difference, is to hear that Japanese right-wingers interpreted her suicide as belated support for their contention that the massacre never happened (August, p. 4). Never happened? My students will know it happened, as will my colleagues, my family and friends, and their family and friends. The rape of Nanking is a distinct, yet unfortunately common, injustice that Iris Chang brought to the “public’s consciousness” (Ramzy, p.14).
Many people have inspired, influenced, and challenged me as an educator: Canadian Hong Kong Veterans who spent close to four years in prisoner of war camps and can now tell their stories without hate; Dr. Leon Bass, a black American educator, racism and holocaust consultant who inspires with his message that intolerance is not acceptable; Madiom a five-year-old southern Sudanese boy with a brilliant smile – despite his 7.4kg skeletal body, emaciated by hunger; and my students who, despite their complicated, confusing, and issues-filled lives, show up every day with a desire to learn. But of all these people, it was Iris Chang who first taught me to be aware, aware with the intention to make a difference. I am one of “… the millions of people whom she touched through her writings and her activism … promoting peace between peoples of different races and backgrounds” (Benson). I will continue to keep her memory and mission alive in my life and in my classroom so that she does not become yet another victim of the Rape of Nanking.
(also see: http://irischangmemorial fund.org/)