Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

Are people really this stupid?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/18/us/18virginia.html?pagewanted=2&ref=education

The Asian, and especially the Korean, students at Virginia Tech are fleeing the school in droves.  They're afraid of a backlash.

What does being Korean have to do with the fact that one mentally ill guy snapped and started killing people?  The NY Times article has someone comparing this to how people felt about Arabs after 9/11.

Yeah, let's indict an entire nationality.  That makes sense.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
April 18th, 2007 6:20am
I think the people afraid of potential racial backlash outnumber the people who actually give a shit that he was Asian.

Then again, they ARE in Virginia...
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 18th, 2007 6:27am
Yes, people really are THAT stupid. Especially when moving in packs.
They are angry and scared and feel out of control so they pick something to focus those emotions on. A natural target would be something that looks like the thing that caused the emotions to begin with.
Permalink Send private email Locutus of Borg 
April 18th, 2007 6:50am
Yes, yes people really are that stupid
Permalink what are you reading for? 
April 18th, 2007 6:50am
LOL, good timing LoB :)
Permalink what are you reading for? 
April 18th, 2007 6:50am
Yes white *Americans* are that stupid

My wife and I are light brown, especially when on holiday.  When in California, people tend to assume we're Mexicans. When in Greece, people assume we are Greek. I suppose a white American person might think we are Southern European, or Middle Eastern, or Indian, or etc.

At the of 9/11, we were on holiday in a white area of Florida. On 9/10 we were treated as normal human beings. After 9/11, when we went for example into a busy restaurant, it would fall silent with everybody looking but not-looking, exactly like what happens in movies, within seconds.  There was a very strong threat in the air.  And we aren't Arabs nor muslims.  And we were wearing shorts and T-shirts, not burkahs...

Don't forget that there were widespread attacks, including several murders, of Sikhs (no we aren't Sikhs either BTW), in the USA after 9/11.  On the basis that YBL wears a turban, and so do Sikhs...
Permalink  
April 18th, 2007 6:52am
Anyone remember the Saudis who couldn't leave the USA fast enough after 9/11?

Advised by the FBI, too.
Permalink Colm 
April 18th, 2007 8:04am
Don't forget the internment of American citizens of japanese origin during WW2
Permalink Billx 
April 18th, 2007 8:35am
Don't rashly think that this phenomenon is limited to pale skinned Americans.  It's common to all humans.  A friend was in China when the Chinese embassy in Kosovo was bombed.  He said that overnight there were no Americans.  He immediately became Sicilian, a lot of people became Canadian, pretty much anything that their ethnicity and language skills would let them get away with.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
April 18th, 2007 9:23am
This must be a rhetorical question. There are always people this stupid. Somewhere.

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/10537.html

According to the mouth frothing wingnuts, Cho is simultaneously a muslim fanatic, an atheist, a chinese national hero and video game player.
Permalink Peter 
April 18th, 2007 9:23am
Isn't it more likely that the "American" culture taught him to "think" like American, and "shoot" like American considering he spent 2/3 of his life in US?
Permalink  
April 18th, 2007 9:24am
My understanding is that VT has like 26,000 students.  Many come from quite conservative parts of Virginia.  The ROTC on campus is quite large. 

This is NOT an "ivy-league" liberal university, is what I'm saying.  I'm not sure exactly what it IS, but I can't condemn Asian's for leaving for the short term.

On the other hand, this sounds like one of those apocryphal stories blowing up one person's reaction into an entire movement.

You might have asked Sunday if people were stupid enough to kill 30 of their fellow students.  "People" may not be.  Certain individuals, yes.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 9:31am
Oh, and having read the article (for a second time) saying they're "leaving in droves" is more than the article said.

The article said SOME parents are concerned, SOME Korean-American students compared it to the Arabic backlash after 9/11 (give me a break), and SOME Korean-American parents are pulling their kids.

So it sounds, sadly, as if you're trying to promote the very stupidity you're asking about.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 9:34am
Don't hit me with you large stick mister. I am not Asian. I am an illegal alien from Mexico.
Permalink The Current Scape Goat 
April 18th, 2007 10:15am
> "leaving in droves" is more than the article said

So the OP overreacted? Are people really this stupid? :)

quote in article > "After 9/11, a lot of Arabs were attacked for that reason.”

