Apr 18, 2007

It's all about them

Korean students fear backlash.
Is this a realistic fear? There was notably little retaliation against Arabs (or Muslims) after 9/11, and that incident was not only much larger, it involved a group of people with a particular ethnicity/religion, who acted out of an ideology that they openly tied to their group characteristics. Americans deserve credit for making the important distinctions and not succumbing to bigotry.
At no time during any of the wall-to-wall coverage I saw of the massacre yesterday did anyone pay especial attention to the fact of Cho Sueng Hui's Korean-ness. Not students at Virginia Tech, not families of students, not reporters and not the talking heads. In fact thee only people who cared particularly about his Korean-ness were these guys--the Asian-American Journalist's Association.
"There is no evidence at this early point that the race or ethnicity of the suspected gunman has anything to do with the incident, and to include such mention serves only to unfairly portray an entire people," the journalists' group said in a statement. "The effect of mentioning race can be powerfully harmful. It can subject people to unfair treatment based simply on skin color and heritage."

Additionally, the group's statement said that it wished to remind the media that "the standards of news reporting should be universal and applied equally no matter the platform or medium, including blogs."

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