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Young People to Jin Cheng Yu -- Keep Your Head Up

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia , Commentary, Various Authors Posted: Apr 23, 2010

Editors Note: Two 18-year-old African-American men were charged with murder but not hate crimes Thursday in the fatal beating of a 59-year old Chinese-American man who had come to the aid of his son. According to prosecutors, Tian Sheng Yu and his son, Jin Cheng Yu, 27, were attacked last Friday in Oakland as they were on their way to shop for coins at a jewelry store.

Prosecutors say the son was the first victim, being sucker-punched by Drummer as the elder Yu was parking his car. Officials say Yu told his father about the attack, and the two began looking for the assailants. When Tian Sheng Yu approached the two men to ask in Mandarin why they had punched his son, he was beaten. He was hospitalized and died four days later.

Eight writers from Yo! Youth Outlook Multimedia write to the Jin Cheng Yu to offer their thoughts on the death of his father.

Be the son that you know he would want you to be

Dear Jin Cheng Yu,

Im sorry these young men put you and your family in so much pain. This incident was caused by something way bigger than what it seemsthis isnt just about you and your father. These types of assaults happen all the time, especially to Chinese and Mexican people. I dont know why theyre targeted, but in the communities Ive grown up in, thats just how it is.

Im not black. But people see that Im a young mother with two kids and assume things about me. They assume Im a bad mother.

The suspects who assaulted you fit the stereotype, but there might be reasons why they act violently. They might not have grown up with family morals or values. They might come from broken homes. They might have seen people get beat up, stabbed, and shot when they were kids, so now that theyre older, they dont feel bad when someone bleeds to death on the ground.

Jin Cheng Yu, I hope this incident will not turn you into a person you are not. Everything happens for a reason. This experience will make you stronger. Im truly saddened by your familys misfortune but hopefully you know that not all young folks act in this violent way.

If my son told me that hed been beat up, I, too, would want to beat up whoever hurt him. I would call my man and cousins to back me up. I wouldnt try anything by myself. If I were elder, I would call the police.

You need to know what happened to your father is not your fault. You did the right thing by telling your father what happened when you got beat up. Beating yourself up about what happened will only make coping with loss harder.

Most people turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with life-shattering experiences, but self-medication only cures you for a little while. Your father made it through the pearly white gates. Hell be watching and looking after you, so make him proud. Be the son that you know he would want you to be.
--Valerie Klinker, 19

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