How US Capitalism Killed 2 Year-Old Melody Zheng (26.2.2020)

Melody Zheng (Left) – Mother Lin Li (Right)

Translator’s Note: Looking through newspaper records about child deaths whilst in the care of one or both parents in the US – I see that unfortunately, children are injured or die all the time in accidents, through illnesses, or occasionally through parental neglect or parental mismanagement and/or deliberate injury. This is a common occurrence across US society and involves White, Black, Asian, Native American and Asian families. It is in no way ‘unique’ to Chinese families – and yet the Western media attempts to turn these tragedies into something they are not. I suspect Lin Li was a) suffering from postpartum depression (an intense anxiety disorder brought about through pregnancy, labour and childbirth), and b) the shock of the brutality of US (capitalist) society where nothing is provided by the State, and medical care costs ridiculous amounts of money! Within Communist China, the Socialist State takes care of every Chinese Citizen and provides excellent medical care ‘free at the point of use’. Why anyone would want to voluntarily ‘give-up’ this support and head into the abyss of US existence is beyond me. Having checked Chinese Records, I cannot find any objective evidence that Lin Li ‘had a difficult childhood’ in China, or that her children lived with their grandparents just prior to March, 2016. Much of this narrative appears to be the product of US anti-intellectualism and anti-China racism and Cold War hysteria. Lin Li should be hospital receiving the proper treatment, and not a common prison. Furthermore, the misogyny of the US System completely absolved Lin Li’s husband of any and all responsibility –presenting him as some kind of innocent angel living in the shadow of his wife’s madness!  Lin Li committed this dreadful crime because of US capitalism – and Melody Zheng is a victim of US capitalism! ACW (1.3.2020) 

A mother in the United States accidently drowned her 2-year-old daughter by immersing her head into a bath full of water because of her accidental bed wetting (some articles say a water container was filled with water and placed in the bath). A Brooklyn Court recently sentenced the 28-year-old mother of two – Lin Li (林莉) – to 18 years imprisonment for manslaughter.The incident occurred on March 13th, 2016, when Chinese-American mother Lin Li attempted to punish her daughter – Melody Zheng – who had wet the bed even though she was only 2-years-old at the time. It is believed the mother pushed Melody’s head into the water-filled bathtub – although Lin Li initially ‘denied’ this accusation, insisting it was an accident caused by her momentarily ‘leaving’ the bathroom – leaving Melody unattended in the bathtub. Although Melody was rushed to the hospital, the rescue was too late, and medical staff declared Melody dead. After examination, the forensic diagnosis of Melody’s death was found to be due to drowning, but also found that her body was covered with scars and bruises (some articles state it was Melody’s 4-year-old brother who had bruises) – with her mother suspected of child abuse.When investigating the case, the police found that not only did the mother do bad things to Melody, she even beat her 4-year-old son and had also dropped him into the water as a punishment. The Court opened a hearing last year. The jury eventually convicted the mother – Lin Li – of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree attempted assault, and sentenced her to 18 years in prison on the 26th of February, 2020.Judge Deborah Dowling argued that the defendant had a responsibility to take care of her children and to protect their personal safety. Instead, the children were disciplined and punished in dangerous ways, which ultimately led to the death of her daughter. The Judge’s decision therefore included that Lin Li will not be able to contact her son until he reaches 16-years of age. Lin Li’s defence had attempted to argue that Lin Li was a ‘good’ mother who had made a mistake due to the stress associated with the grinding poverty her and her family experienced living in the US, and her ‘difficult’ upbringing in China.  Whilst appealing to US stereotypes about China – Lin Li’s defence lawyer implied that the bruises on Melody’s body were due to the often ‘brutal’ treatment children are subjected to in China. He made this argument as Lin Li’s two children had apparently been living with their grandparents in China just weeks prior to the fatal incident in 2016.  

Chinese language articles from Mainland China refer to this case as ‘accidental’ drowning – as Lin Li was not found ‘guilty’ of murder. Despite denying the charges, the jury was played a video of her police interview where Lin Li is recorded ‘admitting’ that she did hold the toddler’s head under the water ‘until foam came out her mouth’.  

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