Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A bright light stands out in the vicious mob 

"The groups expressing anger toward him are what inspired me to create the group. We have no idea what happened to this kid, or what was going through his head, but it's really clear that he had problems," Swigart told wcbstv.com. "When I saw all of those groups damning him to hell and wishing him ill, without considering that, hey, he is a person too. I thought he deserved to be respected and remembered like the other victims."

Still, Swigart does admit her feelings might be different if she were a Virginia Tech student, but she thinks the hate and vulgarity is unfair, as well as the e-mails she's received from people who don't agree with her beliefs.

"I have had to delete posts on the wall of the group where people have said anyone in the group should burn in hell, or that we must all be 'sick' to sympathize with Cho," she said. "I've gotten a lot of negative feedback. I received a silly little hate mail that said,'You're an evil girl. God will never love you.'"

Those feelings ultimately appear to represent the vast majority of students, however. One Facebook group called "Blame Cho Seung-Hui (VT Shooter)" has over 600 members and over 400 postings on its bulletin board. Most offer constructive debate on the issue, but other students do go to other extremes to express their feelings. One member's post read: "this is [expletive]. i wish this dude did not kill himself so that he could have gotten the death penalty......fire squad."

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