I can't remember exactly when I read about Kenneth Eng's article in Asian Week, an Asian Pacific American newsweekly, but I knew that something was seriously wrong. Asian Week is a well-polished magazine of high standards - making the publication of his article on February 23rd, 2007 entitled "Why I Hate Blacks" all the more troubling. Asian Week quickly fired Kenneth Eng, and they issued a front page apology. They have remained open to dialogue in earnest hopes of showing that they are deeply regretful for publishing the article and in hopes of fostering better understanding between Asian and African American communities.
However, this was only the tip of the iceberg. I went online to research Kenneth Eng. He was a flim student at the Tisch School at NYU. He is a published science fiction author, and he has a blog section on Amazon.com. His meagre efforts as an author are laughable at best and represent the meaningless deaths of the trees harvested to print his drivel. His blog section is loaded with the kind of lunatic rantings you'd come to expect of someone who would describe themselves as "An Asian Supremacist." He not only hates Blacks, Whites, other minorities, and even some Asians - he also hates virtually every religious denomination as well.
I'm not going to lie to you or deny that I felt that I wanted to find this angry little twerp and cave his skull in. I wanted him to shut up. Ultimately I realized that I wanted Kenneth Eng to disappear. He is delusional enough to think that his literary efforts are equal to truly great authors in Science Fiction. What better fate for him to suffer than obscurity? But he wouldn't shut up.
Shortly after Cho Seung-hui brutally shot 32 students at Virginia Tech on April 16th, 2007, Kenneth Eng sent a video to YouTube essentially calling the massacre hillarious. This video was quickly taken down, and it only brought more attention to the fact that he is not only disturbed - he is dangerous. On May 1st, 2007, Kenneth Eng was interviewed by The Village Voice, during which he was happy to draw similarities between himself and Cho. Eng has been institutionalized, he had stalked a female student, and he drew the strong concern of his professors at NYU who had deemed him dangerous enough to suggest dismissing him. In the article, Eng even went so far as to call Cho his hero, and he admitted that the only reason he didn't go on a rampage was that he couldn't afford a gun.
Let that settle in your minds for a moment.
The Virginia Tech massacre is a horrible tragedy, and while we try to search for indications how this could have happened, we must not lose sight of the fact that 32 people have died. We need to stop this from happening. As comedienne/activist Margaret Cho said on her blog, "What is lost here is the grief. What is lost is the great, looming sadness that we should all feel over this. We lose our humanity to racism, time and time again."
On top of that, anybody who tries to capitalize upon this tragedy must be held accountable to public scrutiny. NBC aired Cho's videotaped manifestos, and they were lambasted for their insensitivity. Kenneth Eng has a history of saying precious little more than the volatile rantings of someone not capable of creating a coherent thought pattern. While it would be easy to dismiss him as just another talentless hack, he could just as easily go on a rampage as another. The big question now is what do we do about Kenneth Eng? I have no clear answers about him. I only know what I'd love to do jsut to shut him up. That is not the moral thing under any circumstances. The best thing is to hope he fades into obscurity. I have strong doubts whether there is any good to Kenneth Eng or if he is even capable of understanding that what he is saying is hurtful to others. I don't even know if he cares, and that's the worst part.