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The Power to Choose


Jasmine Nasser

When someone flips a coin, it will either land on heads or tails. With other real life experiences, however, the possibilities are boundless and the end results are not set in stone. A new job position can bring a person more wealth or more stress. A teenager can choose to take the drugs someone is offering them or decline. A death can bring a family closer together or further apart. In light of the shootings at Virginia Tech, American has undergone a terrible event but, instead of allowing this horrific massacre to bring us together, many people of the United States are using this incident as a launching pad for even more violence.

The day after the shootings, I went to "" to watch some news stories about what had happened. I was disgusted to see that a countless amount of people had left racist comments about the shooter, a North Korean man. What the shooter did was terrible, there is no doubt about that in my mind, but it puzzled me that, instead of expressing remorse for the victims and the families, a numerous amount of people were only able to voice their desire that "Asians could drive as well as they shoot". Why do we live in an age where everything has to be about race? As the daughter of a Yemeni father, I have experienced the effect of the 9/11 bombings on the Arab community first hand. After the attacks on the twin towers and Pentagon, it seems as if many people have come to regard anyone who wears a turban or hijab as an automatic terrorist. After a tragic event in this country, I notice that many of us choose to focus on the ethnic background of the culprit rather than what we can do to better the situation. The way I see it, many of us believe that it was the race of the shooter, car-jacker, robber, or suicide bomber that compelled him or her to commit their crime. Your race has nothing to do with how smart you will be, what you can make of yourself in life, what your personal flaws are, or what mistakes you make, so why do we act like that is the case? Does it really matter that the Virginia Tech shooter was North Korean?

In the present day, there seems to be a race among the races. When an illegal act or something terrible happens, people of all races race to bash the race of the wrongdoer. The results of a tragedy, like the shooting at Virginia Tech, cannot be reversed but we should strive to make the best of any given situation. America has come under attack during events such as 9/11 and the Virginia Tech shootings but why do have to continually attack each other after?

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