Tuesday, April 17, 2007
This afternoon I sat on this bench to enjoy the shade and sunshine while sipping a fruit smoothie I bought at the nearby Jamba Juice store. While seated there, a young woman approached to ask me if she could interview me for a journalism class assignment. She wanted to know my reactions to the Virginia Tech shootings. She wanted to know my first reaction to the news. I said that, 1) I hope the shootings do not motivate other potentially dangerous people to enact similar tragedies on US campuses and, 2) that after finding out the boy was Korean, I hoped that people would not use "Koreanness" to justify bigotry, hatred, and prejudice against other Koreans or Asians (as if there is a uniform homogenous Asian!). She also asked me whether the Virginia Tech shootings have affected my sense of safety on the UA campus. I responded that I do not feel fearful--I feel quite safe, actually--and that I trust the UA Police Department, UA Security, and the Tucson Police Department will continue to do their best to ensure the safety of the campus and surrounding area.
The empty bench, for me, symbolizes the young Korean man and his alienation from society. How can we reach out to people who need care from the community?