April 17, 2007

When In Doubt, Blame China

Sometime around midnight today the "Asian male in his mid twenties" that went on a killilng spree at Virginia Tech university and ended up shooting his own face off became a Chinese national recently in the United States on a student visa issued in Shanghai. Michael Sneed, a gossip columnist for Chicago's other newspaper, reported that a "source" said investigators were focusing on a Chinese man just arrived in San Francisco as the crazed gunman a continent away in Virginia.

The completely unsubstantiated smear was immediately picked up by Matt Drudge's Drudge Report website around 12:30 a.m. without credit as though it was one of Drudge's "developing" scoops. Only later this morning when it was revealed that the shooter was actually a South Korean born American resident was the smear story dropped.

Fact is Cho Seung Hui came to America when he was eight years old, grew up in lily-white Fairfax County Virginia and graduated from public high school there.

Why is the location of his birth of any consequence? And if his identity had never been traced (extremely unlikely given the sophistication of forensic analysis today) what purpose would it serve to blame a Chinese immigrant for the crime?

America's doors were closed to China from 1888 until after the second World War in one of the most shameful displays of xenophobia in United States history. Are we so afraid of competition from China that certain "sources" want the door closed again?

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