Thursday 17th August 2017,

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A Heartfelt Tribute to Chinatown Senior Pushed to Her Death

posted by Randall

Flowers placed at the scene of the murder by a Southern California man for  Yuzhen Lei

Flowers placed at the scene of the murder by a Southern California man for Yuzhen Lei


By Edwin Chen
 
Recently in Boston an elderly 72yr-old-Chinese American grandmother, Yuzhen Lei, was pushed to her death at the hands of a stranger.
 
24-year-old Tajanetta Downing is under arrest in the case. The tragedy highlighted the extreme lack of sympathy or RESPECT for Asian American seniors or elderly in America. As an Asian American I remember growing up seeing all of the RACISM and CONSTANT bombardment of discriminatory and hostile behavior by non-Asians hurled at our elders.
 
Boston Chinatown murder sceneI used to think it was just because our elders were more foreign and unassimilated. They almost deserved the abuse because of their INABILITY or lack of desire to conform and be a part of mainstream American society. As an American Born Chinese, I navigate American society with ease in comparison to our immigrant elders lacking in English language skills. However as I started to study Buddhism and Siddhartha Gautama, the Shakyamuni Buddha, I became aware of the Buddha’s sympathy for those beings who are old, sick, frail and expiring.
 
Siddhartha thought it was FOOLISH to laugh and make fun of these helpless and defenseless people. This was because he felt that eventually we would ALL decay into the same class of despair. He could see that our commonality should encourage our COMPASSION and hence respect for ALL living things as they suffer through the cycle of MOKSHA. More importantly he discovered that ALL living beings have the POTENTIAL to become a “Buddha” enlightened being. By reaching the state of Nirvana, one achieves escape out of the constant cycle of birth, suffering, death, reincarnation or rebirth that characterizes the cycle of MOKSHA.
 
I pray Yuzhen Lei is reborn again into a happy life or has become a Buddha based upon her tireless devotion to her family and community. All of us no matter how ASSIMILATED or respected we are now, will eventually AGE and decay into what LOOKS like a wrinkled FOBulous foreigner not worthy of ANY respect. It is in our INTEREST to defend our elders and their right to SAFETY in our own communities.
 flowers
As Asian Americans we will ALL eventually face the same discriminatory challenges as we age into what appear to be FOBulous Asian American Seniors. This is why I ordered this memorial after I read on AsAmNews about the LACK of ANY memorial for Yuzhen Lei. I posted a REQUEST online at a few sites asking for help to place a memorial at the location of her demise. To my DISMAY I received NO support online in this endeavor. So I yelped the closest Chinatown florist and found Chaba Florists at 71 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 423-0468. They had CONFIRMED that no other memorial or flowers were placed in honor of Yuzhen Lei. So with the help of my dear friend Linda Chong, the wife of the respected and esteemed Asian American political Activist Gilbert Hom, I was able to borrow funds to make this memorial happen. I would like to thank Pam Toy at Chaba Florists for making such a NICE bouquet and banner at my request. I only wish I could afford a more elaborate and fitting one. Alas, I had to borrow from Linda to even make this happen. Thank you all for taking the time to hear my reasons for trying to show RESPECT and highlight this tragedy of the Chinese American and Asian American communities.
Flowers for Yuzhen Lei

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7 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    RE: A heartfelt tribute to a Chinatown senior pushed to her death: Mr. Chen – Was there anything in the news articles that you have read that speaks of similarities between this case and the Vincent Chin case? Is there anything that you have read that says that this is a black vs. Asian problem? Is there anything that you can provide that says that this woman was targeting the Asian population? Have your personal experiences that you speak of in this article with certain words capitalized says that this was a race problem? Do you speak for the whole Chinese community when you say, “Chinese Community Yuzhen Lei and Her Family”? Do you know of any other community that does not supports her and her family? What have you done besides sending flowers and giving yourself credit (captioned under the picture “from a Southern California man) for sending the flowers? Have you ever been to Boston?

    I ask all these questions because it seems of all the things you write on Facebook and everywhere else including this article speaks of YOU vs. everyone else and you often state “facts” with capitalize words that you would like to lay out for readers (who I guess you don’t think can read or understand your BIG words and to those who disagree with you. So I am sure you will do the same with me and reply with BIG words as you attempt to answer all the questions that I have noted. Please take your time. I am sure your answers will be long. Peace!

    1. Edwin Chen says:

      RE: A heartfelt tribute to Chinatown senior pushed to her death: Michael YOU ARE BLIND! I NEVER made ANY of the claims you are stating. NEVER have I said it was RACE related. What do they have in COMMON??? BOTH will NOT be FORGOTTEN by OUR community. BOTH ARE TRAGIC losses to OUR COMMUNITY. Your LINE of questions are BASELESS and irrelevant. NO other COMMUNITY has DONE ANYTHING!!!! IF they have where are they??? I HOPE I am representing for the CHINESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY. IF I am not I want to know WHO from the CHINESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY disagrees with MY MEMORIAL??? Let it “BE KNOWN”! Let that person TELL ME they disagree with this SIMPLE gesture for Yuzhen Lei and her family. You DID NOTHING!!! So don’t come trolling to ME about whether I have or have not been to BOSTON. I have a HISTORY of working in the community. DO YOU??? STOP talking out of your ANUS. TALK IS CHEAP. You did NOTHING!!! Actions speak LOUDER than words. Also I DID NOT credit myself with the CAPTION. That was DONE by ASAMNEWS staff. STOP fixating on the capitalization, and THINK about YUZHEN LEI. I am NOT a member of ASAMNEWS. I was ASKED to write this article. BEFORE you even BEGIN to criticize me, you HAD BETTER have a credible platform with which to argue your FALSE claims.

  2. Neva Varga says:

    RE: A heartfelt tribute to elderly Chinatown senior pushed to her death: A beautiful tribute.

  3. Dowshipykwat says:

    RE: A heartfelt tribute to Chinatown senior pushed to her death: Sad about today’s society buried in their devices and no compassion for the elderly. What happened to respect and revering the elderly for their long life history and perspective?

  4. godbless you says:

    re: A heartfelt tribute to a Chinatown senior pushed to her death: Thanks Randall!

    1. AsAmNews says:

      Thanks goes to Edwin Chen

  5. Edwin Chen says:

    RE: A heartfelt tribute to Chinatown senior pushed to her death: No Randall and AsAmNews highlighted this issue. Their involvement and activism in reporting major issues like this for APIs, is exactly what helps to facilitate progressive social action, empower our community and helps to equalize or improve our socioeconomic status as Asian Americans. Thank you AsAmNews!

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