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For the fifth time since March 23, young children have been attacked at school in China, this time leaving 7 children and 2 adults dead. The attack occurred Wednesday in northern Shaanxi Province, and the perpetrator, Wu Huanming, 48–who killed his victims with a kitchen cleaver before killing himself–was, like the other assailants, a middle-aged man acting alone. This rampage is the deadliest one of the five to date; eight children were left dead after the first attack in Fujian Province, but all 33 children who were either stabbed or beaten with a hammer in the other attacks, which took place over three consecutive days in late April, survived.
People in China are trying to make sense of these horrific copycat crimes, with experts citing everything from rampant untreated mental illness to rapid social change to anger at the government, the NY Times reports. Well, some people in China are trying to make sense of this, anyway. Huang Hung, a columnist for China Daily who also blogs on sina.com and for The Daily Beast, wrote after the fourth attack that there has also been a great deal of silence on the subject. While supporting the government’s tightened control of the reporting on the attacks in order to prevent more copycat crimes, Ms. Huang was critical of what she perceived to be a general desire to sweep these events under the rug:
A lot of people agree with the government that incidents like these should be swept under the rug and forgotten; they believe in a kind of selective memory that only allows the past to be remembered in a glorious way. The fact that we do not publicly light a candle to remember the children who were murdered is not just wrong for moral reasons; it is a fundamental denial of the problems in our society.
But can you really have it both ways? That is, how can you expect the Chinese people to begin to understand why this is happening and deal if the government is restricting the flow of information on the attacks? That’s a little bit too much like the “Do as I say, not as I do” parenting model, which has been proven to never work. And when there’s a trend of mass murder of schoolchildren–attempted and otherwise–going on in your country, the government is, in essence, the parent, and it has to take the lead–by shunning shame and silence on the matter–in order to protect its children.
Filed under: 7 Children Hacked to Death in Chinese Kindergarten, 7 Chinese Schoolchildren Dead, Attack on Chinese Kindergarten, Attack on Chinese Schoolchildren, China, China Censorship, Copycat Crimes, Copycat Murders, Fifth Attack on Chinese Schoolchildren, The Chinese Government, WTF?