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April 17, 2007

Oh God

... the shooter was Asian, and a foreign national. I really don't wanna see the fallout from this one.


Even worse: He's a 1.5. Here we go ...

****update 2*****

"1.5" is between first and second generation. Among European Americans, there's the immigrant generation, and then "first generation" means the first generation to be born in the U.S. Among Asians and Latinos, it's counted differently. First generation is the immigrants. Second generation is the first generation born in the States.

So 1.5's are kids born abroad, but raised mostly or partly in the U.S. I.e., not foreigners, but not born in the U.S.A., either.

This guy is gonna get the "foreigner" treatment for sure, even though he's culturally American--at least to great extent.

****update 3*****

Rebecca at Hyphen magazine rounds up the Asian American freak-out.


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what does 1.5 mean?

I am so with you. I've had that hideous sinking feeling since the first reports came out. I don't even have the heart to post the obvious on my blog - how when a white guy goes on a shooting spree, we don't read in every headline "New Jersey-born American national murders X people....."

And how, in 24 hours, it's gone from "Korean-born", to "Korean", and how ridiculous that is when you know he's a permanent resident of the US, moved here as a kid, and has actually spent almost as many years of his life in the US as he did in Korea.

I feel bad for everyone involved with this, but especially for his parents. I can't imagine what they're going through, to be in another country then lose your kid in this way. It wouldn't surprise me if they found out he was dead from the news or something. Our media is horrible about things like this.

um, pat? the shooter's parents live in va. . . . just outside of d.c., according to what i heard on npr this morning . . . and they were VERY co-operative with the local authorities investigating cho's massacre.

I'm sorry, your response makes me think you thought I was criticizing them. Far from it.

just a reality check, pat. there's been lots of misinformed talk about the shooter as being "south korean," when, in fact, he's been an american (lpr) for more than ten years. in fact, that's the point of one of the comments above, how the mis-characterization of the shooter as a "foreigner" has serious consequences for the story and our understanding of the story.

your comment merely suggested that you hadn't grasped critical details of the shooter's family life and context, and i wanted to make sure you were on point.

that is all.

I've hesitated to respond to this, but I did want to clarify what I meant. This post of Claire's stated his family was from another country, which is why she was concerned about the backlash.

Fifteen years in a foreign (to you) country, perhaps cut off from your support systems, not completely knowing the language (as many news reports have stated, his parents don't speak English well--perhaps these aren't accurate, I don't know), and then having your child die, is a difficult thing for anyone to deal with. The circumstances of his death are terrible.

I was merely expressing my sympathy with their troubles. I'm sorry you misinterpreted my statements.

Er...rather, I'm sorry my original post was so unclear. For a writer, I suck at writing responses to blog posts...

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