North Korea

Did Otto Warmbier Really Die Because North Korea Denied Him White Privilege?

A look back at what some analysts saw as the teachable moment from an indefensible arrest of an American student abroad.

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LinkedIn, Wikimedia

Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American student imprisoned by North Korea for over a year for attempting to steal a propaganda poster, has died after coming home to Ohio last week. He showed signs of severe brain damage though North Korean officials claimed he had contracted botulism during his imprisonment. His original sentence was 15 years of hard labor but he was released early due to his health. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

He went on to the University of Virginia, and it was during college, in late 2015, that he traveled to North Korea with a Chinese-based tour group.

He was detained at the airport on Jan. 2, 2016, as the group was preparing to leave the country. He was charged with engaging in anti-state activity for allegedly trying to steal a poster from a hotel, and he was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years of hard labor.

His family got only one letter from him after his televised trial. After that, they heard nothing until shortly before June 13, when he was finally flown home.

No official cause of death has been released yet.

A bit over a year ago, as Warmbier's sentence hit the news, some media outlets used it as a teachable moment, though the exact point was never all that clear. On Comedy Central's The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore opined that the lesson was "Frat Bro Privilege not valid in totalitarian dystopias."

"North Korea isn't a playground for college pranks, Kim Jong-un isn't a fictional character from a Seth Rogen movie, and Pyongyang isn't some game you play with Coors Light and Solo cups… It's just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears."

Ebony magazine took things farther, insisting that the takeaway was not about frat-bro privilege but "white privilege." In a story reprinted from the site Kinfolk Kollective, the author LaSha argued:

I'm willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea's history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege. When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you're invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you….

What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

As I've said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I'm unwelcome and violating their laws.

I suppose there are many lessons Americans, foreigners, and even (or especially) North Koreans might draw from the grimly concluded saga of Otto Warmbier. But given his suffering at the hands of arguably the most-despotic regime left on the planet and what doctors called "extensive loss of brain tissue" resulting in his being in a "state of unresponsive wakefulness," talking about white privilege or fraternity hijinks gone seems wrong pretty far down the list. As with the shooting of Reps. Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise, tragic and unpredictable events often seem to bring out the worst in people, especially when the go-to interpretive frame is highly political or ideological and devoid of empathy.

In 2015, Reason's Todd Krainin interviewed North Korean defector Yeonmi Park about her escape from that prison-state.

NEXT: The Hearing Protection Act and 'silencers'

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  1. As with the shooting of Reps. Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise,

    HOW IS GABBY FORMED?

  2. Ebony can lick my white ass.

    What a bunch of jerks.

    1. That article was straight up racist.

      1. Blacks don’t object to racism. They object to whites.

        1. …and not a hint of irony. You racist fuck.

        2. How in the heck can you bring up something that Wilmore and Ebony said a year ago, when Otto was healthy and unmolested. North Korea usually treats America prisoners exceptionally well because they are like money in the bank. At this point, it is unclear what happened to Otto, but the end of the matter does not change the beginning of the story.
          We know that innocent Blacks are seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent Whites. It is 50% more likely that a Black person convicted of murder is innocent, than a White person is innocent. That Whites see the justice system differently is understandable and that is all privilege is, an expectation that others don’t have.

          This is not to say that a Black student would not have attempted to take a poster home too. The difference is the Black student would not really have expected America to rescue them and a Black student would have attempted to talk himself out of trouble. 7 year old Erica Pratt waited 24 hours after her kidnapping for someone to rescue her and when the cops didn’t show up, she rescued herself. Same with Brittany Diggs. None of us know what Otto thought would happen when he took the poster. Most likely he did not think that he would get caught. We can be pretty sure that Otto, like Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Samuel Du Bose, never imagined that a minor offense would cost them their lives. I am very, very sorry that this young man, died for something as trivial as a $3 poster.

          1. Wtf? You are one racist son of a bitch.

          2. “We know that innocent Blacks are seven times more likely to be convicted of murder than innocent Whites.”
            Source? Sounds like bullshit. And don’t try to make some false equivalence between a truly innocent person being convicted and some prisoner freed from death row because the jury didn’t get to hear enough about how society ruined his childhood.

            1. But we know that non-innocent blacks are eight times more likely to murder somebody.

          3. The North Koreans claimed that Otto contracted botulism and went into a coma after they gave him a sleeping pill. American doctors have completely debunked these claims, so why should we believe the North Koreans claim that he took a propaganda poster. North Korea is an enemy of the United States, and all Americans are potential enemies regardless of their race.

            Too many Americans have naive understandings of communist dictators. For instance, Colin Kaepernick praised Fidel Castro for providing “free education,” that is, free propaganda designed to intimidate students into supporting the communist dictator, who tortures and murders all dissenters. The North Korean dictator also provides “free education” and we are all getting a free education from their latest atrocity.

      2. Pretty much what you’d expect from a publication that has “Kollective” in the title.

  3. Awww, Larry Wilmore was just pissed off because he already knew affirmative action wasn’t going to save his job.

    But, hey: at least he got to see the white boy get it.

    1. I hope you weren’t driving when you posted that comment, Brian, or humping a fat chick.

  4. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church,

    Um… nobody ever saw that, because it didn’t happen that way. The cops sent somebody out to grab something to feed him because they a) are under obligation to feed prisoners, otherwise they open themselves up to getting a confession thrown out on the basis that he was coerced by food deprivation, and b) he was being held in a conference room in a building without food service facilities while the FBI were on the way to take over custody. The idea that he was somehow granted a special privilege is a myth, and this Ebony writer a hack.

    This situation does, however, point out why the concept of “white privilege” is flawed. It’s simply “majority privilege,” and the same dynamic exists in the other direction for white people in Asian majority or black majority societies as for black minority populations in white majority societies. Thus why a white boy can’t catch a break in Korea. The choice to label it as “white” was a conscious attempt by the framers of the concept to take an obvious thing — that minorities are generally at a disadvantage to majority members in any society — and weaponize it as some sort of unique creature of “Toxic whiteness” as a way of attacking this particular majority. If it was really something unique to whiteness it wouldn’t disappear the minute a white person left the country.

    1. My sympathy for non-whites bitching about their perception of being treated unfairly is now zero. Fucking whiners. I would say a white fatty uggo has it far worse than the average black man or woman.

      And let’s turn then into a survey. Here’s your choice. You can choose to be a white fatty uggo, or a moderately attractive black person. What do YOU choose fellow commentariat?

      1. If I live in North Korea, an Asian fatty ungo, please.

      2. There is a famous anecdote featuring Winston Churchill and the British politician Bessie Braddock…Supposedly Braddock encountered an intoxicated Churchill and said “Sir, you are drunk.” He replied:

        And you, Bessie, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly.

