Yes, I know. Tens of thousands of ordinary college students are lonely, full of rage, lost and frustrated. A few percent are psychotically disturbed, and some of them can kill. Our big factory colleges are alienating. Take millions of adolescents, and at any time there are bound to be quite a few confused and seething souls walking loose. Just visit downtown in any American or European city, and you can see all the lost and disturbed living in their private hells. And no, that doesn't excuse executing thirty-two innocents.
Still, I wonder --- was Cho taught to hate? Whatever he learned in his classes --- did it enable him to rage at his host country, to hate the students he envied so murderously? Was he subtly encouraged to aggrandize himself by destroying others? Was his pathology enabled by the PC university? Or to ask the question differently --- was Cho ever taught to respect others, to admire the good things about his host country, and to discipline himself to build a positive life?
And that answer is readily available on the websites of Cho's English Department at Virginia Tech. This is a wonder world of PC weirdness. English studies at VT are a post-modern Disney World in which nihilism, moral and sexual boundary breaking, and fantasies of Marxist revolutionary violence are celebrated. They show up in a lot of faculty writing. Not by all the faculty, but probably by more than half.
Just check out their websites.
I wonder if Cho took the senior seminar by Professor Knapp, on "The self-justifying criminal in literature." Because he certainly learned to be a self-justifying criminal. Or whether he sat in courses with Nikki Giovanni, using her famous self-glorifying book, "The Prosaic Soul of Nikki Giovanni (2003)". Maybe he read Professor Bernice Hausman's "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, technology, and the idea of gender" --- just the thing for a disoriented young male suffering from massive culture shock on the hypersexual American campus. And even more gender-bending from Professor Paul Heilker, who wrote "Textual Androgyny, the Rhetoric of the Essay, and the Politics of Identity in Composition (or The Struggle to Be a Girly-Man in a World of Gladiator Pumpitude)." Or the Lesbian love stories of Professor Matthew Vollmer. Yup, that's just what this student needs. These trophy "art works" are all advertised on the English Department faculty websites. Or maybe Cho was assigned Professor Lisa Norris' prize-winning book, Toy Guns, featured on her web site. The book reviewers wrote
"All ten stories in this disturbing collection revolve around Americans' passionate devotion to guns, gun-toting, sexually-tinged violence, and the womanly pursuit of power and dignity." [....]
"In each wrenching story, we see an America out of control, in love with war...."
I don't know any Americans who are in love with war, but that is the picture Cho got from his teachers. Having spent the last 14 years as a resident alien in the school system, he could know nothing else.
And then there is the big Marxist website from Professor Brizee, all in fiery red against pitch black, showing old, mass-murder-inspiring Karl flanked by two raised fists. It celebrates revolutionary violence and hate for capitalist America (which is paying for Cho's education). "Critical Social Theory" --- the euphemism for PoMo (Post Modern) Marxism --- is a big part of English teaching at VT. The Marxist page links prominently to the British Socialist Worker's Party, which is currently leading the charge for Islamic fascism through such creatures as George Galloway.
And, talking about Islamist ideas, there is Professor Carter-Tod, who wrote a report about "Treatment of Arab American, Muslums and Seiks (sic) Post 911," for the US Civil Rights Commission. The racial grievance industry is alive and growing at VT. And of course there is the "diversity" crowd, diversity being a very well-funded program at ole' guilt-tripping VT. There's Professor Carlos Evia, who describes himself as "...soy director de la Comisión de Igualdad y Diversidad en Virginia Tech." Or in English, "I am also chair of the Virginia Tech Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity." There's "research" in "Feminist science fiction" and "The comic strip" from Professor Susan C. Allender-Hagedorn. Scratching racial and gender wounds until they bleed is a big preoccupation at VT. What's a kid from South Korea to think?
The question I have is: Are university faculty doing their jobs? At one time college teachers were understood to have a parental role. Take a look at the hiring and promotion criteria for English at VT, and you see what their current values are. Acting in loco parentis, with the care, protectiveness, and alertness for trouble among young people is the last thing on their minds. They are there to do "research," to act like fake revolutionaries, and to stir up young people to go out and revolt against society. Well, somebody just did.
I'm sorry but VT English doesn't look like a place that gives lost and angry adolescents the essential boundaries for civilized behavior. In fact, in this perversely disorienting PoMo world, the very words "civilized behavior" are ridiculed --- at least until somebody starts to shoot students, and then it's too late. A young culture-shocked adolescent can expect no firm guidance here. But we know that already.
What's the English Department's official frontpage reaction to the murder of thirty-two students just a few days ago? Here it is.
"We do not understand this tragedy
We know we did nothing to deserve it
But neither does a child in Africa
Dying of AIDS
Neither does the baby elephant watching his community
Be devastated for ivory
... Neither does the Mexican child looking
For fresh water
... Neither does the Appalachian infant killed
By a boulder
Because the land was destabilized"
In other words: We didn't do nuthin.' It ain't our fault. It's greedy capitalism's fault. We don't teach civilized behavior, the value of reason, the cultural foundations of Western thought. We teach adolescent rage, because that's how we make a living. We do narcissistic "research" in Marxist analysis of American brutal capitalism. We're good people. See how much we care about AIDS in Africa. Don't blame us. We ain't responsible.