This is the first day of the rest of my blog

Jun 6, 2012

Image

 

Welcome to anyone who wanders in. I am a writer (novel, poetry, memoir, personal essay–oh yeah, blog) and teacher, a Boomer and citizen of the People’s Republic of Brooklyn. I’m also someone with a disability and the mother of two biological and one adopted child from China. That little bio should give you some idea of the range of my interests, and what topics I might need to mouth off about here.

Today I want to talk about Danny Chen, the Chinese-American kid (he was only 19 when he died) who was so tormented by his fellow soldiers in the U.S. Army because of his ethnicity that he was driven to kill himself. Danny was an only child raised in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The community has rallied around his parents. I went to a birthday memorial for him a couple of weeks ago. To see his mom weep, to see his dad wearing his son’s army cap, is heartbreaking. The only comfort–and it is cold comfort–is that the army has agreed to hold the court martials of those involved in the U.S. and not in Afghanistan. Late last month, his parents and their supporters delivered to Congress 9,000 birthday cards written in Danny’s honor by people in America and abroad,urging passage of a military anti-hazing bill. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-05-23/news/31829584_1_hazing-incidents-supporters-soldiers I am disappointed in that number–9,000 is nothing. Many more people need to care about what happened. Anti-Asian prejudice has a long, sad history in our country. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=419

Sign up for Avra's Newsletter: