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Monday, August 6, 2012

Racism Against Asian Ams in the US Army


   Danny Chen was American by birth AND by choice. He defied his parents' objection to join the Army. But he was racially brutalized to committing suicide by his fellow American soldiers who were his superiors. Even worse, the military system chose to condone the outrageous evil against Danny Chen. See below.
   The trial against the first of the 8 culprits was over. Sergeant Holcomb was sentenced to a reduction in rank, a fine of $1181.55, and 30 days in jail. The other seven will likely get even less, because they had less charges against them than Holcomb.
 Do you know enough about the Danny Chen tragedy? If not, read the following quotes from an editorial and articles of NY Times, and other reputable prints. Otherwise skip all the quotes and get to the central message near the bottom.
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 o   "He was dragged out of bed, pelted with rocks and racial taunts and forced to crawl along the ground and do pull-ups without swallowing or spitting out a mouthful of water — all apparently because he forgot to turn off the water heater after taking a shower. Private Chen was the son of Chinese immigrants in Manhattan, and he had written to his parents about being the butt of racial jokes."
EDITORIAL, New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/opinion/a-soldiers-death.html 
 o   Fellow soldiers used racial slurs against Private Danny Chen, including: "chink," "gook," "dragon lady," "slants," egg roll," "Jackie Chen," "Chen Chen," and "Ling Ling."
 o   Others (at the trial) said Holcomb uttered some slurs over the radio, where they were heard by the entire platoon, adding to Chen's humiliation.
LA Times; http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-danny-chen-suicide-trial-20120725,0,1215214.story
 o   "In a journal he kept while in basic training and in letters, Private Chen mentioned that other soldiers teased him because of his ethnicity. "Everyone here jokingly makes fun of me for being Asian," . . . Chen had complained in a Feb. 27 letter sent while he was at basic training in Georgia . . . "They ask if I'm from China like a few times a day. . . . . People crack jokes about Chinese people all the time. I'm running out of jokes to comeback (sic) at them."
NY Times ; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/us/8-charged-in-death-of-fellow-soldier-us-army-says.html?pagewanted=all
 o   "According to an investigation by the Regional Command South of Kandaha, Afghanistan . . . Private Chen was ordered to complete excessive exercises almost immediately upon arriving in Afghanistan last August. Although he had successfully completed both basic and advanced training in the US before deployment, members of his platoon claimed he was not physically fit. Pvt. Chen, the only Chinese-American in his platoon, was required to run excessive sprints, carry sandbags, subjected to barrages of rocks (supposedly to simulate artillery) and was assigned extra duties."
The New York Observer, http://observer.com/2012/01/grim-details-emerge-in-case-of-private-danny-chens-death/
 o   Such punishments resemble the "smokings" that drill sergeants mete out at basic training to correct mistakes. But, in Chen's case, it wasn't long before this campaign of "corrective training" escalated into sheer brutality.
NY Magazine; http://nymag.com/news/features/danny-chen-2012-1/index3.html
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   Since Danny was given extra duty and punishment almost from day one, we suspect the following:

   We suspect that Danny Chen's superiors didn't trust the loyalty of a Chinese-American -- based on racism -- from day one, and therefore for their own security worries, wanted to drive him off the unit.

   Anyone can be driven to mental and physical exhaustion and begin to fall down on his/her job. Once the signs of a "weak" soldier appear, then his superiors are justified to apply even more brutal abuse. This methodology can be applied against any Asian American with impunity in the current US Army, be they American soldiers of Chinese, Pakistan, Korean or Iranian origin.
   We urge all good people to help dig into this matter to either prove or refute our suspicion. If indeed that is the case, and the Army condones it, is this what America is all about?
 Help us. We look for "A Few Good Men" in the Army's legal system, and in this great land.
   We need to mobilize our entire Asian Am. community to become a "David" to face a giant -- those who condone racism in the US Army.

   If you are an individual, donate at http://www.80-20educationalfoundation.org/donate/donate.asp
It's tax deductible. Or email me to volunteer via sbw@udel.edu.

If you are the head of an organization, get your group to join the "Danny Chen Coalition." Sign up at
http://www.80-20educationalfoundation.org/projects/danny-chen-coalition-form.asp

Sincerely,
S.B., a volunteer
President, 80-20 National Asian American Educational Foundation


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