Yesterday, former UVA student Otto Warmbier passed away in Cincinnati, just days after he was medically evacuated from North Korea. Warmbier had been imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months, and was in a coma for over a year. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.
Despite the absolutely disproportionate punishment for a relatively minor "crime," many people (before and after Warmbier's death) couldn't help themselves but to gloat over the fact that a white, "frat bro" from an elite college was sentenced to prison.
Behold, some of the more blisteringly-hot takes:
Watch whiteness work. He wasn't a "kid" or "innocent" you can't go to another country and try to steal from them. Respect their laws https://t.co/nmpED7K2SY— Affinity Magazine (@TheAffinityMag) June 19, 2017
"What's your Otto Warmbier hot take?"— Damian Penny (@damianpenny) June 19, 2017
"His white privilege couldn't protect him in North Korea."
"You are like little baby. Watch this." pic.twitter.com/CLxQNq8rdL
Here's EBONY Magazine pushing that loathsome Huffington Post piece as well pic.twitter.com/RZ8w1Dw9XL— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) June 19, 2017
While these takes are all absurd, it's also worth noting that the only "evidence" that North Korea presented against Warmbier is a grainy video featuring a figure in a black sweatshirt. The figure's face is never visible--it's not even clear that it's a man, never mind clearly Otto Warmbier.
Still, despite this "evidence" and an obviously coerced "confession," many people decided to accept the North Korean version of events without question. Warmbier's ethnicity and Greek Life affiliation has nothing to do with the fact that he was still murdered by North Korea and left with such extensive brain damage that he couldn't see or respond to language. That's despicable. Warmbier didn't deserve this treatment, and neither do North Korean's thousands of other political prisoners.