Dear South Korea:
Please stop apologizing. It is not your fault.
Don't get us wrong. It is touching and impressive how you, as a nation, seem crestfallen over the trail of death left on an American college campus by an immigrant from your land. You have held candlelight vigils at our embassy and your president has expressed shock – three times, so far.
But, really, the suspect came to America as a child. He was raised here. Maybe we should be apologizing to you for not taking better care of him. Or maybe the ugly twists that the human spirit can take are just unfathomable.
We are dismayed that you worry about a misdirected backlash against your citizens who have emigrated here. Most of us would like to think America is better than that. But we also recall that, after 9/11, some ignorant people attacked Sikh Americans in the preposterous belief that their turbans marked them as members of al-Qaeda.
Obviously we need to work on our behavior and international image.
So we accept your apologies, unnecessary as they are – as lessons in grace and humanity.
The best thing we could do in response is to learn from what your conduct teaches.
Sometimes, we Americans have a hard time owning up to the stupid and shameful things we really have done collectively: holding slaves, profiling minorities on highways, outsourcing torture. Sometimes, as with the Japanese Americans interned during World War II, we get around to saying we're sorry. More often, we don't....
We're young, still learning.
So, thank you for the fine example you set. [Link]
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