So today has been an interesting day. And by interesting I mean increasingly depressing.
It started off early – midnight my time – with the news of the Virginia Tech Shootings. It was only 20 reported dead at that time. I graduated from high school in Virginia – probably about a fourth of my graduating class is attending Tech (Class of 2008). I am not particularly close with any of them, but close enough that I am anxiously waiting for more names to be released to the press so I can make sure that it wasn’t one of the folks I ate lunch with every day back in high school. Furthermore, Virginia Tech is only about forty minutes away from my college. I’ve been to Tech (it’s in the middle of freakin’ nowhere), I know the buildings that this happened in. I pass the hospitals in Roanoke and Salem on a regular basis, and that is where some of the victims were sent (so the news tells me). Tech and Hollins have a small little relationship going, even if it’s on a social basis – there’s a lot of inter dating that goes on.
It is just appallingly close to home for me, without being close enough that I’m (as far as I know) directly effected. Considering the high percentage of Virginia high school students that end up at Tech – this is something that is effecting so many Virginians alone, without even factoring in the out of staters and the international students1.
When I woke up the count had gone up to 33.
I was looking for coverage on the tv, hoping that the dubbed-over (all the dubs in Vietnam are awful, by the way) CNN would have some video coverage. It didn’t at the time. Rather, I caught the current body count for the day in Middle East.
I spent the afternoon in a coffee shop downtown (periodically checking the updates on the computers there) reading When Broken Glass Floats, which is an autobiography that I needed to read for my History class.
It’s about the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Around the scene where the kids are starving (which is 2/3 of the book) and the Khmer Rouge threw their sick mother, alive, into the dead body pit, and then burned/buried her, I decide that
I’m really very sick of the human race and the awful things that we do to each other.
1 We’re told the shooter is a 23-year old English major. The media loves to emphasize the fact that he’s a South Korean native. Only a handful of reports have mentioned that he was a legal resident alien in Northern Virginia (Centreville which is a few towns over from my hometown). We let him in folks. Not only that, but he was here long enough to get residency. He probably graduated from high school in NoVa, went to school with the senator’s children, children of CEOs, etc. Why is it even relevant what country he is from, or what his ethnicity is? There are underlying factors at work that have nothing to do with what he looks like or what country he was originally from.