After months of campaigning by immigrant and LGBTQ rights groups, Nicoll Hernández-Polanco was freed from her detention by ICE. Her story, written by Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center, is a story of a young woman who escaped the broken immigration system, and how she was criminalized and psychologically tortured simply for being young and transgender.
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New Jersey ex-professor Jonathan Nyce was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for murdering his wife Michelle, a Filipina mail-order bride, and staging a fake car crash to make it look like an accident. He's eligible for parole in five. The jury convicted Nyce for a "crime of passion" since his wife was having an affair with the gardener. Sorry, but the much-abused term of "passion" is no excuse for beating your spouse to death, and eight years is a joke when you can get 25-years-to-life for minor drug posession.
I'm going to have to go to Madagascar now, to try Chinese Malagasy food. NYTimes ran this fascinating article yesterday on "hyphenated Chinese food." Interesting that the anthro expert insist that Chinese food be some formula of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and green onions. That feels like someone insisting that I have black hair, be docile and give good massages. I can think offhand of about a thousand Chinese dishes that don't require those ingredients, but hey, i didn't write the book or anything.
My mother calls me the other day and says, "There's been something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about." Uh-oh. I brace myself, "OK, what is it?"
"Don't be mad," she prefaces. Double uh-oh. Then she asks, you remember So-and-So's Mom, right? (Note: I've never met So-and-So or his mom. So-and-So’s Mom is friends with my mom. Why she doesn't just refer to her by name instead of referring to her son is beyond me.) Well, it turns out So-and-So's Mom has a friend. And that friend has two sons. They are both doctors. One is 30 and married. The other is 33 and unmarried. I can see where this is going.
It's true, ladies and germs, our very own, brand spankin' new literary editor, Barbara Jane Pulmano Reyes has just been honored by the Academy of American Poets with a James Laughlin Award for a second book! Congrats, Barb! You better ride this mileage 'til the car breaks down. You know Hyphen will.
A new true-crime book on the violent murder of Reena Virk, a 14-year-old Indian girl living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, recently hit the stands. 1n 1997, Virk was lured to a popular hangout spot and then beaten, kicked and burned with cigarette lighters by seven girls and one boy. She escaped, only to be followed by two people who made sure she didn't survive. Her body washed up a week later. The book, entitled "Under the Bridge", got a pretty bad review in the NY Times. This murder, which happened in 1997, kicked up a lot of media on the violence of young women but mostly failed to raise the question of race -- focusing instead on the way Virk was overweight and didn't fit in with her peers. Here is an interesting piece on the way race was ignored during the media coverage of this case.
When this incident occured, I remember being fascinated by the hip hop references that these young Canadians were making, like that Reena tried to fit into the crowd by being more into hip hop and that the girls who killed her identified with mobster John Gotti, a la rap lyrics. Kelly Ellard, the alleged mastermind behind Virk's murder and the one who finished the job, recently was sentenced to life in prison after a third murder trial.
Now that Issue Seven (the body issue! yay! coming next week! yay!) is at the printer, we are turning our full attention to Issue Eight. So now's a GREEEEAAAT time for you to empty out those drawers of half-assed creative writing you've been trying to ignore.
Anyone who knows the AA communities knows that our folks maintain close ties with government and service organizations in our countries of origin. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Asian countries are being mobilized through the efforts of their overseas children to send help to Katrina victims. Here's a short list of current efforts from the past two weeks:
There's been a few stories I've been meaning to link to. Sorry if these seem old (some of them came out earlier this week) and you may already know about them. What can I say? It's way busy over here. We're preparing for the arrival of Issue 7, The Body Issue, which is showing up any day now! Lots of prep work goes into getting ready to mail them out (which we do ourselves. we don't have the luxury of using a subscription fulfillment service) and delivering them to bookstores (which we also do ourselves.) Hyphen -- living the DIY dream (or nightmare).
Back in August, police officers fatally shot two Korean men in Dublin, California while responding to an alleged domestic dispute. This shooting has galvanized the Asian American community -- once again -- and many believe that the use of deadly force was unnecessary. This confused-police-officers-reaching-for-guns issue has happens over and over in Asian American and Latin communities. Recent cases include a 1997 shooting in Rohnert Park of Kuan Chung Kao -- who was armed with a wooden stick, the 2003 shooting of Cau Tran in San Jose -- who was armed with a vegetable peeler, and last year's shooting of Rudy Cardenas in San Jose, who was unarmed. The Asian American community has been coming together to organize across ethnic lines around this issue. There will be a candlelight vigil on Sept. 20th at the Dublin City Hall.