism or jibdanjueui. And so these apologies come as an expression of sorrow that such violence came from one of the parts of the whole, a fellow “South Korean,” rather than as an admittance of fault.
Just my two cents for tonight – it’s been a long day.