POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS: American college fraternity, Asian-American sense of "identity"?: New York Times feature article,, "What a Fraternity Hazing Death Revealed About the Search for an Asian-American Identity" ....
Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 9:45AM
Emma

***American college fraternity, Asian-American sense of "identity"?

* New York Times (Jay Caspian Kang):  "What a Fraternity Hazing Death Revealed About the Painful Search for an Asian-American Identity" - "When Michael Deng, a college freshman, joined an Asian-American fraternity, he was looking for a sense of belonging and identity. Two months later he was dead." - From the NYT:

Pocono Pines, Pa., is a two-hour drive from New York City. After you exit the Interstate, the route into town winds past short trees and abandoned gas stations with rust-­edged signs showing gas prices from years before. The town, on the shore of Lake Naomi, once serviced the traffic to Mount Airy Lodge, a nearby resort that featured honeymoon suites with heart-­shaped tubs in the bathrooms that closed in 2001 after years of neglect; in 2007 the Mount Airy Casino opened on the same site. The local courthouse is on the second floor of a rundown building, above Elite Nails and Spa. There are no government markings out front, no scales of justice, nothing to distinguish it from the generic commercial properties that line Pennsylvania Route 940. The directions given out by the Monroe County courts tell you to look for an ice-cream stand with a sign shaped like a cone. The courthouse is across the street.

On an overcast, chilly day in October 2015, Sheldon Wong, Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, Raymond Lam and Daniel Li were arraigned in the Pocono Pines courthouse. All five belonged to Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-­American college fraternity. All five were young men from Chinese families who grew up in Queens. When I arrived at the courthouse that morning, one of the TV cameramen who had gathered in the parking lot began following me. ‘‘I’m not on trial,’’ I said. He chuckled and tilted his head at his colleagues, who had perked up and slung their rigs up to their shoulders. ‘‘Well, you’re going to get more of the same when those guys see you,’’ he said. He was right: The cameras swarmed. And I suppose, given the surroundings, that I couldn’t much blame them. By choosing these gray hills for an initiation ceremony, the fraternity brothers had unintentionally made it possible that their fates could be decided by a jury made up of locals who wondered just what these Asian men had been doing here .........................

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