        That’s a no brainer bro.

      3. I would venture to guess that most of us here ARE white fatty uggos, and are comfortable as such.

        1. Yeah, but we’re dudes. So that doesn’t matter if you have money. Chicks still gotta be thin and hot.

          1. Not all of us are dudes (okay, maybe the inner circle here is). It’snot easy but you can still have a life worth living even if you’re a female white fatty uggo.

    2. Solidly in the “can’t tell if they’re serious or joking” category. Guy gets the death penalty but they cherry-pick some detail from mars about him getting junk food.

      If he was a black guy they probably would’ve complained that it was burger king instead of macdonalds.

      1. and they would have called it racist if they took a black man to KFC

        1. You would take a Black man to Popeye’s, silly.

    3. “Apparently, Dylann wasn’t taken directly to a police station after being arrested during a traffic stop in Shelby, NC. It has been reported that officers with the Shelby Police Department arrested him and strapped him in a bulletproof vest. They were also sympathetic when Dylann complained of hunger. So, they took him to Burger King and bought him a free meal so he could eat when he arrived at the station. Although many have questioned whether the seemingly unbelievable claim is satirical, it has been confirmed that it is not reports NOLA.”

      He was TAKEN to Burger King. http://www.inquisitr.com/21951…..rger-king/

      1. Your source is bullshit, like your reading comprehension. Your source (notorious fake news peddler The Inquisitr) claims that the statement “Police bought him food from a nearby Burger King. ” is confirmation that he was taken to BK. “Food from,” not “taken to.” Food from directly implies he was NOT taken there, but the food was taken FROM the BK and brought to him. Your source flat out claims the quote says something it does not — should be a clue its BK story is BS. Be better than this.

    4. There is white privilege. If you are an Asian born and raised in Asia with a college degree from an Asian university, you’ll be lucky to even find a job in America. If you are an American born and raised in America with an American college degree, get an internal transfer or simply apply for a job in Asia and you get double or triple the pay of locals. If you don’t know this get a passport.

      1. If your American college degree is in Women’s Studies, no, you won’t find an Asian job, no matter how white you are. Why would anybody want to hire you for that? For Asians, what you need to find an American job is a degree or skill they can’t find easily in the US. Good programmers from India are all over Silicon Valley. True, an American degree from an ivy league school in the sciences, engineering, or business is often overrated both in America and abroad, but it’s not about whiteness. It’s reputation. A black guy from MIT is going to get considered for jobs that a white dude from Bumfuck Community College is never going to get.

      2. If you’re Asian, born in the US with a US degree, on the other hand, you experience the lowest amount of unemployment in the country.

        I’ll bet that an ethnically Chinese person, born in the US with a US degree would command similar rates in Asia. It’s the prestige of the American degree that matters, not the color of the skin. You seem to be missing that little factor in your rant.

  5. All I know is as long as the guy was in North Korea with their socialized medicine he was alive, as soon as he comes back to the US with its lack of socialized medicine he dies. You think that’s just a coincidence?

    1. Actually, I am surprised with the level of healthcare in NK. They were able to hold the poor guy as long as possible and were able to tell when it was time to get him back to the US before he died in custody.

      1. I’m sure the healthcare is quite good if you’re a member of the political elite or someone they “care” about.

      2. Its like people who quit smoking and then get cancer immediately.

        NK kept torturing him, which kept him alive. Once he got back the USA where he was not tortured, he died.

  6. “I suppose there are many lessons Americans, foreigners, and even (or especially) North Koreans might draw from the grimly concluded saga of Otto Warmbier. But given his suffering at the hands of arguably the most-despotic regime left on the planet and what doctors called “extensive loss of brain tissue” resulting in his being in a “state of unresponsive wakefulness,” talking about white privilege or fraternity hijinks gone seems wrong pretty far down the list.”

    Ignoring Ebony’s racism, I don’t think the first example was focused on ‘fraternity hijinks’ as much as the false assumption that the Norks would treat such (accused) activities in a civilized manner.
    What sort of preparation did this guy have for a trip to probably THE most despotic and paranoid country? Did those who organized the trip explain that jokes are capital offenses there? This ain’t a trip to nasty Uncle Harry’s where he might take a pot shot at you with birdshot if you poach in his bass lake. The Nork government will imprison you or kill you without a second thought if YOU break THEIR norms, and YOU had better know what those norms are. The folks who grab you are concerned with their own basic survival; they don’t care about YOUR norms.
    There is a ‘teachable moment’ here: Learn about where you are going on a lark and learn what the government there might do to keep you from coming back alive.
    Sympathy is in short supply here.

    1. Reminds me of those three Americans hiking near the Iraq / Iran border who the Iranians captured for trespassing. We all know it was to tweak America’s nose, and they would have done nothing more than fine them and send them away under other circumstances.

      The real lesson is as you say: going to North Korea in the first place and expecting it to be Disney in the second place. You’ve got to be some kind of either die-hard (!) fanatic or pig-ignorant naive little snowflake to think that any of these countries are easy to visit. Sorry he’s dead, sorry those three hikers spent a year (?) in Iranian jail, but they were apparently too damned dumb for their own good.

      1. Scarecrow Repair & Chippering|6.20.17 @ 12:09AM|#
        “Reminds me of those three Americans hiking near the Iraq / Iran border who the Iranians captured for trespassing. We all know it was to tweak America’s nose, and they would have done nothing more than fine them and send them away under other circumstances.”
        They were all ‘students’ in such majors as ‘conflict resolution’ in their late twenties at the time; AFAIK, they are still warming chairs at Cal.
        One (the woman) tried peddling a ‘performance act’ relating to the incarceration. The SF Chron (natch) had a lefty intern write it up; it was pathetic in the puff-piece and was never heard from again. Hope Mommy or Daddy are still paying the tuition.

        “The real lesson is as you say: going to North Korea in the first place and expecting it to be Disney in the second place…..”
        I’m considering travel to some Silk Road cities; research suggests you might want to be ‘careful’ in some of them. Trade made the world prosperous and increased civility, but didn’t remove banditry. Good government can, but absent that, you’d best ‘carebefull’. Bad government can increase banditry or worse; you might want to find the ‘fixers’ before you go there.

      2. Or Nick Berg, the free spirited hippie gamboling and frolicking through occupied Iraq.

        1. Anyone remember the girl who got run over by an Israeli tank she stood in front of to protest the destruction of Palestine squatter housing in Israel? Doesn’t anyone want to invoke HER “white privilege”?

