It’s interesting—in a very surreal sense—to see how people are reacting to the Virginia Tech tragedy in Korea.

If it’s not feeling a bit paranoid and uneasy about the possibility of any kind of racial backlash against Koreans, it’s the knee-jerk reaction that many Korean netizens are displaying here in regard to the name of the gunman as reported by the JoongAng Daily.

“As soon as the name of the shooter at Virginia Tech University was released last night, it was trouble for anyone named Cho Seung-hui, spelled two different ways in Korean. Internet users tracked down people with that name, leaving rude comments, curses and pleas on the guestbooks of their Web sites.”

What gives netizens? Isn’t it tragic enough 33 people died in the Virginia Tech shooting that now many netizens have to turn on themselves here in Korea? You would think—given how computer savvy many netizens are here—that they would know the difference. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it’s just taking this paranoia (and perhaps a little insecurity) too far.

Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Back in the early 90’s there was this incident where a Korean man was assaulted—because he looked like former Korean president Chun Doo-hwan—by another Korean man.

Yeah, just a little paranoid I guess.