To Seung-Hui Cho

To society, you were a lunatic and a monster
to your parents, you were their only boy
to me, you were the brother I never had.

Like you
Self-hatred defined my identity
because if I am to suffer
the ridicules
the insults
the sounds of chink and gook
the loneliness
the alienation
then I do not want to be Korean
I do not want to be Asian
I do not want this yellow skin
I do not want this yellow sin.

Because of this self-hatred
self-hatred that grew into
hatred against the world
I could not help but feel
connected with you
if you’re indeed a monster
then I must be one as well.

So I delved into your life
to see if I truly am a monster
and there I saw
how your life
how your rage
intertwined
with mine.

With this knowledge
despair consumed me
and as my world grew darker
and overshadowed with yours
I had to stop delving into your life
and start delving deeper into my own.

As I finally began to separate
myself
from
you
I realized that my rage didn’t come from
the world,
white people,
Koreans,
or even myself
but
it came from
my father
the man
I could never express
these feelings to.

So I confronted this fact
for the first time in my life
and took it upon myself
to say the words
I always held back
about my father
about myself
about my hatred for him
about my hatred for myself
about my desire to hurt others
about my desire to hurt myself
and as I said them out loud
I vomited the hatred and the bile
out of my body and soul
and when all the
hate and bile
left my system
at the very core
I found something so
beautiful within myself.

I have too much love
to be driven to such despair
I must learn to love myself
and live out my life
so I can give my love
to the people around me.

I have a choice in
how I want my story to be told
I can be ashamed of my ugly past
and inflict it on the world
or I can accept it
and let it be told,
let something ugly
be turned
into something beautiful.

Now I am proud of my Korean heritage
the heritage that I once despised
Now I am proud of my own self
the self that I once despised
Proud enough that labels and stereotypes
they cannot define who I am
and who I want to be.

I wish I could share this pride with you
I wish I could have helped you
I wish I could have let you known
that you were not alone
in what you felt
I wish for so many things
so many things that will
never come to be.

But because of you,
your beginning and end
has helped me rediscover
my own beginning
and free my own end
to infinite possibilities.

From your darkness, I found light
From your rage, I found peace
From your hatred, I found love
From your death, I found life.

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2 comments

  1. Rachel Roh · September 6, 2010

    E, !!!!!
    You have a gift.

  2. Jihad Punk 77 · September 8, 2010

    you are brave for sharing this with us. Not easy to do so

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