I was holding my 6 day old son in my arms today watching the news when I first found out the shooter was a Korean. Yesterday, I was so saddened by the whole shooting when I found out about it, but for some reason, it really hit me hard when I found out the shooter was Korean. As a Korean American, I cannot describe the feelings and thoughts that started racing through my mind, and are still racing in my head. I know it should not be a race thing, and the shooter could have been any other race, but it is hard for me to not overlook the fact that he is a Korean. Feelings of anger and sadness have been overwhelming this morning. I am sure part of it is that I am completely sleep deprived from helping to take care of our baby, but I know part of it is that I took it personally for some reason when I found out he was Korean. It was almost as if I felt ashamed, like he was part of my family or something. It made me feel sad that in the future, when one thinks of Korean males, the thought that we are going to be remembered that one of us was responsible for the largest mass massacre in U.S. history. I am sure I am overreacting, but still. Its hard for me not to take it personally, and be so angry at Seung-Hui for what he has done and the heartache he has caused these people that lost their lives, their families, and their community. Could all the hard work that Koreans have done to develop their positive presence in the American community be overlooked with this event? I am sure it won't, but its hard for me not to think about. I know its not a race thing, but it is hard when I keep hearing "Senior from South Korea" over and over again on the news.
I could not help thinking about my son, and wondering how the parents of Seung-Hui must feel right now. I wonder what drove the him to do this? Was he abused as a child, did his parents put too much pressure on him to succeed, was he teased a lot for being Asian, did his girlfiend cheat on him, did he feel alone and rejected and it was topped off when his girlfriend broke up with him? I am sure there are multiple factors which led to his actions.
I want to teach my son how to deal with his anger and sadness. I want to raise him in an emotionally healthy environment. I want to protect my son from repressed anger, sadness, or racism, but know that I always can't. I can't imagine how the families and friends of the students who were killed must feel. I pray for them. Looking at my son, I can't imagine my life without him now. I pray this does not turn into a race thing, or that Korean males get stereotyped as all having repressed anger and violent tendencies. I am sorry if I sound irrational, but I feel so filled with so many emotions and questions right now. I wonder what could have been different about Seung-Hui's history that would have prevented him from dealing with his anger in this way.