More details on Li; and a super-liberal excuse-monger speaks about him

I’ve heard that CNN said today that the beheader was found with pieces of the victim’s body on his person. One blog said that when the police arrested him they found a plastic bag in his pocket containing body parts. I haven’t found this story at CNN’s website or at any other news source.


Monster of evil, or victim of “stress”?

Meanwhile, do you want to see the liberal sickness in full bloom? Here it is, at a blog called parentsunderground123:

We should not be too quick to judge. To all appearances, he was a good guy, who tried to work very hard to support his family. He did all kinds of jobs before moving to Edmonton and later taking his family there. He is a husband to a loving wife Anna and had the support of his community and Canadian friends. I guess the stress of everything took a toll on him and Chinese men are not unlike other men who sometimes refuse to admit they have a problem and needs help. Not being able to speak English, being new to the country and having mental confusion can add up to a frightened confused man who perhaps started hearing voices, telling him to kill someone in order to help himself. Tim McLean was that unfortunate man. It is terrible all around.

I posted the following comment:

What you did here was to present Li as a victim—a victim of “the stress of everything” (what’s that “everything”—life itself?), a victim of his and all men’s stubborn refusal to admit they have a problem (insufficiently feminized you mean), a victim of not being able to speak English (in fact he had progressed very well in English, as the news articles on his life in Winnipeg have told), a victim of being new in the country (in fact he had lived in Canada for four years). And these problems added up to the “stress of everything,” which makes entirely understandable that he “heard voices” which made him kill and cannibalize.

So, by your reasoning, basically any male immigrant from a different culture is excused for becoming a murderer and headchopper, since he will have the stress of being new in the country (even if he’s not new in the country), and the stress of not knowing the language (even if he does know the language), and the stress of being an insufficiently feminized man who refuses to admit he has problems (which would automatically apply to all Third-World male immigrants), all of which is likely to lead him to hear voices telling him to kill.

For you the bottom line is that Li is a victim—an object, not of horror, but of compassion, because his “stress” just made him do things.

Did it occur to you that there is such a thing as pure evil, and that pure evil took this man over, and that’s why he killed Tim McLean?

- end of initial entry -

Philip M. writes from England:

Hmm … I have to part company with you on this one. I don’t think it is neccesarily just liberals that would seek psychiatric and environmental explanations for what Vince Li did, nor would these factors negate the fact that ultimately he had a choice and was therefore responsible. In fact, if as you say he was taken over by “pure evil” surely this would mean he was not in control of himself and therefore NOT responsible?

Either way, this argument will never win over a liberal, or even make them think, if this was your intention.

LA replies:

Here’s what I intended to say:

First, in contrast to the parentsunderground blogger, who was removing any moral character from the act itself, I am reintroducing the idea that what this man did was evil, and that the totality of what was in his mind leading him to this act was evil.

Second, when I say “taken over” by evil, I mean that even if he was “taken over,” what took him over was evil, not “voices” produced by “strees.”

Finally, to say he was taken over by evil does not mean that he did not allow it to take him over. That is the very way sin operates. We allow it in our door, we feed and harbor it, we allow its power over us to increase, instead of rejecting it.

Gintas writes:

Note the message: Li is probably not unlike other men. Superficially any man might look like a good guy and be a good guy, but with a little stress mixed in with a little cultural alienation he might SNAP AND KILL AND DISMEMBER YOU ON A BUS! So let’s not be hard on him, it could happen to anyone.

Philip M. replies:
What caught my eye was the way this liberal blogger appealed to Li’s traditional morality to mitigate his actions. He “worked hard to support his family.” Is he saying that he would have found Li more culpable if he had walked out on his family and moved in with another woman? If so, this seems highly judgemental of alternative family structures which a liberal ought to support as equal to marriage. What if the “stress” of living in an unhappy marriage had been too much for him as well? And if the blogger does not think it is wrong or immoral or even a sign of inferiority for a father to leave one’s family, why introduce it as an element in his character that is commendable? And if this aspect of his character is commendable, will the blogger therefore agree that a man who does not look after his children is reprehensible? If an accused murderer was found to have illegitimate children he did not look after, would he say that made him more likely to be guilty? Ditto with the line about him being a “loving husband? Is he saying that his marriage proved he was of good character, and if so would he have condemned a co-habiting Vince Li? If he would not, it makes no sense to say his being married is relevant one way or the other!

Deep down even liberals can see the inherent goodness of traditional family structures and are not above hypocritically using them to win arguments when it suits them. They are especially impressed by family values in non-whites.

LA replies:

I agree the family values stuff seems opportunistic. If Li weren’t married, the blogger would have found some other way to justify him. Or maybe not (see next paragraph). Further, what the blogger said wasn’t true. Li left his wife two years ago and moved 800 miles away to Edmonton, as all the news articles have explained. Yet the blogger ignores that and paints Li as a model “family man” taking care of his “family,” though his family seems to consist of just his wife, whom he left.

