The victim from China

Read his brief biography and the incredibly poignant comments, several from readers in China, and tell me you weren’t moved. What a horror.

I watched in amazement as CNN showed the video clips this morning. Sickened and riveted, I wondered about the decision to air these things – something about it was so utterly foul, so filthy and revolting. I tried so hard to feel compassion for the deranged young man, and all I could feel was dread and sickness. Should they be running these tapes again and again, I asked myself? I don’t know. It seemed to cross a line from news into pornography of the darkest and most perverted kind. Yet it is news, so I understand why they ran it. Any child who sees it, however, might be traumatized for a long time. I might be, too.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 23 Comments

Heard a great point on the radio this morning: the same media that is showing all the pics and info
about this wackjob loser is the same media that won’t show us clips of what happened on 9/11.

That makes a lot of sense, huh?!

April 19, 2007 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

I don’t know what’s in the 911 clips – there are limits to what should be shown on television news. So I was amazed that these videos were shown in full, so many times. I keep using the word “sickened,” but that’s how I felt all day, and each time I recall what I saw, I feel sick again.

April 19, 2007 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

It\’s just a snuff movie, isn\’t it? There is some difference from those movies of executions that kidnappers in the Middle East made – but not enough difference to make me feel that watching that would be acceptable. Thank god for living in China and not watching TV.

April 19, 2007 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

Agreed.

The President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at my university sent an email out to the Chinese Community here after the Consulate General in Chicago contacted him expressing concern over the incident and the negative effects it could have on the security of the Chinese students here and elsewhere in the US.

I’m sure it didn’t help that some news organizations were erroneously printing that the shooter was Chinese.

April 19, 2007 @ 11:22 pm | Comment

are you talking about the videos where he is talking to the camera?

April 20, 2007 @ 3:43 am | Comment

Media whores… It’s really not surprising at all. This event has wonderfully played into the hands of the media and their masters. I recall the last headline I saw on BBC.com’s webpage before this incident. It had something to do with “180 people killed in Iraq in deadly day of bombings”… I think the media will continue to squeeze any drop of interest out of this incident that they can. In fact it seems to conveniently support some ridiculous statements made recently by neocon whackjobs: http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?S=6262808&nav=1sW7

April 20, 2007 @ 4:05 am | Comment

In a weird way, reading the comments from this young man’s friends was an antidote to those dreadful videos and photographs – their love for him came through with every word, along with their loss and their sorrow. If anyone is tempted to stereotype based on the shooter’s ethnicity (and I actually haven’t seen much of that), one look at his victims sweeps that away. They came from everywhere, they were a rainbow of humanity, people who loved and were loved by others.

April 20, 2007 @ 8:01 am | Comment

I See.

After the china-bashing fest with NanheyXXXX, Richard got a guilt conscience nagging his bones. so Henry Lee got (sort of) honored here.

Lucky him!

April 20, 2007 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Bingster, that is an evil comment. Go read the thread again and see where I stand on this. I really resent your comment. It’s despicable and detestable.

If you go through this blog you will find a lot of sympathy and caring for people in China who have been hurt. But I guess you can’t see that.

April 20, 2007 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Bingster,

1) Richard didn’t write the original post. I did. So lay off Richard, if you want to pick a fight, pick it with me.

2) I find Nanheyangrouchuan’s comments to be as inflammatory and tiresome as you do. The original post was a way to link to the information that was the source of the original rumors posted by NHYRC and to tell people to wait and see.

3) To paint NHYRC and Richard (or me) with the same brush because we have all criticized the CCP in the past would be like assuming that you and Mao Zedong have the same political views.

Thanks for taking a positive thread and trying to turn it into something ugly. Sympathy, indeed. Is it possible to discuss any topic without resorting to childish mudslinging? Apparently not.

