Some of my Filipino friends have experienced being “questioned’ in the gym, at the YMCA and other public places by some people who are obviously ignorant and guilty of stereotyping people from other races as one and the same based on the color of their skin, facial features, etc. etc. etc.
Two of them were Pinoys of Chinese descent and on separate occasions were asked by a group of men in places where they usually go for their daily work out/ exercise.
And the exchange goes like---
“Hey, are you Korean?” said one of the man in a group playing basketball to Juan.
“No, I’m a Filipino,” Juan answered.
“Oh, you Orientals, you all look the same!” said Sam the obvious leader of the group as the others laugh in unison.
Juan just kept mum and let the obvious slur passed and continued with his business.
This is just one of the fall- outs of the tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech just weeks ago. I have told several friends to expect about this kind of things to happen especially when the media first reported that the shooter was of Asian descent.
Although I sympathize with the family and friends of the victims and their hurt and loss will never be quantified and forgotten, I could not help but wonder why Seung- Hui Cho perpetrated the dastardly act of shooting innocent people in his murderous rampage.
The tragedy that occurred is not his fault alone though. The media kept on repeating that Cho had a history of mental illness and psychological problems as if to justify his actions and put the burden of guilt entirely on him but we cannot discount the fact that his condition was made worse by the environment he lived in.
Of course, after a tragedy of this magnitude nobody would admit now that for years Cho had been harassed, bullied and picked on because of his color and by the manner of his speech. There are still a lot people out there who has the notion that they are superior to others because of the color of their skin, if you ask me.
One interview stood out though, a classmate of Cho admitted that he and some of his classmates have predicted and once labeled Cho as a "future school shooter" behind his back. How they came to that morbid conclusion beats me, though.
If you’re familiar with the American culture, stories like this is never kept a secret or hushed. Some people are just plain loud and insensitive that they would say some stuffs with nary a care in the world if they offend others.
What if Cho did get wind of this and due to his mental condition wherein he did not have the capacity to cope with his thought process and could not just brush off the said issue easily like most people do and just "snapped" and then decided to do what they thought of him capable of doing anyway?
Delusion of persecution is one of the worst thing that could ever happen to one’s mental well- being. There’s no sadder thing than when one feels that he’s alone against the world. It become even more dangerous if you've lost control of your mental faculties. I've encountered cases like these in the past where the "voices" whispering in one's ear have tormented one's head and leads to violent and often deadly end.
The human mind works in mysterious ways...
Experts and self- proclaimed experts like you and me have given their opinions, perspectives, hypotheses, theories and conclusions regarding the cause and the final straw that broke Cho’s back but all these are just nothing but empty rhetoric to an audience already saturated with so many “true” reports that no matter what arguments you hear, you already made up your mind which is more often than not biased in favor of or against your pre- conceived notion of this case.
Still the loss of so many lives in a senseless way is quite disturbing. Your heart could only weep silently for come to think of it we are all victims whenever this kind of tragedy occurs.
I just hope that no person will ever utter these words again--
"You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience."
Let us respect each other as a person and let us always follow the Golden Rule.
If I find myself in a similar situation like Juan, I will look each of them bullies in the eye and say, “wait here, I’ll be back.” :) Ewan ko lang kung di sila mag- takbuhan pag nagkataon :)