If there’s an agenda, it’s to bring out a family aspect that is not there. Based on the name of the site parentunderground, family values might be front and foremost there. And that leads the blogger to excuse a monster by calling him a family man. He shapes the story so as to fit it into his combined agenda of family values and liberal relativism.

In the same way, a soft “conservative” Christian might find a way to excuse a wrongdoer if he were a Christian.

Clem writes:

The liberal blogger wrote:

“There is also the strong feeling by everyone that it was a random killing and not premeditated.”

Is it just me or does the MSM and leftists in general almost always classify violence against whites by “people of color” as “random.” It seems to me that is how they try to soften and disavow any racial component to it.

LA replies:

It’s a pure liberal formulation meant to minimize evil and criminality in general, and anti-white violence in particular. What it’s saying is, “Unless the perp knew the victim personally and had a specific motive to harm this particular person, then … IT’S RANDOM.” Meaning, it has no INTENT. A random act is not one committed by a human agent for a particular reason. It has no more moral content than dust being blown by the wind.

So, if a black sees a white he never saw before, and attacks him, since he doesn’t know him, it’s random. The fact that he was looking for someone to rob, and the fact that blacks rob whites at a high rate, somehow doesn’t make it “non-random.”

They do the same thing with terrorism. Unless the person committing the terrorist act is part of an organization sending him out to commit terrorism, they say he’s not a terrorist.

Robert B. writes:

Seeing his pic on your site, I can see why people think he is Hmong—he looks Hmong, and, living here in the Hmong capital of the world, I think he looks Hmong. I wonder if he is Hmong by way of China, somehow. In this day and age, the liberal media deliberately obfuscate these things. After the Wisconsin Massacre, no doubt they don’t want people around here getting the idea that Hmongs are simply another violent people.

We have Chinese people here and I had them as math instructors in college, so I know what they look like too, he looks Hmong to me. Hmong are darker skinned, shorter and fatter than Chinese, as a rule.

Robert B.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Hmong capital

LA replies:

Well, according to the Chinese-language World Journal, VW Li is a member of the Hui ethnic group of China, who are Muslims. I don’t know what they look like. But here is the results page of a Google image search for “hui people.”

Robert B. writes (August 7):

I looked at your Hui people—they most definitely do not look like the average Chinese—much darker skinned.

Rick Darby writes:

Among the comments on parentsunderground, the blogger, Clayton, writes:

Hey, this could happen to anyone. Mental illness is not something that just happens, it¹s like a slow-moving thunderstorm that builds over time. All of the sudden, the storm hit in full-force. This man probably needs help, and should not be persecuted if mental illness was the culprit. A horrible act, but let¹s not be too quick to judge him. It sounds like he just went off the deep end.

It’s tempting to read this as a parody of bleeding heart liberalism, Clayton just having satirical fun. But assuming it’s meant to be taken at face value let’s analyze it.

“Hey, this could happen to anyone.” It’s pretty well agreed among mental health professionals, aside from phrenologists, Freudians, and other primitives, that there is a biochemical component in mental illness, but much dispute about how that interacts with environmental factors. I would add, how that interacts with will and morality as well. Even if some people have a bad cocktail of biochemicals dancing in their brains, it is by no means sure that they are powerless in its grip. I don’t think this could “happen” (notice the implication of passivity) to anyone.

“Mental illness is not something that just happens, it¹s like a slow-moving thunderstorm that builds over time. All of the sudden, the storm hit in full-force.” The first sentence is probably true in general, which means that relatively mild symptoms appear as a warning sign. Unless a person is abysmally stupid, he sees the symptoms, realizes he is dysfunctional to some degree, and looks for help. Millions of people are in psychotherapy for just that reason: they know something is wrong with them and want to counteract it before they harm themselves or others. It’s unlikely that Vince Li suddenly went mad with no prior symptoms.

Serious psychopathology such as schizophrenia usually isn’t curable, but medications are effective in the great majority of cases in reducing the symptoms or the acting-out to a tolerable level. Some people who experience psychopathology won’t take their medications (very common among the homeless). It’s only speculation, but maybe he left his wife because she told him he needed help and he didn’t want to hear it. If so, that is not morally blameless on his part.

“This man probably needs help, and should not be persecuted if mental illness was the culprit.” Obviously he needs, and needed, help. As noted above, many who need help refuse it. (I have personally known one such.) How would Clayton have felt, prior to Li’s crime, about having him involuntarily committed for treatment? I can guess. “That’s violating his civil rights! The Russians put dissenters in mental hospitals!”

“A horrible act, but let¹s not be too quick to judge him. It sounds like he just went off the deep end.” After all, nobody’s perfect.

LA replies:

Anyway , it’s absurd. Li is not going to be persecuted. He’s in the hands of the police and he either is going to jail for life or to a mental institution for life.

But the rush to be concerned about “persecution” when there is none is the sure sign of a knee-jerk liberal. I don’t think Clayton is parodying liberalism, though I agree he sure sounds as though he is.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 06, 2008 06:57 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):