Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We heart scapegoating

What's a predictable result of the nonstop wall-to-wall coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting rampage? Well, unsurprisingly, a lot of people are angry.

And with xenophobes like Peter Brimelow and VDare (Michelle Malkin's fave mag) taking the opportunity to exploit the tragedy for their own political agendas -- in this case, bashing Asian immigrants -- it isn't hard to figure out who people will take their anger out on: namely, innocent Koreans. After all, scapegoating is one of our favorite American pastimes.

Sure enough, down in Alabama, an Auburn student was assaulted by a pack of rednecks for the crime of being Asian:
Auburn police are investigating a campus assault last week that targeted an 18-year-old Auburn University student because he is Asian, according to the police report.

The man was standing outside Lane Residence Hall about 11:30 p.m. Thursday when he was attacked by four men, according to the report. The assault lasted for about two minutes and the victim suffered cuts to his lips, a swollen right cheek and a knot on the right side of his head.

The victim's cousin, a part-time graduate at Auburn, said he believes the attack was a reaction to last week's massacre at Virginia Tech which left 33 people dead. The gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, was Korean-American.

"During the attack, one of the assailants actually said it was because my cousin is Asian," said the cousin. He said both men are Korean. He asked their names not be used because he fears retaliation.

When Korean officials last week urged Americans not to take out their anger on other Korean nationals and immigrants, it wasn't clear that Korean-bashing crimes would follow, and many of us were hopeful that would not be the case. Obviously, it was -- and thus the chill felt by many foreign students here was, perhaps, for good reason.

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