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Otto Warmbier and me: The Huffington Post’s disgusting attack on North Korea torture victim

by | 20th, June 2017

Not long after Otto Warmbier was arrested in North Korea, the Huffington Post produced a hatchet job on the man. Entitled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal”, writer La Sha laid into Warmbier, using his suffering to nourish her status as the real victim.

Warmbier was a 21-year-old University of Virginia student on a visit to North Korea with China-based travel company Young Pioneer Tours when he was arrested on January 2nd 2016.  The North Koreans claim the “student entered the country under the guise of a tourist and plotted to destroy North Korean unity with the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation”.

The dastardly US plot involved Warmbier allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel the tour group was staying at. For this Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labour at a March court hearing. Warmbier had already been shown “confessing” to “committing a crime” and begging the Korean people and government for forgiveness.

According to the North Koreans, Otto Warmbier “fell into a coma” that same month. The North Koreans never mentioned his stricken state. On June 13 2017 a comatose Otto was flown back to the US. On June 19, 2017, Otto Warmbier died. His family has released a statement:

“Unfortunately, the awful, torturous treatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed – he was at peace. He was home and we could sense that.”

 

otto wambier huffington post

 

The Times saysthe brain damage he suffered was more consistent with the effects of respiratory arrest, which can be caused by physical trauma, suffocation or the misuse of drugs.” Sources suggest he lost a significant amount of brain tissue. Horrific stuff, then.

But to the Huffington Post’s writer, Otto Warmbier’s horrific ordeal is something to be celebrated. On March 23, 2016, the Post stuck the knife in. La Sha tells us:

…my reaction to [a] young white man who went to an Asian country and violated their laws, and learned that the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.

As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.”

La Sha is shocked by a man’s curiosity to see North Korea. Dennis Rodman (not white) has visited the place. Shocked? She continues:

That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country.

The “reckless gall” of being a tourist whilst white. Salon thought as much, telling its readers: “This might be America’s biggest idiot frat boy – meet the UVA student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea.” He had it coming. Lark about, get tortured and killed. They’d pick out bits of brain through his nose if they could find it. Ha-ha. What a dick.

La Sha is not alone in her nastiness.

She then slips into full on English student mode, using the kind of convoluted language kids employ when they want to look smart:

Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege.

It’s not been working that well of late, then. Barack Obama is away, so too is Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Kim Kardashian, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sarah Palin, Angelina Jolie, Alice Walton and more and more women and non-white male faces who have made a decent fist of making it in the USA. The list of white males who didn’t rise to the top is long. But who cares for those millions of losers who frittered away all that privilege in The Rust Belt and elsewhere in America’s hinterlands? Maybe there’s a wrinkle in the Matrix?

And on and on she goes:

The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.

Let’s interject, break up this hideous hatchet job. We can share another aspect of Otto Warmbier’s life:

In a tearful statement made before his trial, Warmbier tells a gathering of reporters in Pyongyang he tried to take the banner as a trophy for the mother of a friend who said she wanted to put it up in her church.

He says he was offered a used car worth $10,000 if he could get a banner and was also told that if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was “suffering from very severe financial difficulties.”

Check your privilege, whitey.

But the Huffington Post’s writer isn’t listening. She’s making it all about race. It’s very nasty:

Yeah, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege.

She then likens Otto Warmbier – a young man who allegedly tried to nick a sign for larks – to mass murderers who gun down innocent people in a church and run amuck at a fast food restaurant. You see, Otto’s skin colour makes him a suspect:

When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you.

Not stopping there, she attacks his parents.

And while I don’t blame his parents for pressuring the State Department to negotiate his release, I wonder where they were when their son was planning a trip to the DPRK.

Dunno. Is it relevant?

What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

A “bummer” to see your son ripped away from you and vanished. Biased, bigoted and wholly objective, the article is the antithesis of good journalism. Pause from casting aspersions over all whites and the dead man’s grieving parents to wonder how this bilge passed before the editor’s eyes and wasn’t spiked.

She continues:

As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws.

No. Visiting North Korea is not unimaginable. It’s something you can do legally with a ticket. And if you find it so hard to imagine the hell of enslavement in a work camp, I can commend If This is A Man by Primo Levy and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Reading when you’re a writer can be useful. Also manual labour – yeah, who does that for 15 years? That question to coal miners and anyone else employed in one of those “unimaginable” blue collar industries that keep the lights on and writers in laptops.

She concludes:

I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it.

No. You don’t. Because in the race to the bottom that is competitive victimhood, your moral compasses has gone haywire. Otto Warmbier appears to have been tortured to death. His trial and treatment should earn our utmost sympathy. To use his plight as a means to showcase you’re own victimhood and self-aggrandisement, to stand on his grave and shout ‘But what about me?’ is anti-human, needy and ultimately self-defeating.



Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink