“The Virginia Tech Shooting and the Politics of Excessive Apology
Se-Hyoung Yi, Ph.D.

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a Korean student at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others. Immediately after the tragedy, Koreans and Korean government officials issued public apologies for Cho’s crime. The Korean Ambassador to the United States urged the Korean American community to repent and join a 32-day fast, one day for each victim. Many observers attribute this sense of collective guilt and responsibility to the collectivist and nationalistic culture among Koreans, dismissing it as strange and inappropriate. Drawing on the concept of “model minority,” this essay argues that the excessive apologies provide a new perspective to analyze the dynamics of race and ethnicity in the United States.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v5n1a1