Not really. Not a lot by any standard (fewer died than in that RI nightclub fire in 2002, or of kidney disease, or lightning strikes, etc). But one can see the concerned parent's perspective: if the chances of being attacked or hurt by someone at VT have increased ever so slightly, why not do everything possible to lower them? Of course, this is the same profiling as VT is being accused of in the OP.

Let's remember we're all human, and that humans have irrational fears and that countering irrational fear with indignation or yet another irrational fear won't help. Let's look at these faces together instead:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/us/20070418_VICTIMS_GRAPHIC.html

(Librescu looks like Dr Spock. What they said he did ... wow. just wow.)
Permalink blahty heartsheep 
April 18th, 2007 11:27am
Holy shit, I can't look at that for more than a few seconds.  I was getting physically ill and actually shaking.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 18th, 2007 11:31am
"if the chances of being attacked or hurt by someone at VT have increased ever so slightly, why not do everything possible to lower them?"

If that includes dropping school, losing tuition, etc, then there has to be some sort of bounds outside of which it becomes pretty irrational.

Say there were a national health crisis where botulism and salmonella had infested our food supply. You could reduce your risk of food poisoning to nil if you stopped eating. It would be ill-advised though.

There's a certain irony I see in our fear of death causing us to cease living.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 11:52am
> then there has to be some sort of bounds outside of which it becomes pretty irrational.

Well, that's the way the human mind works. These folks haven't gotten any sleep in the last 48 hours. They are running on short-term memory, their brain hasn't had a chance to filter out all the irrelevant daily thoughts every night when we're sleeping (which reminds me of one of my rules: always sleep on a big decision).

Basically they are comparing the loss of tuition with the possible loss of life. The parameters they have on hand (because of the immediacy of the attack) make the tuition worth losing.
Permalink blahty heartsheep 
April 18th, 2007 12:19pm
I had a Saudi student who was studying as an exchange student in the US when 9/11 happened. He got beat up rather badly. To give Americans their due he said the sheriff's department was very helpful and sympathetic and did their best to find and arrest those responsible. He still cut his studies short and came back though.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
April 18th, 2007 1:11pm
There is absolutely NO ONE going against asians. This is just some delusion that a few parents have, probably started with the stupid comments of the Korean president about this yesterday where he said he hoped that there would not be a backlash against asians, and the whole thing is being blown out of proportion by the media who is shouting 'race war' to sell papers.

Nothing to see here. Keep moving folks!
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 1:28pm
Yeah, it sux, but people *are* this stupid.

On NZ tv we had some self-proclaimed 'expert' declaiming that if the Virginia Tech students had been armed, the death toll would've been lower. Bullshit. Fear, suspicion, and hormones would've made it more like 330 than 33.
Permalink Ms. zestyZucchini 
April 18th, 2007 1:59pm
If the students had been armed AND trained, IOW, if carrying a sidearm were simply part of our culture, then the casualties would sure as fuck have been less.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 18th, 2007 2:00pm
The casualties from this incident probably would've been less, but there might be an equal (or larger) number of drunken shootings to make up for it.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
April 18th, 2007 2:04pm
Obviously American culture in recent decades has degraded pretty far, but I'm talking about rolling the clock back a bit to where there was still a modicum of discipline, and then adding firearms training and a cultural shift toward carrying a sidearm being as ordinary as carrying a cell phone.

So there's a few hypotheticals there, but the underlying principle is still sound.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 18th, 2007 2:06pm
Yes, and it was called "the wild wild west", and people died.  Often.

And that's when population density was MUCH less than it is now.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 2:18pm
Phil Valentine claims that police officers have used their weapons in the commission of crimes vastly more often than 'carry permit' holders have used theirs.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 2:31pm
They sounds crazy, but can you really blame them?

If you studied in China and some American shot a few students, you'd be stupid to not be concerned.

