ADL Calls on U.S. Army to Review Policies in Wake of Tragic Death of Soldier Who Endured Racial Taunts

New York, NY, January 6, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called for the U.S. Army to review its regulations and policies against hazing and bullying in the wake of the tragic death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a Chinese-American soldier who committed suicide in Afghanistan in October after being taunted with horrendous racial epithets.

According to family members and news reports, Chen had been called "gook," "chink," and "dragon lady," and was forced to shout orders in Chinese.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Bigotry and prejudice have absolutely no place in the U.S. Armed Forces, which should be a model of diversity and inclusivity. The individuals who serve our country should be able to do so in a place that is free from bigotry, racism, and discrimination.

The military should follow the lead of school districts across the country by prioritizing training programs that focus on the impact of bullying and hazing. 

We look forward to the results of the Army's investigation into Chen's death upon its completion in February. We hope that the findings will include the Army's commitment to ensuring that our men and women who serve can do so in an environment that celebrates differences, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. 

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.