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A Race So DifferentPerformance and Law in Asian America$
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Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814738399

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814738399.001.0001

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“Justice for My Son”

“Justice for My Son”

Staging Reparative Justice in Ping Chong’s Chinoiserie

Chapter:
(p.67) 2 “Justice for My Son”
Source:
A Race So Different
Author(s):

Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814738399.003.0002

This chapter presents the account of Danny Chen, a Chinese American soldier who decided to commit suicide after being subjected by his fellow soldiers to demeaning and physically painful acts. Chen's family sought justice, but the military jury acquitted the soldiers who subjected Danny to inhumane acts. The chapter then juxtaposes this case with Chinoiserie, which stages a practice of justice that functions not through the negation of the law but by using performance to disassemble and repurpose the objects of the law in order to make reparation for Chinese America. The play does not simply disavow the law and culture of the United States, but also draws them inward in order to assemble and repair Chinese American history into “something like a whole.”

Keywords:   Danny Chen, inhumane acts, Chinoiserie, justice, Chinese America, Chinese American history

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