          1. her kosher privilege…

          2. I think the tank invoked IT’S privilege. And weighing dozens of tons, it’s orivelige won.

        2. Nick Berg was almost certainly some sort of intelligence asset….

    2. There is a ‘teachable moment’ here: Learn about where you are going on a lark and learn what the government there might do to keep you from coming back alive.
      Sympathy is in short supply here.

      Seriously, go fuck yourself.

      There is literally zero evidence he did anything. One of his main travel partners said while he was not with him every minute, nothing in his behavior indicated he did anything. They were together a lot and he was nothing but a polite kid.

      Why do you ASSUME that he even did what he is accused of? North Korea’s long history of honesty?

      Yeah, dude tortured to death for no reason. He probably had it coming.

      What a fucking asshole you are.

      1. I thought there was video tape of him stealing the poster.

        1. There were government recreations. Not actual footage.

          1. They went to that much trouble? Weird.

            1. To paraphrase Vice, nothing normal happens in North Korea. Ever.

      2. He visited a country that’s known for paranoia, hatred of the US, and treating its’ people like dog-shit.

        You can ASSUME that he was an idiot based on that one singular fact. Y

        Fuck going to N Korea. Fuck going to Venezuela, Fuck going to Iran. You simply do not go to places where their government hates yours.

        Oh, and I had a job that included dealing with Venezuela. My boss wanted me to travel there, and I declined. You see, I’m smart enough to understand that you don’t travel to countries with dictatorships.

    3. >>>Ignoring Ebony’s racism

      impressive feat on its own.

    4. So we’re just taking North Korea’s word that he tried to steal anything at all? I’m pretty sure that NK would be more than happy to fabricate any reason whatsoever to detail an American because, in their view, they are clearly working for the CIA even if they aren’t. Why do you think they tortured the guy? It wasn’t for giggles, it was because they ‘knew’ he was working for the U.S. government.

      Any story they feed us on the ‘why’ is fabricated in all probability, or at the very least a pretext.

      And yet most media outlets are like ‘yeah, ok, North Korea wouldn’t lie to us would they?’ and run with the narrative provided by a literal mass-murdering dictator. This is exactly what I would expect from these pukes.

      1. Rules for life:

        1> Never believe anything that NKorea says.
        2> Never travel to NKorea.

  7. Yo, fuck Larry Wilmore. And fuck LaSha too. Fuck them both with a rusty North Korean bayonet.

    1. nah, they’d probably like it…

  8. Leftists defend communist dictatorship and virtue signal about made-up ‘white privilege’. Sounds like another day ending in a ‘Y’.

    1. I like my days to end in “Y-not”

  9. I will freely admit: I would have been this kid a few years ago. Being the kid to steal the sign would be the accomplishment of a lifetime. You don’t know at that age that North Korea is the shithole it really is. It’s the country run by fat people with funny haircuts

    And go fuck yourself Larry Wilmore. Your one moment was calling out Obama for drone bombing. Your show failed because you’re a hack

    1. Did he really steal anything though? Or was it a trumped up charge?

      1. Who the hell knows?

      2. My guess has always been that he took a photo of a sign, thus “stealing” the image.

        1. Hey, it was their “intellectual property”, right?

  10. Hmmmm so I find it so interesting that you are using articles that were posted over a year ago. Now that he has died he has all of a sudden become a little angel, who is just a victim of circumstance. We have rules and laws here too and are very quick to point out someone else’s wrongdoing, even if it doesn’t apply to the situation at hand. Oh the times I have read “he should have obeyed the law and he would’nt have gotten shot” or ” he was still a thug who smoked weed” or “where were the parents” or “clean up your community and stop black on black crime first” and so on and so on. So I say he got everything he was asking for by going to North Korea. I don’t even care about the sign stealing I just don’t understand the need to go where you aren’t wanted. The state department is very thorough in their travel warnings. I would think the tour company was too. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and that goes for here in the U.S. and abroad.

    1. Hey, if everyone knows the police in his country all hate black people, then every time a black person commits a traffic violation, he’s basically asking to be killed, right?

      1. If you presume that the US is the same as NK, then yes, you’re right.

        If, instead, you believe that NK is a tyrannical clusterfuck and that the US is a country that supports freedom and guarantees due process; then no.

        Does the US actually live up to its ideals? No. But, on its worst day, the US still has infinitely more justice and due process than NK on its best day. That’s why visiting NK as an American is pretty damn stupid. That’s also why, if US record on justice was similar to NK’s, I would have left already or supported the uprising that got things back on track..

      2. “…every time a black person commits a traffic violation, he’s basically asking to be killed…”

        No, he’s not asking to be killed, but he is taking a much greater risk than a white American committing a traffic violation.

    2. You wouldn’t have read that here.

    3. Hmmmm so I find it so interesting that you are using articles that were posted over a year ago. Now that he has died he has all of a sudden become a little angel, who is just a victim of circumstance. We have rules and laws here too and are very quick to point out someone else’s wrongdoing, even if it doesn’t apply to the situation at hand.

      We have ZERO evidence he “broke any rules”.

      And you’re fucking justifying them leaving the guy braindead because he allegedly stole a poster?

      Jesus, when did you decide to forfeit your humanity?

      1. We also have zero evidence he didn’t break any rules. That of course assumes that his roommate holds roughly the same credibility as the accusers.

        Anyway, where do you read that blahblah was “justifying them leaving the guy braindead…”? It’s just not there. You’re imagining stuff. He’s not justifying it or saying the punishment/treatment was appropriate.

        In fact, the point is that it isn’t fair/reasonable/appropriate. Blahblah’s point is that when you’re an American, it’s probably a bad idea to go visit a country ruled by a tyrannical despot who hates nothing more than America. To the extent that his treatment was inhumane, unfair, unjust, inappropriate, awful, etc… it’s also exactly what an American should expect from NK.

        1. We also have zero evidence he didn’t break any rules. That of course assumes that his roommate holds roughly the same credibility as the accusers.

          How would you prove you didn’t do something?

          And unless the roommate has ADMITTED to kidnapping Japanese citizens for no reason (showing that “breaking the rules” isn’t needed for them to do what they want to you), then the roommate has markedly more credibility than the accusers.

          Anyway, where do you read that blahblah was “justifying them leaving the guy braindead…”? It’s just not there. You’re imagining stuff. He’s not justifying it or saying the punishment/treatment was appropriate.

          The quote:
          Now that he has died he has all of a sudden become a little angel, who is just a victim of circumstance. We have rules and laws here too and are very quick to point out someone else’s wrongdoing, even if it doesn’t apply to the situation at hand.

          More, from that same post you apparently didn’t read:
          So I say he got everything he was asking for by going to North Korea. I don’t even care about the sign stealing I just don’t understand the need to go where you aren’t wanted. The state department is very thorough in their travel warnings. I would think the tour company was too. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and that goes for here in the U.S. and abroad.

