|Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
WANGNEWS OPINION PAGE
Cho Seung-Hui shattered the lofty facades of Virginia Tech like a steel hammer on glass.
Who was this 23 year old mass killer whose very name is so very difficult to pronounce, to
get right? Who were the 32 victims he mercilessly murdered and the 29 he wounded
without his flinching of an eye? Will America, once more, be forever changed by this
To the Cho family, Seung-Hui was a quiet and reserved young man who struggled to fit in.
The fact is that he indiscriminately killed and maimed without regard to gender, color, race,
religion or national origin. To the families of the victims, Cho is the instrument of
unspeakable grief. To the Nation, he is an enigma to be condemned, pitied, or simply to be
understood, depending on whom you consulted. Some more charitable folks have called for
him to be forgiven, even as Viriginia Tech starts a new academic year.
Can we ever understand Seung-Hui, who himself is now beyond scrutiny, save perhaps by
way of the abhorrent bequest sent via U.S. Mail? But why scrutinize now, that he is dead
by his own hand – was he that inscrutable when he was alive? Were his parents too busy
at the laundry to help Seung-Hui? Where were his American playmates, Asian and others,
since his years of innocence after he arrived at the age of 8. Was there no kindly school-
teacher or pastor who could have reached out to a troubled teen and averted the massacre?
Where are answers to be found? In America, young men such as Seung-Hui are expected
to be exemplary, somewhat introverted students, quietly excelling especially in math and
science. This is an idealization that is also cherished within many immigrant Asian
American families. This is the American myth of the model minority, dispelled forever by
Seung-Hui Cho. Seung-Hui did not suffer in silence as many would have expected him to
– he should have fled but he made the deliberate choice not to run. Seung-Hui, in the
venerable tradition of the land, went shopping for and got two handguns, plus hundreds of
rounds of ammunition which he stacked into multiple clips.
Then he went amok, ending 32 lives along the way. Responsibility for this transgression
falls squarely on Seung-Hui. Nonetheless, the Cho family has apologized profusely for the
hurt caused, and his parents are now in hiding. Some of his professors have tried to
explain why Seung-Hui went into the abyss. The police are looking for anyone who may
have known Seung-Hui’s plan.
Many demand extra accountability, but it is once again too late, as it is every time when
innocents suffer death and injury at the hands of the deluded martyr who act out in the
name of hate, whether here or anywhere in the world. Seung-Hui himself made twisted
reference to Jesus Christ, but yes, we can and indeed all of us, as individuals of
conscience, must begin the journey of healing ourselves by first reaching deep into our
own souls for the love which we all are endowed with and then answering the question ,
where is our love when it matters most?
Charleston C. K. Wang December 31, 2007