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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.
If you're as angry about the government's non-response to Katrina as I am, please consider signing this petition from Moveon.org. The petition simply asks for congress to create a Katrina commission--like a 9/11 commission. And this time I think there may well be more will among the people to act upon the information gathered.
Of the forty-nine convenience store clerks arrested this summer in Georgia for selling common products that contained ephedrine or pseudoephedrine (a main ingredient in home-made methamphetamine), forty-four were Indian American.