          Provide a nicer explanation than mine.

          You and he are both pulling the old “She was asking for it. Did you see what she was wearing?” argument.

          1. Anyone who believes a single word that comes from the ruling party in North Korea, because they have ‘credibility’, is a laughable retard and should probably be shipped over there to see first hand how ‘justice’ works in a Dictatorship that starves it’s own citizens to death when they aren’t actively shooting them and putting them into mass graves.

            Fuck anyone who apologizes for North Korea’s behavior, or even tries to justify it. They are the enemy, full stop. Kim might as well call himself Lil’ Hitler at this point.

            1. Does you comment imply that I believe a word from NK, think they have credibility, apologize for them, or justify their action?

              For absolute clarity, I don’t. I agree with your take on them. We know that’s what they are. As long as the current regime is in power, it’s folly to expect anything else.

          2. “How would you prove you didn’t do something?” Yep! That’s the point. In the US we respect that kind of stuff. In NK, they don’t.

            “Provide a nicer explanation than mine.” Already did. There’s still nothing in blahblah’s comment that would be considered “justifying”. I read those quotes several times. Because I was trying to see where you imagine this justification… it’s not there. NK’s actions aren’t justified or justifiable The point is that NK is a place where that is the norm. Blahblah is saying it’s a fucked up place that doesn’t respect any reasonable concepts of justice and human rights. So don’t go there expecting those things.

            No, it’s not a “did you see what she was wearing” argument. When you ignore a bunch of (literal) warning signs and wander into a minefield, getting blown up is a reasonably anticipated consequence. Whether or not it’s wrong to use mines is irrelevant.

            1. In countries that have an appreciation for human rights and justice, we understand that “she was asking for it” isn’t a reasonable defense. NK is not one of those countries.

              The point isn’t whether someone in the US considers it a reasonable defense. The point is that NK does (metaphorically). So, in the US, you can relatively confidently go around wearing what “she was wearing”; in NK you can’t.

              This doesn’t excuse NK. It acknowledges that NK is completely fucked up.

    4. This was Fat Boy-Un’s way of “getting America” by “getting an American”. People who don’t understand freedom and America think that by hurting an American, you hurt America.

      Its the same as us losing a President or other political figure. In America, we just get another one.

      In tyrantland, they cannot do that because their socialist states are run by very few replacements.

      Please, Fat Boy-Un, torture and incapacitate Dennis Rodman so we can discuss how not stupid he was for going there and his black privilege was not the cause of this.

  11. North Korea is probably the only country in East and Southeast Asia that white privilege doesn’t exist. In other Asian countries, by being white, you get a job that pays you double or triple that of a local, you live in expat bubbles where you segregate yourself from anything Asian, and you prove you’re not a racist by picking up as many Asian females as possible.

      1. Fuck off, cuck

        1. Yikes! Did he piss in your Corn Flakes or something?

        2. Cuck is a moron’s insult.

          1. Or is it cuck?

              1. Exactly what a cuck would say.

                Comrade?

      2. Hah

        “Take all the wiminz!”

    1. Sounds like fun until you encounter the multicultural vaginal hygiene situations.

      1. Well, we found the actual racist.

        1. Or is he a ‘culturist’ since he was referring to a cultural norm rather than a racial characteristic that cannot be changed? Unless the implication is that some races are just unable to wash themselves thoroughly?

          1. if I get the creeping crud from some Asian woman is is that cultural appropriation?

    2. Sh-
      Go on…
      Newsletter, etc.

    3. you live in expat bubbles where you segregate yourself from anything Asian

      So ‘Americatown’ does exist?!?! Would you mind giving me the rough address? I’ve been to Chinatown in several cities and a couple of Little Italy-s, Brighton Beach, the Ukranian Village, Germantown. Anyway, when I travel abroad, I always wonder if I’m missing the equivalent ‘Americatown’ or if it just doesn’t exist. I know/knew in places where Americans weren’t exactly welcome contractors set up discreet and hardened neighborhoods and I know that more than one American Village has been set up in homage or as a tourist trap but I always wondered about a real, organic Americatown. A place where low-to-middle-class Americans/expats chose to relatively isolate themselves amid a foreign culture. Where they eat beef, play football/baseball, drive oversized cars, speak English, drink beer, and otherwise strive to preserve or recreate American culture in a foreign country.

      1. I wouldn’t try building that anywhere in Japan. Because if you succeeded it would be perpetually overrun with Japanese tourists seeking an authentic American experience.

      2. Well, it’s not current, but can I point you to the “Confederados” of Brazil? Following the American Civil War, some thousands of confederates moved to Brazil to recreate/preserve/whatever the “Southern lifestyle”. Most of the descendants are now mixed race, and the confederate flag has very different associations then it does here.

      3. Expat bubble =/= Americatown. Do you think white expats in Asia speak the local language, eat the local food and live in districts where locals live? You need to get yourself a passport.

    4. Because chicken foot soup doesn’t taste good. That’s why.

    5. You guys make snarky comments but it seems none of you can point out the flaws. Because this is first hand experience in Asia. White privilege exists everywhere. It is ridiculous that some people are trying to deny this. Of course by being white you don’t get to skip the queue or get a free coffee upgrade, but there are definitely more opportunities.

  12. What North Korea did to Otto Warmbier was an indefensible violation of human rights.

    What North Korea did to Otto Warmbier was entirely predictable, given the character of the North Korean regime. His death was similar to the cases where unprepared climbers die on Mount Everest, the inevitable result of many people going to great efforts to do something blatantly stupid.

    Both of those statements are true. He was a dumbass, murdered by monsters.

    1. Agreed. Smart people don’t go to North Korea, Iran, etc.

      Unless you’re a heavily guarded diplomat with an ironclad exit plan, just don’t go there. There is an entire planet you can visit, and there are plenty of other places on Earth where your life or freedom won’t be at risk.

      1. It would have been a bad ass story though.

        I went to North Korea, drank, saw Communist factories and worker’s housing.

        Instead: He went to North Korea, drank, saw Communist factories and worker’s housing and almost got back over the border when he was arrested, tortured, given a show trial, and tortured into a coma, then shipped back to the USA in a box.

    2. Pretty much.

      I have a list of countries on Earth that I simply won’t go to without an armed guard. And seeing as I’m not important enough for an armed guard, that basically means “simply won’t go to”.

      There are horrible places in the world that do horrible things. And you’re an idiot for willingly going to them.

  13. Speaking of left-wing authoritarians abusing their power, Judicial Watch FOIA request for records related to Susan Rice’s unmasking of US persons in intercepts has been denied because the records somehow got transferred to the Obama Presidential Library, where they will be sealed for 5 years.

