Friday, April 08, 2005


(by Junichi)

Stuck in an Elevator for 3 Days

Here's a great metaphor for our country's current climate.

Last Friday, Ming Kuang Chen, an employee of the Happy Dragon restaurant, delivered Chinese food to a Bronx apartment building.

When he didn't return with $200 in receipts, NYPD's finest spent the weekend in the high-rise, arresting, harassing, and beating people left and right, as is their daily tradition, looking for "the Chinese man." In their zealous trampling of constitutional rights to find him, the cops locked up three innocent people over a barbecue stain on one of their shirts (because it looked like blood).

During this intense manhunt, nobody apparently thought to check out the building elevator, where Chen was trapped for the entire 80-hour ordeal. This is especially crazy since there were apparently security monitors with views of the interior of the elevator in question.

Most bewildering of all, Chen spoke to security personnel using the emergency intercom, on at least five occasions. But his English wasn't great, which leads one to wonder whether security ignored him because they couldn't understand him.

Worst of all, after being trapped and ignored in an elevator for over three days, Mr. Chen, recently treated and released from the hospital, won't return to his job delivering Chinese food for "six days a week, 12 hours a day, for what was at most $300 a week," to send money back to his family in China.

Why? Because Mr. Chen is an "illegal immigrant" and, caught by the authorities, will likely be deported.

America. The only country in which you can be stuck in an elevator for four days only to have building security ignore you, city security harass others in your name, and eventually have Homeland Security deport you.