News of any mass shooting spreads fast, but in the Korean American community, many of them talk about it in code.
Jay Caspian Kang is a journalist and author. When One L. Goh walked into a school building in Oakland and killed 6 people at Oikos University one year ago, it didn’t take long for Kang to hear about it.
A friend sent him this one line e-mail. “We did it again.”
Kang knew exactly what his Korean American friend meant. It was five years earlier that another Korean American Seung-Hui Cho massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech University.
Kang reflected on the impact both shootings have had on the Korean American community in a story for the New York Times.
Five days after the Oikos shooting, Kang visited Goh in jail.
Goh agreed to talk to him.
“I very much regret what happened,” Goh said. “I wish it hadn’t happened that way. I’m really sorry to society, Korean society and the families of the victims.”
I’m a loner,” Goh said. “I do not have the skills to deal with other people. I cannot do things that other people do.” When Kang asked him to elaborate, he said, “My entire life, I cannot do things other people do.”
Should it matter to anyone that the gunman in two of the country’s worst school shootings happen to be Korean American? And why does the Korean American community seem to talk about this more than others? You can read Kang’s fascinating article in the New York Times.