In response to the tragic April 16, 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech that left 33 students and faculty members dead and injured, extremists on white supremacist and conspiracy-oriented Internet forums and Web sites focused on a number of themes -- from blaming "DIE-versity" and non-white immigration for the massacre, to accusing the Israeli government of engineering the attack, to claiming that the "Jewish media" and the U.S. government are taking advantage of the shootings to push for gun control. Many of the Internet posts singled out the gunman's ethnicity – Cho Seung-Hui was born in South Korea – in an effort to stereotype or inflame hatred against Asian Americans.
The following is a selection of examples of extremist chatter on the Virginia Tech shootings culledneo-Nazi and other extremist Web sites and Internet forums:
Extremists identify the shooter's Asian background to express their bigotry against non-whites. They cite Asians as "cold, calculating, and cruel" "worthless dirtbags" who "have infeccted [sic] and overpopulated too many parts in America…" One poster on the white supremacist Stormfront Internet forum instructed Asians to "Stay in China!"
Others refer to Asians with racially derogatory names, such as "chop chop," "po chop," and "gook." August Kreis, long associated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations group, describes the perpetrator as "communist Korean scum."
Hal Turner, a New Jersey based Internet radio host who spouts virulently anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric, says that he had "inside info" that the perpetrator's girlfriend discovered that he had a human "tail," was repulsed, and rejected him. Turner told listeners that some Koreans and other Asians sometimes have this "tail" at birth, and that they usually have it removed at that time.
The minority status of the shooter seemed to give extremists fuel to advance their sentiments against diversity. One poster on the white supremacist Stormfront Internet forum references multiculturalism as "DIE-versity," and another explains that "this is one example of a tragedy that simply would not have happened in a WN [White Nationalist] country. That Asian man wouldn't have been here in the first place." One individual who believes that "bullets are for change" explains on the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network (VNN) Internet forum that "Guns don't kill people. Ni--ers, spics and gooks kill people."
The Virginia Tech shooting has given ammunition to extremists to discuss what they perceive as the "evil incarnate plague of demons that is Jewry." Citing the common myth of a Jewish-controlled media that attempts to twist events for the benefit of the Jewish people, one individual on Stormfront comments that "the media Jews feel they have a moral responsibility to lie to the public." Another explains on Phora, an anti-Semitic Internet forum, that "bodies are not cold before the vampiric filth Jew trys to parasitically worm its way in and hijack the situation and attention and drain it for its own evil benefit." [sic] A member of Stormfront explains that "Jews would find a way to capitalize off of this," and an individual on the VNN forum states, "I'm partial to the conjecture the kikes in charge of our country want to…repeal the Second Amendment by taking advantage of po chop."
In answering why "these types of incidents seem to [be] becoming more frequent," one poster to Stormfront cites the "Zionist Occupied Government," (ZOG) composed "not [of] arabs or Persians, [but] jewz...." [sic] Picking up on this familiar anti-Semitic charge, August Kreis, writes, "Z.O.G. will use this incident as a reason to try to disarm amerika." [sic]
On his Web site, neo-Nazi Bill White, head of the American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), blames the lack of societal resistance towards people like the shooter on the
Holocaust Denial Rhetoric
Several posters refer to the shooting of Liviu Librescu, the Jewish professor who survived the Holocaust and reportedly was killed by the gunman while protecting his students. August Kreis views the professor's murder positively, stating, "On the bright side some good did come out of it, an Israeli holohoax survivor was among those killed…."
Bill White states that "" and that "i" A poster to the ANSWP forum echoes White's Holocaust denial rhetoric by questioning Librescu's status as a Holocaust survivor, "If there were such a concerted effort to exterminate Jews like vermin, how did it happen that there are so many 'Holocaust survivors' everywhere?"
Advancement of Anti-Israel and Anti-Government Conspiracy Theories
Not surprisingly, extremists make the widespread anti-Semitic allegation that the Israeli government is engaged in a conspiracy to control world events to explain the shooting. An individual on Phora writes, "Mossad mustuh engineered the whole thing to make people White people think about the Holocaust and how Jooz are noble while Whites are bad…." [sic]
While certain individuals cite the Israeli government as the engineer of the shooting, others argue that the American government conspired to not only engineer the event, but to use it to push gun control and the war in Iraq. On Stormfront, an individual states, "This was probably black ops to get the HR 1022 bill passed to ban assault weapons. The government doesn't want you to be able to fight them…."
Deceptive Videos Posted On the Internet
In an attempt to deceptively spread their message of supremacy and anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis associated with Vanguard News Network have created over a dozen videos with titles including "Virginia Tech Shooting Update," "Virginia Tech Latest Update," and "Virginia Tech Shooting Student Interview." Rather than solely featuring news coverage of the incident, as the titles suggest, these videos contain anti-Semitic, racist, anti-immigrant, anti-government, and anti-media propaganda, and they promote VNN and Final Solution 88, a neo-Nazi Web site. These videos have not been posted solely to VNN. The extremists have taken advantage of YouTube, a popular Web site for mainstream videos, to post their work for viewing by unsuspecting individuals in search of information about the tragedy.
Anti-Gay Group Plans to Picket Funerals of Murdered Virginia Tech Faculty and Students
Another group that plans to spread its hateful message about the incident at Virginia Tech and to garner publicity is the Westboro Baptist Church, a virulently anti-gay group. The group plans to protest at the funerals of the victims. Claiming that God punishes the world because of the actions of “fags,” the group made this statement about the incident: “He [God] willed this to happen to punish [society] for assailing His servants.” The group’s Web site, entitled “God Hates America,” asserts, “The LORD your God sent a crazed madman to shoot at your children, and he didn't miss. Get this straight -- God sent this South Korean madman to kill 31 of your children at Virginia Tech.” Westboro Baptist Church is also known for picketing United States military funerals, citing homosexual behavior as the cause of the soldiers’ deaths.