    1. Clearly nothing to see there.

    2. Can’t Trump just unseal them? I don’t see how the one person who is ultimately in charge of classifying things cannot declassify this.

      1. The bureaucrats are not going to tell Trump he can do a lot of things.

        Its about power you see and the bureaucrats don’t want Trump to have any.

      2. I don’t see how the one person who is ultimately in charge of classifying things cannot declassify this.

        Not that you’re wrong but Holy Fuck, the President has to step in to get an FOIA request fulfilled for/from a facility that is TBD and not-exactly/necessarily deigned to store classified information? The only way it could get more retarded is if they transferred them to Sandy Berger’s pants.

  14. As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws.

    How boolean of you.

    1. Not to mention that there’s no evidence Warmbier actually violated any laws. His roommate on the trip recently said it was unlikely. But then, why would we expect a racist to care about due process?

      1. No joke. This constant “He shouldn’t have done that” nonsense is infuriating since there is zero proof he did anything at all.

        It’s like saying “Well, Castile deserved to be shot because the cop said he was going for a gun.”

        Only to Leftie shitholes is benefit of the doubt so readily offered.

        1. Even if he did “steal a poster”. Fat Boy-Un ordered this kid tortured for it.

          I doubt they even torture their own for such an offense. That’s what prison work and education camps are for.

  15. I agree with them. The kid was an idiot and got his Darwin Award. He stole or tried to steal a picture of the Dear Leader from an employee area where he wasn’t supposed to be. If there is a fire they are told their first priority is to save these pictures. This is a country were they execute high ranking officials with 20mm cannons. He wanked the tigers tail and it ate him.

  16. I remember those boys in Thailand who went about vandalizing cars and property. He was sentenced to lashes and Clinton tried to intervene even when most people in the US thought he deserved the full punishment. You step into another country you must observe their laws or pay the price. You know like deportation of illegals who violate our laws.

    1. Wasn’t that Singapore? Or maybe both in different incidents.

    2. Yes Singapore and he was caned.

      As for laws, does North Korea also have laws against murdering prisoners?

      They have also admitted to kidnapping many Japaneses citizens who didn’t willingly enter their shithole. North Korean agents literally rode boats across the Sea of Japan and grabbed people off the beach in order to enslave them or steal their identities etc. Seriously evil motherfuckers.

      Singapore’s laws are presumably the will of a majority of Singaporeans (more or less). North Korea is under the heel of a gang of thugs with no moral rights to make or enforce laws.

      1. So it’s just like every other country.

      2. I already mentioned the privileged white chick protesting for Palestinian rights who stood in front of an Israeli tank and got creamed. Now I have to mention the white chick who followed her Shining Path boyfriend to Peru and promptly got thrown in jail by the authorities who wouldn’t let her plead the Fifth Amendment and didn’t respect her Fourth Amendment rights nor her right to an attorney.

        1. White privilege or American privilege?

        2. cis white male privilege.

          1. nothing but the best for us…crap for the rest of you…

      3. “… does North Korea also have laws against murdering prisoners?”

        Even money the answer is ‘no.’

  17. Nick writes this:

    But given his suffering at the hands of arguably the most-despotic regime left on the planet and what doctors called “extensive loss of brain tissue” resulting in his being in a “state of unresponsive wakefulness,” talking about white privilege or fraternity hijinks gone seems wrong pretty far down the list.

    Perfect!

    And then this (in the same paragraph)

    As with the shooting of Reps. Gabby Giffords and Steve Scalise, tragic and unpredictable events often seem to bring out the worst in people, especially when the go-to interpretive frame is highly political or ideological and devoid of empathy.

    Ughh. Leave it alone for a breath or two.

  18. Nick, FFS, do NOT use that annoying Obama term ‘teachable moment’. It’s trite and meaningless.

    1. Do you not understand how dog whistles work?

  19. There IS tourism in North Korea. In fact, Hyundai operated a resort in Mt Kumgang. In 2008 a Nork soldier shot and killed a Korean tourist there for wandering into a “restricted zone”.

    So….. what the heck is Ebony and Salon blabbing about? Why would they think Otto was drunk on white privilege and snuck into North Korea? The Chinese tour group lied to them? And almost all of the victims of North Korea abductions are assuredly non white (Japanese, South Koreans) and many are still missing.

    I never realized how deadly serious this “white privilege” business is to these snowflakes. Reality Winner thought she could get off easy before a judge by “acting white and pretty”. That’s beyond delusion, it’s just something else entirely. And they project it onto some totally random things.

    It’s human nature to “privilege” either your own culture or images of success or beauty. The modern world came from western society and it had a tremendous influence on Asia. The racists in Korea and Japan will ultimately prefer white English teachers because they hail from superpower nations. “But all cultures are beautiful” the SJWs will say, and that’s true in a way. But winners build prosperous societies and influence discourse. The losers are stuck in places like Venezuela and their mistakes will be dramatized and sensationalized by the white media and Hollywood.

    That’s not fair, but that’s just a fact.

    1. “The racists in Korea and Japan will ultimately prefer white English teachers because they hail from superpower nations.”

      Nonsense. These racists like white skin and blonde hair. They don’t give a damn whether or not they hail from superpower nations. Attractive teachers from small nations such as New Zealand can easily fit in.

      “Why would they think Otto was drunk on white privilege and snuck into North Korea?”

      They probably think Otto was a fool who assumed the American Embassy would look out for him. The whole white privilege thing is likely to draw your attention and stir up the usual identity politics. You don’t have to fall for it every time, do you?

      1. Then they are total idiots and are unaware we have no embassy. Americans who travel there work with, I believe, the Swedish embassy (I.e let them know when they get there, etc).

        1. It wouldn’t surprise me if Trump himself was unaware of the fact there was no American embassy or American marines stationed there.

      2. “They don’t give a damn whether or not they hail from superpower nations.”

        Except they almost certainly do. Their educational background (elite colleges) will count too. New Zealand (or Canada) is not some obscure nation to most Asians. A good amount of Asians attend schools in New Zealand.

        Yes, racist Asians will prefer white aesthetic by default. But if a Korean recruiter interviewed 30 white males with blond hairs, he’ll instantly categorize every one of them based on any number of factors. If someone said “I think dope should be legal” then his chances of teaching English at a Korean school might be only slightly worse than an obese black guy who can speak fluent Korean.

        Of course they’re trying to stir up identity politics with the white privilege nonsense, which is why they need to called out. If your son was killed by a north Korean dictator and the internet said “haha his white privilege didn’t save him” you’d probably cry or something.

        1. your idea of a super power is New Zealand? coz a few Asians study there? Wow, I remember the days when superpower actually meant something.

