The Why of China’s Recent School Attacks

One writer explains what is going on:

Wan Jia believes the people behind the school attacks are furious, and he can understand why. These days, everyone in China feels a lot of pressure from work, from their families, from themselves to get ahead, he said. People are forced to face problems by themselves, without help from the police or the government. In Wan Jia’s view, the attackers are just the mentally disturbed few who reach a breaking point.

When school shootings take place in the United States, Americans tend to focus on the killers’ psychological problems, trying to find what is aberrant about those particular individuals. When talking about the recent school killings, many people in China point to cracks that run through the foundation of their society. They believe that the stresses that have driven several people to raise knives to children in the last two months are typical of the frustrations of life in China.

“People feel that society is unjust, and when they are treated unfairly, they have no one to go to,” Amani told me when we discussed the school stabbings. “Most people swallow it and swallow it and swallow it, until they can’t anymore.”

–Michelle Tsai, Slate

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