US Commentator Persecutes Indonesian Woman

Some time ago, I decided to stop writing blog entries that simply mocked the ramblings of wingnuts; it’s a crowded field, and others have greater gifts for satirical putdowns than I. Also, I try to keep editorialising to a minimum – readers don’t need to be spoonfed, and if they can’t figure out for themselves why certain things are undesirable or deplorable, I doubt that a comment from me will change their views. There’s also an element of “bear craps in wood” to reporting a lot of this kind of thing.

However, sometimes I come across something so beyond decency that it cannot be passed over, which brings me, like thousands of others, to the subject of Debbie Schlussel. Yesterday Schlussel decided to harass a young Indonesian woman who goes online by the name of “Eldarossell”. The reason was that Eldarossell had put on Flickr a number of innocuous photographs of family and friends, including a South Korean who had taken the name of “Ismail” in order to make it easier for Indonesians to address him. Schlussel suggested that this friend was in all likelihood the V-Tech mass murderer, and she strongly inferred that Eldarossell had removed the picture for some suspicious reason. As further evidence of the supposedly sinister connection, Schlussel decided to repost another picture from Eldarossell’s collection, showing a cousin – a smiling young woman who happens to wear Islamic dress.

Of course, Schlussel’s tedious and distasteful “look at me” antics are well-known and unremarkable, but I don’t think I have seen such an egregious example of unwarranted bullying and irresponsible incitement on the internet from someone who apparently enjoys some sort of serious standing. However, it seems that Eldarossell can stand up for herself, and she left a comment which shows much more class and intelligence than anything produced by the professional commentator who decided to persecute her:

This morning after finished read the VT Tech incident in the local newspaper, I checked my email. And it was full of messages regarding the speculation whether I knew the VT Shooter or not. That was because a picture that I put on Flickr had the similarity to the murderer.

When I read those messages, I was shocked and until I write this I’m still shocked. Especially, after I heard that an Indonesian student was one of the victims.

I write this to clarify that my friend is not the VT Shooter.

Yes, the murderer name (Cho Seung Hui) had a very similar name to his name, Cho Seung Hoo. Please note to the HOO and the HUI in their names.

I already saw the murderer picture in NY Times and other news websites. He’s definitely not my friend Cho Seung Hoo. They are completely different person.

First of all, they don’t have the exact similar face. Their similarity was just their homeland and name (even that not exactly the same). There are a lot of people have the same characteristic, short hair and wearing glasses.

My friend is 25 years old not 23. When he came to Indonesia, he just finished his study in college majoring computer. He doesn’t speak English very fluently.

My co-workers are very fond of him because he is very friendly and always make time to talk to them while he was staying at our hostel. He is a very funny and talkative person, definitely not a loner.

Currently, he still teaching computer in Indonesia until next year and then he will go back to his homeland.

He is not a Moslem. He is a Christian. Ismail was ONLY his nick name while he studied Bahasa Indonesia. He maybe didn’t use that name again.


I’m feeling guilty right now. Just because I put his picture in my blog and Flickr, he has to face that false accusation.

I already delete the picture and the blog post about him, so that everybody will stop being curious and accuse him. And also because nobody can link to that anymore and made unnecessary comments that only lead to other accusation. I already had enough with comments in my Flickr in regard to that. I quote:

“If this is him there is an Indonesian Muslim connection.. Look at the rest of the Photostream, This guy may have studied in Indonesia and became a Muslim.. Anyhow, I can’t even tell if its him. But he did have the word Ismail written in red on his arm. I just don’t know”

I’m crying when I read this comment … what do you mean by that?? That’s my friend, family and country you just insult!!

What if one of your friends or family or EVEN YOU receives that insult and accusation?

I’m being paranoid now. I’m afraid because I put all my pictures in the internet. What if something likes this happen again?? Maybe one day, someone will say “Hey, that dog pic on your Flickr, I think it was the one who bite me yesterday. I’m going to sue you”.

Schlussel responded:

Eldarossell posted a note that this is not the guy, so I’m removing it.

I suppose that’s an apology for dragging three innocent people (Eldarossell, her cousin, and her South Korean friend) into a wingnut sewer of hate.