          ” If your son was killed by a north Korean dictator and the internet said “haha his white privilege didn’t save him” you’d probably cry or something.”

          Yes, I probably would cry. But not over what some magazine wrote. Free speech, remember?

  20. Classy as always, Ebony

  21. White privilege is awesome. Why, just this morning, there was a huge line at Starbucks. Fortunately, they were all colored folk. I just shoved my way to the front of the line, all the while sorting, “White guy coming through” then demanded free coffee and got it! When I got to work, I told my boss, another colored folk, that white man didn’t feel like working today. He very graciously told me he understood, its no problem, then brought me a martini.

    1. There is an Eddie Murphy skit on this.

      1. Here ya go:

        White Like Me

    1. I’m familiar with her work.

      I assume the lucrative work-from-home opportunity you’re talking about is her popular “Handjobs for Hobos”webcast, right? I’m glad to hear she’s earning an actual paycheck from it, especially since she used to just trade her “services” for little baggies of meth. It’s nice to see she’s moved up while she still has most of her teeth, and is now making a living doing something she obviously enjoys!

      I’m looking forward to her next show, but please tell her to get those genital warts looked at soon; they seem to be getting worse.

    1. Your best friend’s wife is white, isn’t she?

  22. We’re all assuming that the Norks and their grainy and unclear video evidence shows what they claim. And the North Koreans aren’t some rattlesnake that this guy supposedly poked, these were human beings who knew full well what they were doing was a whole lot of wrong. Warmbier didn’t get bit by a mindless animal which he should have known not to mess with. They deserve everyone’s scorn, as do (to a significantly less extent) the opportunistic race baiters Gillespie quotes here.

  23. That all of these Progressive voices just completely believed North Korea is a bit depressing. No chance that country will lie about shit. No sir.

  24. Did Otto Warmbier Really Die Because North Korea Denied Him White Privilege?
    I want to hear the lefty rags admit that Communist North Korea tortured an American kid over stealing a poster. I want them to admit black privilege of Dennis Rodman going to NK multiple times as an American and does whatever he wants including meeting Fat Boy-Un.

    Sanders is a socialist and he wants to control the economy, increase government power and control what you do.

    That’s right boyz (at Ebony) and girls, socialism is tyranny and don’t ever forget it!

    If anything its American privilege because other countries know that Americans don’t cause any real trouble in other countries. We spend money, drink and want to have a good time.

    1. Rodman is a celebrity and he would be protected by his celebrityhood. Otto is and was a nobody, and you see where it got him: tortured and imprisoned while Americans don’t lift a finger to help him. Where he is noticed, it is only to be mocked.

      “If anything its American privilege because other countries know that Americans don’t cause any real trouble in other countries.”

      There are American prisoners in countries such as China and North Korea. They aren’t celebrities so we ignore them.

      1. Would you prefer military action? There isn’t a ton we can do without using a shit ton of troops to make happen.

        1. “There isn’t a ton we can do without using a shit ton of troops to make happen.”

          You think a shit ton of troops could have saved Otto’s life? He’s just not famous enough.

          1. Your commenting on our prisoners in China and North Korea that we “ignore” because “they aren’t celebrities” Indicates that the U.S. is not behaving as you wish. I advised on the limitations on action.

            1. I appreciate that. These limitations are self imposed to a large degree. The Americans could have representation on the ground there if they chose to. An embassy or consulate would do something, presumably. But this would ‘legitimize’ the regime in a way that no American president since the Korean war has been willing to countenance.

              1. Why would we want to deal with a regime with the worst human rights record out there, who has robbed anybody who dealt with them and cannot be trusted?

                1. “Why would we want to deal with a regime with the worst human rights record out there, who has robbed anybody who dealt with them and cannot be trusted?”

                  When has that stopped us before? You think the return of the comatose prisoner wasn’t the result of dealing with the regime, bad human rights record and all? Actually, this could be considered a conciliatory gesture on the part of the regime. It could develop into something of a thaw in relations, given the new president in the south and Trump’s malleability on just about any issue.

                  1. “It could develop into something of a thaw in relations, given the new president in the south and Trump’s malleability on just about any issue.”

                    Not likely. South Korea tried an official appeasement approach with their “sunshine policy” which failed to achieve anything significant. North Korea let Hyundai to run resort in their territory and South Korean teachers and missionaries are allowed to teach in their schools (under state supervision).

                    Kim was likely advised by the Chinese to release Otto before he (thoroughly unhinged) can escalate the situation further. The Norks and Chinese aren’t happy about THAAD installment in the ROK. Kim is sending drones down south and missile tests are still ongoing. There’s no “thaw” in relations there, it’s actually worse than ever.

                    1. “Not likely. South Korea tried an official appeasement approach with their “sunshine policy” which failed to achieve anything significant. ”

                      It failed because George W. Bush wanted it to fail.

                      “Kim was likely advised by the Chinese to release Otto before he (thoroughly unhinged) can escalate the situation further.”

                      CNN, right? It’s not hard to spot a CNN viewer.

                      “The Norks and Chinese aren’t happy about THAAD installment in the ROK. ”

                      Neither are the South Koreans. It seems that only the Americans are happy about unloading this white elephant onto poor south korea.

                      “There’s no “thaw” in relations there, it’s actually worse than ever.”

                      It’s possible given the new president of the south, who is himself a communist, as I’m sure you know. And these Koreans, north and south, are sneaky, unfair people who will do their best to take advantage of Uncle Sam. Their minions have already burrowed their way into the august halls of Ebony Magazine, one of our nation’s most revered Black Power institutions.

                    2. It failed because George W. Bush wanted it to fail.

                      This is a country that just randomly kidnapped numerous Japanese citizens and took them to North Korea. The citizens weren’t IN North Korea…they just went out and took them.

                      This is a country that has stolen from any country that deals with them.

                      These issues didn’t begin with Bush. They fucked over Clinton as well, in case you have forgotten.

                      I love that North Korea being an evil shit of a state and nobody being able to get along with them is, somehow, Bush’s fault.

                      We know you don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t have to keep demonstrating that.

                    3. The South Koreans seem ready to deal with the North. And they’ve been ready to deal with them in the past until Americans stopped them. If Trump can deal with states like Israel and Saudi Arabia and China, he can do North Korea.

                    4. If Trump can deal with states like Israel and Saudi Arabia and China, he can do North Korea.

                      You’re seriously comparing Israel to North Korea?

                    5. Why not? A rogue state is a rogue state, even if Jews live there.

      2. I would not support military action to save Rodman from his own delusion.

        Rodman is being used by Fat Boy-Un and Rodman thinks he is doing some humanitarian mission.

