Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Having just read the article Cult of the Killer Nerds by Mr. Johann Hari in your paper The Independent which was published on January 15th 2004, I felt compelled to write to you. I found the article extremely misleading, I find it quite unacceptable that an article of such should be published in a respectable newspaper like yours.
To start with, I am appalled that Mr. Hari would even contemplate the idea that a bunch of mocking high school kids had driven Harris and Klebold to violence. They were not the first to be bullied and they certainly will not be the last. When Hari wrote that ‘some people’ believe that the victims of the massacre ‘deserved to be murdered’ he crossed the line. It was extremely disrespecting to the dead and in my opinion very deluding. Mr. Hari may be trying to give an unbiased argument, but his sympathy towards Harris and Klebold is evident. Bullying may have added onto the many layers of frustration of Harris and Klebold, but it did not cause them to shoot up a school.
While Cassie Bernall may not have been the evangelical angel depicted of her by her ‘cult’ followers, it sickens me to read Mr. Hari cut her down. There are many implications in the article that suggests that Hari believes that Cassie Bernall would have died anyway, regardless of her faith. Does that mean she does not deserve to be commemorated for sticking to her beliefs to the very end? She accepted the fact her death was inevitable and never stopped believing in her faith. Is that not enough to deserve some respect? The mocking alliteration and sarcastic quotation marks around the words “martyr Cassie” is more than enough to let us know that Mr. Hari feels that Cassie Bernall is over celebrated and not worthy of the attention. Cassie Bernall may not have been all that she is glorified to be, but she did not deserve to die. She was a regular student in Columbine High School who went to class everyday so she...