Imagine what might happen if a Chinese shot a few Japanese in Japan or visa versa.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 18th, 2007 2:50pm
I can't help but think maybe Koreans don't have much to fear, what if the guy had been muslim...
Permalink  
April 18th, 2007 2:54pm
But Rick, we are a diverse nation, much more so, than Japan, China, or any other. I don't think we have the same level of irrational distrust based on nationality or ethnicity.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 2:59pm
And if Amercians study in Korea and an American kills a few students, they should leave.

If you know what a few American soldiers did in Korea...
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 18th, 2007 2:59pm
Probably, but I think specific locations might be different.

For example in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto is much more diverse than say Calgary/Edmonton in Alberta.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 18th, 2007 3:09pm
I don't think that the Wild West was really what you'd call the pinnacle of American discipline, Allan.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 18th, 2007 3:18pm
Hey, you're the one who suggest "rolling the clock back".  I suppose it's your romantic notion that in the past Americans were more disciplined?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 3:29pm
That's interesting JoC. I tried to find a link to that specifically but didn't find it on this Phil Valentine guy, who it seems has a AM radio talk show.

I did find this from him:

"Handguns are used for protection against criminals in America nearly 2 million times per year. That's up to five times more often than they're used to commit crimes and nearly 128 times the total number of murders in the United States."
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 4:37pm
Koreans and Muslims after 911 aren't really comparable. A better one would be Muslims after 911 and Japanese after Pearl Harbor.

After 911, it was not that 1 muslim went on a rampage, it was that there was an international network of muslims dedicated to destroying the US and killing every westerner who would not convert to Sunni Islam. The 911 bombings were immediately followed by muslims dancing in the streets, cheering and shouting 'death to america' worldwide. I take that personally and realize it's not just some rogue muslims we have a problem with, it's pretty much all of them. Didn't see many muslims standing up and denouncing bin laden, or radical islam at the time.

With this korean shooter, he doesn't represent koreans at all. He's just one crazy guy. There's no pattern. No koreans are celebrating that he got 32 americans, hurray. No koreans are dancing in the street. There is no organization of koreans that backed his attack and planned it for years. There. Simply. Is. No. Comparison.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 4:45pm
"The 911 bombings were immediately followed by muslims dancing in the streets, cheering and shouting 'death to america' worldwide."

Where? I don't see this INSIDE America.

I am sure some Koreans are quite happy that a few Americans get killed.
Permalink Send private email Rick Zeng/Tseng 
April 18th, 2007 4:57pm
Tsk, Rick.  Sure, some NORTH Korean's are probably happy about it.  Maybe.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 18th, 2007 5:08pm
"during the same period, South Korean views of Americans actually increased from 61% to 74% favorable"

Good stuff! They love us!
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 6:13pm
"I tried to find a link to that specifically but didn't find it on this Phil Valentine guy, who it seems has a AM radio talk show."

He's syndicated as I understand. I've only been listening to him for a couple months. He is based here in Nashville. It makes for a good drive home, because I can think about how much smarter I am than 99.9% of his audience.

I disagree with a good deal of what is said on the show but I believe alternate viewpoints should always be sought.

I heard the bit I was talking about on the show very recently, never been to the website though. He is pretty conservative and definitely backs the NRA and gun ownership. He hates Al Gore, Al Sharpton, and probably Al Greene too.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 6:23pm
The bit I mentioned was in response to a caller that asked why the guy wasn't rushed. Phil had to explain to yet another of his brilliant listeners that it was a pretty simple matter keeping one clip full if you had two handguns.

He explained there was a small window of opportunity where a fresh clip would need to have a round chambered for the gun to be of any use. Further, he expounded, if some people had been aware of that they may have seized such an opportunity to rush their attacker.
Permalink JoC 
April 18th, 2007 6:26pm
So more people with gun training could have helped, even if they didn't have guns on hand.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 18th, 2007 7:05pm
People didn't rush him because it's not '24'. If you hear a lull in the shooting from underneath the chair/desk/wherever you're hiding, you pray to God the killer has moved on, or shot himself or someone clubbed with a Hydrology textbook. You don't think - "Let me peak out and see what's going on rush the guy."
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
April 18th, 2007 7:11pm

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