        I dare Rodman to slap Fat Boy-Un and see what happens. In the USA, its battery and a misdemeanor. In NK, its much much worse.

        1. Just last week a cop got off for shooting a man in cold blood because he “feared for his life” after the guy informed him (as a precautionary measure) that he had a concealed carry permit and was armed.

          So I’m not sure your characterization is accurate. If you can argue that you “feared for your life”, you can get away with murder in the US. If you’re a cop, you don’t even have to go that far in most cases.

          1. Maybe. The cop had a trial ad was acquitted.

            I disagree with the verdict and think people defer to police murder way too much but there was Due Process and not some Fat Boy-Un using an AA gun to pulverize his paranoid enemies.

          2. ” If you can argue that you “feared for your life”, you can get away with murder in the US. ”

            Only if you murder with a gun. Imagine if the cop had knifed the guy to death, instead. No way that ‘in fear for one’s life’ defense would work.

            1. I’m not so sure. I’ve seen that defense used by cops who beat people to death.

      3. But Rodman also serves as an example to the gullible that North Korea being run by totalitarians who are insane is simply US propaganda that can be safely ignored by anyone – look, Rodman goes there all the time! Probably safer than DC, right?

    2. Ebony doesn’t seem to spend much energy getting riled up over the endemic racism of Cuba’s ruling junta.

      1. That’s different because reasons…..

        1. Behind every double standard, there’s a single standard.

  25. SOUTH KOREAN PROPAGANDA!!1!1!

    /mtrueman

  26. Yeonmi Park is a fraud who has told differing and contradictory accounts of her story. Who knows what her motives or true story are but there are plenty of genuine refugees to interview.

  27. If nothing else, this story shows who the assholes among us really are. As well as their own unique line of bullshit.

  28. I did stupid stuff when i was a kid but not stupid enough to jump into a snake pit. That said he was probably taught that if they would only talk things out it would be okay. The biggest lie i hear from the left concerning NK or middle east or Russia etc we just need to talk

  29. It was about white privilege, and it was not about white privilege.

    It was white privilege because this white affluent progtard thought he could get away with his frat boy antics while in North Korea. Okay, technically not white privilege, but white affluent progtard frat boy privilege. Yeah, sounds like an oxymoron, but the east coast is choked with these types.

    But it was NOT white privilege as anyone of any color doing the same thing in the same country would have had the same result.

    1. Again, what evidence do we have that he did anything?

      The word of the N Korean government?

      Why is that sacrosanct?

      1. You ever play chess? In answer to white’s pawn to king 4 (e4), I like to respond with the Sicilian Defense and push my queen’s bishop’s pawn up two spaces (c5). This pawn of mine is almost inevitably sacrificed even though there is never any evidence of it having done anything wrong. States treat their citizens as patzers treat their pawns.

      2. Because to racists the object of their racism is inevitably guilty.

      3. The media says so.

        They don’t want too much discussed on this issue because then more Americans would put 2 and 2 together that the left’s socialist agendas are the same as North Korea’s agendas.

    2. The same couldn’t have happened to any color of the rainbow American who went to N. Korea. Lots of journos just want to twist facts to suit their narrative, so they can build their house of cards up to support their already unstable “white privilege” arguments to sell some more subscriptions and get more followers.

    3. So you’re saying this couldn’t happen to a conservatard?

  30. Let’s take a deep breath and stop trying to turn everything into a “teaching moment”. Whether your explanation is “frat boy privilege” or “white privilege” it all sounds like confirmation bias to me.

    Maybe it was “American privilege”. When Americans (white, or black, or whatever) travel abroad the local rules don’t apply to them. They’re citizens of the greatest country in the world — so if it’s OK in the USA that’s all that matters. This explanation works as well as any other, doesn’t it?

    Warmbier’s death is unfortunate. I doubt that was an outcome the North Koreans wanted, which is why they sent him home to die. This isn’t a tragedy. It’s falling off a cliff while taking a selfie.

    All I know about North Korea is that it is run by a madman who has relatives executed by anti-aircraft guns, and will take any opportunity to gain leverage on the US. Warmbier thinks that in a North Korean hotel – used to house foreigners from “enemy” countries (!) – he can steal a poster unobserved! Do we really want to jump on a racial explanation for this? Maybe the eagerness of people to use an isolated event to shore up their prejudices is the real teaching moment.

    1. They wanted to kill him, or he wouldn’t be dead.

      1. You might want to check your work. I think there could be a problem with the logic of your syllogism.

  31. Brits would’ve given the guy more sympathy if he’d been one of theirs. They have a higher tolerance for warm beer. But seriously, what you are seeing is the result of totalitarian brainwashing that convinced the geniuses at Ebony and Comedy Central that the commies’ intentions in jailing and killing the guy simply had to be altruistic, hence good, and that they were only looking out for their peeps. Now, if the current US prez were to legalize electricity for his peeps…

  32. I always got Ebony and Jet mixed up.

    1. All “those” magazines look alike.

  33. A blurry video isn’t evidence that he took the poster. His confession is risible because it is rife with logical holes. How did he get into a restricted area? How did he read a banner that was written in Korean and know it was a propaganda banner? Why steal a banner when you can purchase a propaganda poster at a department store? I could go on, but my lunch hour is running out.

    1. Exactly, the North Koreans want to kill Americans randomly so as to make a point that Westerners will pay, whether they do anything or not.

  34. “tragic and unpredictable”, Nick? Seriously? What happened was an easily foreseeable risk. LaSha was right. No sane person, black or white, from the bottom half, maybe even the bottom four-fifths, would have traveled to this hostile dictatorship and then attempted a crime while there without fear of the worst consequences. Warmbier grew up in privilege?and by that, I mean actual privilege, not “white privilege”?and just assumed that Daddy would always have his back. He thought he was safe because he thought he was ALWAYS safe. Very few who grow up in the real world would be so na?ve as to make such mistakes.

    1. How do you assess the actions taken by the government to get Otto returned? Are you satisfied that the government did everything they could to ensure his safe return? Or even anything at all?

    2. So that means he should die? He had about 0.0001% of the blame here. the other 99.9999 % of the blame is on the North Koreans and the despotic regime that lives off the back of human suffering.

      1. It means he should have seriously considered the possibility that very bad things could happen to him if he went to a very bad place where he wasn’t welcome. The theory that he failed to do so due to his pampered background sure seems plausible to me.

  35. Without naming names let me just say that every commenter here, who has accepted the North Korean version of events at face value has been substantially diminished in my eyes.

    You fucking idiots.

    1. Any time we comment here on current events, we are relying on media reports for the “facts”, and know that very often the reports are just rip-and-read from government sources. It is understood that the validity of our comments depends on the validity of the reports, which is always in question.

