Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia college student released just a few days ago after a year and a half of detention in a North Korean prison, sadly passed away this week. He died in the United States, surrounded by loving members of his family. However, his death sentence was effectively put into motion when a North Korean kangaroo court convicted him on phony charges in March 2016 and then sent him away for 15 years of hard labor, languishing alone for much of his time in captivity in a coma.
“Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” the Otto Warmbier’s family said in a statement following his death.
President Trump spoke for millions of Americans, feeling the pain of the Warmbier family’s loss, when he said, “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him.”
Some on the left, however, from the earliest days of Mr. Warmbier’s captivity, have chosen to caricature him as a reckless privileged white frat boy who somehow deserved his fate. Their inhumanity knows no bounds. Even after Otto Warmbier’s tragic death, there have been no apologies from “the American left's cruel character assassins,” as Michelle Malkin calls them.
A blogger for the left-wing Huffington Post, for example, wrote upon learning of North Korea’s sentencing of Mr. Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor that “the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.”
Is the author La Sha suggesting that North Korea is somehow a fairer society than the United States because the white male Warmbier, who identified with the sex he was born with (cis-gendered), had no special “privileges” in North Korea over a transgender female of color? Apparently so. The title of the article is "North Korea Proves Your White Privilege is Not Universal." The author shamelessly compared her plight as a black woman living in the United States to Warmbier’s brutal captivity by a dictatorship that kills its own citizens with impunity, let alone its foreign political prisoners.
The concept of universal human rights for every human being, including the North Korean people barely surviving in Kim Jung-un’s hellhole, eludes the author. It’s all about the “suffering” under white male “supremacy” by this self-described “know-it-all, goofball, revolutionary.”
After left-wing comedian Larry Wilmore mocked Otto Warmbier on his Comedy Central show with epithets such as “ass,” shortly after Mr. Warmbier's capture for allegedly attempting to take a propaganda poster, the left-wing Salon piled on. It applauded Wilmore’s rant and added this taunt: "This might be America's biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea." Salon has pulled that article, but it lives on in the Internet.
Affinity Magazine, which describes itself as a social justice magazine from a teen perspective, tweeted this disgusting comment following Mr. Warmbier’s death: “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”
Affinity removed this particular tweet after facing a torrent of criticism. However, its position that North Korean laws should be respected remains in other posted comments, such as “the punishment was harsh but also you have to respect the laws in other countries.”
Of course, North Korea is not a nation of laws. It is a one man dictatorship that starves its people while feeding its vast repressive military machine, including its nuclear weapons program.
Finally, an article by a writer posting under the name Black Lives Matter in Accredited Times’ online publication is entitled “Otto Warmbier’s Death Shows the Compassion of Dear Leader Kim Jong-un.” The title appears to be so ridiculous one would think it is a satire piece, but it isn’t. Here is an excerpt:
“Warmbier, a capitalist, had attempted to steal a sign stating, ‘Let’s arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il’s patriotism!’. Kim Jong-il, a beloved hero who led North Korea to become an economic tiger of Asia, served as Dear Leader of North Korea from 1994 until his death in 2011. His son, Kim Jong-un, currently serves as Dear Leader of the democratic country.
Warmbier’s exact intentions remain unclear, but he appears to have been a capitalist agent prodded to commit the crime by imperialist aggressors from the United States government…
Although Warmbier’s crimes were serious, North Korea’s highest court exercised leniency, sentencing the American imperialist to just 15 years of hard labor on March 16, 2016. According to North Korean authorities, after Warmbier contracted botulism while serving his sentence, Dear Leader Kim Jong-un personally intervened and allowed the American criminal to be released despite his crimes. Warmbier returned to Cincinnati, Ohio on June 13, 2017, serving just fifteen months of his sentence, and died of neurological complications on June 19, 2017. The world applauded Dear Leader Kim Jong-un for his mercy and compassion.”
Just as the North Korean regime has dehumanized its own people and those locked up in its torture chamber prisons, too many on the left dehumanize those whom they use as pawns in their endless propaganda war against Western democratic values. Their targets are not just their political foes. Their targets include someone like Otto Warmbier, whose innocent blood is on the hands of the North Korean regime and, by extension, its apologists.