Saturday 16th December 2017,

Community Issues

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We Are Respectable Negroes: Guns, Masculinity & Korean Americans

posted by Randall

gunTomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Oikos University Shooting in Oakland. One Goh, a former student at the Korean Christian college shot and killed seven people and injured several more.

The shooting brought shame to members of the Korean American community. It was the second mass school shooting involving a Korean American. The first being  Seung-Hui Cho and the Virginia Tech Massacre that left 32 dead in 2007.

No where was this connection discussed more than in the Korean American community itself. In his blog We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey DeVega applauds the Korean American community for its willingness to confront this head on. In his blog he also discusses two Korean cultural concepts,  han and hwabyung,

DeVega writes: “Both describe a state of hopeless, crippling sadness combined with anger at an unjust world. And both suggest entrapment by suppressed emotions.”

Just how do those philosophies fit into a discussion on guns, masculinity and Korean Americans is perhaps more subliminal than anything else. Throw in the stereotype of the model minority and everything is turned upside down.

DeVega challenges white Americans to do as Korean Americans have done and confront the roles of guns in American culture.

You can read more about it in We Are Respectable Negroes.


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