Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Question That Won't Go Away --- Will Cho Go Down As a Hero, Martyr?

After scouring the web and TV for an enduring lesson on this horrific event, I find one remaining question.

The question is, who determines whether or not someone is a hero or a martyr? Both are only perceptions. There is no question he will be understood for his rage against a society that has been cruel to him and people like him. As for martyrdom, he made himself a martyr whether we like it or not; the coverage alone accomplished that. His picture holding two guns will, to some appear to be an angry man on the cross. I'm sure he intended this.

The shame is, most people will discount him as simply a nutcase instead of actually addressing the social aspect of his manifesto. He was coherent considering what he was about to do. For a Korean kid, he was "Affected" despite how many of those who know nothing about the Asian face, will view him. Many like him will quietly plan their final "f!@k you" and no doubt they will consider Cho their inspiration, while the rest will simply feel sorry for 33 American strangers and continue to ignore those in Iraq and Darfur who die everyday!

Many will view this as part of a revolution as a form of activism, one statement of many that society must address or else similar events will ensue. Well, they will, and not just because of Cho but because of the impossiblilty of a national shift toward sensitivity and sharing. Meanwhile, America will ignore the cries and simply call for the warehousing of those who vent the frustration with outrage at strangers.

If you are going to change it shouldn't be because of his statement, but because of a final recognition of decency. If you don't change, don't let it be just to offend and further withhold attention to the dead Cho. He deserves some attention for his actions and so do his victims. If you want to honor if victims, do so by refusing to let their deaths be meaningless. Change your hearts now, or simply wait for the next incident of discord.

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