Two hundred, thirty six years after the Declaration of Independence America is still a slave to bigotry and intolerance even while it overthrows other governments that exhibit the same. It is no surprise to read about the death of Private Danny Chen who was stationed in Afghanistan and who enlisted in the Army in response to what he considered his duty to his country. A son of Chinese immigrants who believed in the call of the ideals of this country, Chen was either driven to suicide or as his family asserts murdered because he was different ethnically from the others with whom he served. It is inconceivable that people in times of war against an enemy make enemies that in reality don’t exist, within their own ranks, but that’s what happened with Chen. Teased, hazed, singled out, harassed because of his ethnic background, even the Army says he was driven to the point of suicide. His family recounted stories he told them
“They (other soldiers) ask me if I’m from China a few times a day. They also called out my name ‘Chen’ in a goat-like voice sometimes for no reason,” the message said in part.
“I’m running out of jokes to respond back to them,” Chen wrote, according to OuYang.
His relatives said that Chen told them of being pelted with rocks and forced to hold liquid in his mouth while being hung upside down.
Hazing has become an increasingly worrisome practice, not only in the military, but within students of all ages. University campuses have fought back with strict rules against it and it’s getting the attention it deserves on a national level. Why it’s still acceptable in some quarters means we will continue to lose bright, intelligent, talented people driven to the point of insanity by their peers too immature to realize its dangers.
- “No plea bargaining. There must be a strong message sent that this type of unlawful misconduct cannot…” (shortformblog.tumblr.com)