      If you assume that North Korean reports are substantially less trustworthy that those from domestic media, you’re the fucking idiot.

      1. Reason has never linked to ‘North Korean reports’ and probably never will.

        1. Have you ever posted a reply that was actually relevant to the comment you were replying to?

          1. Relevance to whatever you wrote is not one of my priorities, so guilty as charged.

      2. 1. Thanks for self identifying. Because, shit that’s just funny.

        2. ” It is understood that the validity of our comments depends on the validity of the reports.” Ordinarily I’d suggest that you ponder the ramifications of your self declared absolute credulity. But, having already recognized your fucking idiocy, I suppose that unproductive if not outright impossible. So I’ll just pity you.

        1. Learn how to fucking read. The sentence says “It is understood that the validity of our comments depends on the validity of the reports, WHICH IS ALWAYS IN QUESTION”. I did not declare absolute credulity. I’m just pointing out that when we comment on reported current events, we necessarily do so with the working assumption that the facts reported are accurate. Among intelligent adults, it goes without saying that the media reports might not be accurate, so prefacing every remark about an event with “if the facts reported in the media are accurate…” would be unnecessary and silly. I would be only mildly surprised to learn that Warmbier doesn’t even exist, let alone that the reported facts of this case are not accurate. Hell, I wouldn’t be all that surprised to learn that Kim Jung-Un does not exist.

  36. Mr. Warmbier’s confession indicated that he would be given a car worth $10,000 in exchange for the banner. Or in the event that he was detained, that his family would be given $200,000. The person who was supposedly the instigator was a member of a different church from Mr. Warmbier’s family. No one has stepped forward to say that he or she instigated this plan, and the pastor of this other church expressed skepticism about the veracity of the account. These are additional improbabilities on top of the ones noted in my previous comment at 2:27 PM. I could say more, but my coffee break is running out.

    1. You actually believe anything that was said by him or the N. Koreans. That guy didn’t do anything, he was framed by the despotic N. Korean government to set an example of what happens to westerners there. Anything he said came from duress of even worse than 15 year starving and busting wrongs in a N. Korean prison. Probably being slowly chopped a little piece at a time in a torture chamber if he didn’t lie in court that he was guilty. The N. Koreans are garbage.

      1. Devastator, I was listing some of the reasons that Mr. Warmbier’s confession was hogwash. I can make a better case that he was set up than I can make the case that he took the banner.

  37. Would it be legal for an American family to offer a reward for the capture of Kim Jung-Un, Dead or Alive?

    1. No.

    2. Perhaps a Kickstarter-like project to fund a reward on capturing Kim Jung-Un would be in order? I’m sure funding a bounty on the NK dictator’s head violate Kickstarter’s ToS somehow, but the idea’s the same. Wave enough cash around and I’m sure any number of his “loyal” guards would be happy to hand over boss-man in chains.

      1. It didn’t work for Bin Laden. The FBI had a $25 million bounty on offer for him for years but there were no takers.

  38. It is interesting that no one speculated, even as a remote possibility, that Mr. Warmbier may have taken a propaganda poster in an attempt to further the American public’s education of the tactics used by the reprobates in power in North Korea.

    So much supposition regarding Mr. Warmbier’s mindset and motives. All of them negative….and all of them racially tainted. Not even a thought that he may have knowingly risked his life – at least his comfort – by committing a crime so that we may live a little less comfortably in the knowledge that millions live like rats under a subway platform in a land that makes Orwell’s Oceania look like paradise.

    I’m going to choose to give Mr. Warmbier the benefit of the doubt and posthumously thank him for his bravery, service and sacrifice. RIP, sir.

  39. I can’t believe anyone, other than maybe Dennis Rodman would even go there, especially from the West. I highly doubt he actually committed any crime. The N. Koreans just randomly imprison people to get attention in the Western media. So basically that make those reporters who “didn’t feel any sympathy” human pieces of shit for wishing death up on a person, because that’s what 15 years in a N. Korean prison is. They should make the world a better place and go visit N. Korea as well and see how well that works out for them.

    1. Feeling sympathy and criticizing him for taking a foolish risk are not mutually exclusive. It’s sad and tragic that he was killed. It was also idiotic for him to go there.

  40. Otto died because he made poor choices that had dire consequences. Consequences that he knew existed. He teased the lion, and the lion ate him.

    The fact that he was inclined to make poor choices is indicative of poor parenting. If you want to blame someone other than Otto (which you shouldn’t, because HE was responsible) , blame his dumbass parents.

    1. I don’t think it’s that simple. Growing up in the milieu that he did, it could be argued that it would not be unreasonable from his point of view to think that The Authorities would always be there to protect him.

  41. It always amazes me that these openly racist magazines never get called out on their bullshit. We are never going to work through our shit if sites like The Root and Breitbart are taken seriously by anybody.

    To the point, though, I don’t have much sympathy for people who end up in these situations. Seriously, don’t fucking go to North Korea or Iran! It’s not a good idea. They hate us, and will lock you up over the most trivial, trumped up shit they can. It’s not like there’s even a lot of cool shit to see in these places. There are safer options that can satisfy your curiosity and still let you leave. When you travel to these places, you are potentially endangering other Americans who might have to come bail your dumb ass out. I say if a citizen knowingly travels to a country we officially advise against, they are on their own if some shit goes down. I’m sorry if this is insensitive to Otto and his family. It’s not meant as a personal attack, and what happened to him is truly sad, but it could have easily been avoided.

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  44. I understand we’re now weighing responses to this kids death, but I’m not sure how this is exactly an international incident. We really have no idea of knowing if he actually did the crime, and the medical evidence doesn’t seem to suggest he was abused. So besides some symbolic gesture that doesn’t mean very much, the only people who think “doing something” is “showing strength” are the people who think you officially become president when you bomb your first country. Am I wrong?

  45. One of the very worst qualities of the ideologue is this drive to contort every event to fit their world view. The one truth we know for sure and for certain is that Warmbier died because of subhuman treatment inflicted on him by that “totalitarian dystopia”. That’s where the focus belongs.

    But no. To these addlepates the only important thing is that North Korea is an enemy of our country. Therefore, any negative about that “totalitarian dystopia” has to be torqued into some negative about us. Better that North Korea somehow come out looking at worst misunderstood while we, always, are “the Great Satan”. It disgusts me to know that I stand under the same flag as these hammerheads. But so be it.

  46. Watching black Democrats and leftists on TV – Jehmu Greene, Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson – would make one virulently racist if it weren’t for the fact that watching white Democrats and leftists – Senator Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham, Hillary Clinton, Governor McAuliffe – shows them to be just as stupid, dishonest, and hideously amoral.

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