a week to weep

It’s not time to “move forward” or “get past this.” It’s time to weep.

Poet Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Professor [see video of her poem read at the Virginia Tech Convocation on April 17th – video]::

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on. We are embracing our mourning. We are Virginia Tech …

I commend Virginia Tech’s decision to close school for the week, to weep. I’ll be going to tonight’s special candle light vigil and prayer service at Church in Bethesda at 7:00pm.

So much of the chatter now is trying to make sense of this senseless act of violence, make sense of death itself. Looking for every possible external influence from family, cultural heritage, society, organizational procedures. Everywhere else except individual choice. Everywhere else except the spiritual realm, and how evil embodies real-world influence. Humanity wants so badly to think we’re all born tabula rasa.

As for the racial ethnic identity of the murderer, a 2nd-generation English-speaking Korean American, there’s already ample indicators of the individual’s disturbing psychological profile. Other Asian Americans are starting to voice the possible implications and backlash; some very stupid things are being said too. God help us all.

[event] VT alumni declared a national “Orange and Maroon Effect” day this Friday for Hokie Hope >>

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  1. Justin says:

    Well said. Well said.

    [note: the tabula rasa link has a typo in the URL]

  2. Wayne Park says:

    I am wondering if you know of any ways people around the country might help… I’m not sure what really can be done, but any way we might be of help.

  3. elderj says:

    Well said.. and I grieve also. I am indeed surprised by the degree of my upset.

  4. natala says:

    Wayne asked about helping… On the VA tech web site they have set up a memorial fund:

    peace –

  5. e cho says:

    dj: would it be interesting to get a collection of sermons taught by asian american pastors/leaders – likley this upcoming sunday. i have been surprised and disappointed at the lack of voice [at least on the internet]. maybe stuff is going on. if you have connections, i’d love to hear how KA and AA churches are responding in the VA/DC area…

  6. Peter Ong says:

    thank you DJ for your thoughtful response that brings some issues to the forefront…I have posted my thoughts but not an opinion as a plea…

  7. djchuang says:

    Eugene, I’ll be speaking to the tragedy specifically as an Asian American myself, as a guest speaker at a 2nd generation Asian American church http://www.gccc.info . And, I’ll link to as many as I can find who present an Asian American voice, even though my experience with many Asian pastors is that they speak from a generic plain vanilla-white voice instead of a contextualized voice.

    There is much stronger Christian witness and presence on the Virginia Tech campus than when I was there 20 years ago. There is now a group called vtONE http://www.vt-one.org.vt.edu/ — an organization with a vision to unite the body of Christ at Tech in worship, prayer, and repentance, along with a campus church http://www.nlcf.net/, and more. See the vtONE website for a list of specific prayer requests.

    I’ll be writing more about implications of this Monday’s tragedy after Sunday, this is a week to mourn along with the victim’s families and friends.