April 20, 2007 @ 9:17 am | Comment

After the Abu Ghraib “Incidents” I was verbally attacked and I felt..a bit in fear for my safety Overnight. My students, honestly, I had a good relationship with most of them and then the next day..I was scared. Then in my desperation asked the “Leader” what he thought of Muslims… He said.. “In China we would just kill them.” Wow! He wanted to Kill Americans for torturing Muslims BUT he would just Kill (Muslims)!!! them… That’s Chinese logic.

April 20, 2007 @ 11:31 am | Comment

That’s three or four posts in a row where you put down the Chinese people, TBD. I want to respectfully ask that you refrain from doing so.

April 20, 2007 @ 11:37 am | Comment

“After the Abu Ghraib “Incidents” I was verbally attacked and I felt..a bit in fear for my safety Overnight.”

wtf? why would they care at all

April 20, 2007 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

Thats a good question.

April 20, 2007 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

Ferins..I’ve got no beef with you .I hope that we could hook up and discuss this stuff.

April 20, 2007 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

binster: don’t be silly. NHYRC has been show up at last as immature and, well, a little bit messed up in the head. The same cannot be said about richard or the author of this post.

fox news stopped showing the videos yesterday and tried to take the moral high ground. hmm, a bit late after 20 hours or so of playing it on a loop.

i agree though that the video should not have been show, but the media had an exclusive and would not let it go (probably realising the internet was just waiting to take their audience away on this one).

Still, I worry about a large number of young americans who could probably identify with this kid. Horrific as his actions were, there was a certain logic to his thinking (despite the media relinquishing responsibility yet again and declaring it an act born simply out of ‘evil’) and his rambling speeches could touch a nerve among many. Hope not.

April 20, 2007 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

Thanks Mike. The media fulfilled Cho’s last wish, that he be immortalized, his voice and face forever seared in the conscience of the world. There’s no clear answer – it really was “breaking news,” but in this case the world would have been better off not seeing it, especially not so close to the massacre. Every parent or close relative or friend of any of the murdered must have gone insane with rage and grief after seeing the spectacle on television. Insane.

April 20, 2007 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

after watching that i wonder if he just wanted to die more than anything else.

hopefully stuff like this will raise more awareness for mental health issues.

“Ferins..I’ve got no beef with you .I hope that we could hook up and discuss this stuff.”

ah, i don’t have a blog or anything. i stumbled across PD by accident, googling into one of the infamous “WHITE MAN STEALING CHINESE WOMAN!!” topics that make me sad to be human.

but it’s a fairly nice place!

April 20, 2007 @ 3:18 pm | Comment

something related to the massacre..

http://www.godhatesamerica.com/

sometimes i wish the us would lease the land at these funerals temporarily to the ccp, so these westboro crazies could be run over by tanks.

sorry to bring something in that’s kind of unrelated but i find their mission incredibly offensive and i’m trying to find people to flood them with hate mail.

April 20, 2007 @ 3:46 pm | Comment

Ferins, is that the Fred…whatsishame? The disgusting “Christian” who pickets funerals of dead soldiers, saying that they deserved to die for America’s sins – e.g., our acceptance of homosexuality and so forth?

Yeah, he is a heinous creep.

April 20, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

Fred Phelps.

That is pretty psychotic stuff, Ferins. If he actually does as he threatens and tries to preach at the funerals of the murdered students, we’ll have definitive proof that he’s a demon.

April 20, 2007 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

there was a UK tv show on recently about this god hates america chap. go onto http://www.tv-links.co.uk/index.do/1
(an amazing site by the way, especially for those of us now exiled from Beijing’s DVDs_
and click on Loius Theoux. It is under Most hated family in America.

Haven’t seen it yet. Too busy ploughing through all the other tv shows I missed over last seven years!

April 20, 2007 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

No matter what justifications he made, no excuse is enough to justify the taking of innocent lives, and the reasons he cited were just that: Excuses. Whatever reasons he said he had, judging by the fact he was not choosey at all about his victims, it was pretty evident that he hated the entire world (and probably himself, too). I agree that he probably just wanted to die. If he wanted sympathy, he should’ve just suicided. Sorry for sounding so angry.

April 21, 2007 @ 2:36 pm | Comment

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