More on: Oakland
Jul 01, 2011
My 12 year old nephew asked me this morning, “Uncle Eddy, were you robbed last night by a Black guy?”
I said yes and briefly shared with him what had transpired.
He inquired, “How come it’s happening to our family? MaMa (grandma) got robbed by a Black guy, you got robbed by a Black guy and Daddy got robbed by a Black guy.”
I said, “Sometimes desperate people do desperate things. This did not just happen to our family. It happened to our neighbors also. There’re many reasons why things happened.”
Before I can say more, he went back to playing with his dog and puppy.
It’s my shower day so I got an early start on my exercise. It felt good as always. I showered and ate breakfast. The cop surprised me by asking, “Shower or cigarette?” I couldn’t understand him at first until he explained. He has a bag of rolled cigarettes on him. If someone chooses the cigarette he will give up his shower. I asked why he did that. He said, “That way I don’t have to shower that many people. The sooner I finished the sooner I can go to my little room and sit down.” What a job!
I folded some heart shape origami to decorate the cell. It’s one way to pass time. Mr. K came by to visit. He wanted to check on my correspondence course status. He just got back from vacation and heard that I was in Ad Seg. The rumor he got was that I was caught with weapon. I laughed out loud when he said that. That’s the first rumor I heard so far.
I was hoping to receive some letters in the afternoon, but I didn’t. I felt disappointed and started to wonder why. Then I had to let it go because is out of my control. There’s no need for me to stress about it. I wrote to J a bit. I won’t send the letter out until I hear from her.
I had a long talk with “Little”. He’s a good neighbor. I saw people rolling boats and wind surfing on the bay. They were having fun.
After the Officer picked up mail, the other lady Officer gave me two letters. One is from Yuri and the other from J. It was too late for me to respond to the letters. The reason they were late was they were rerouted to me from North Block. The letters were opened. Instead of giving them to me right away the Officer decided to read them first. That delayed my chance to write a letter. Yuri and M (a sister) wants to visit me tomorrow or the next day. They sent in the visiting forms. They don’t know that it takes 4-6 weeks for the form to be approved. I won’t be able to see them anytime soon. M is going to China in a few days. I will miss meeting her this time around. Hopefully faith will brings us together again. Yuri sent me a group letter since she’s behind on her correspondence. She writes a few lines on the margins. She also sent me a couple of pamphlets. I appreciate her for caring about me.
I want to maintain the sense of peace I have during the last couple of weeks and extend it to my future. I want to overcome this obstacle and start over.
Jan 02, 2011
Happy beginning of 2011 my dearest family, friends and supporters!
The year of 2010 definitely ended with a bang for me. I received much media attention in my effort to petition for a pardon from Governor Schwarzenegger before he leaves office. Bay Area mainstream KTVU channel 2 news did an interview with me. People’s station KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, APEX Express, and Letters to Washington had me on their shows. The Chinese World Journal newspaper did two articles on me. KQED online news blogged about my deportation case. Many bloggers and websites across the nation helped spread the word of my online petition. Change.org hosted my online petition. Facebook was extremely useful in reaching out to people to support my cause. We had over 2,500 people signed the online pardon petition. None of it could have been possible without the support from friends and the community.
May 11, 2010
Presented at Professor Roger Chung’s “Asian-American Communities” class, on the Prison Industrial Complex and the work of Asian Prisoners’ Support Committee (APSC), to approximately 60 students.
Jan 02, 2010
Dearest family, friends and supporters:
Happy new breath! Happy New Year! Happy new decade!
I remember standing in the 49er’s Linebacker room sharing a message with about twenty NFL football players, “You’re one bad decision away from being locked up in prison or six feet under.” We all have to be accountable to our actions. There is no exception.
I remember an immigrant youth lying on a gurney in the hospital emergency room pleading with me, “Can I leave the hospital? I don’t want to be here. My family doesn’t have money.” He didn’t think of that when he decided to engage in a group fight. There is a consequence to every action.
I remember the day an African American man robbed and dragged my 74 year old mother on the concrete ground in board daylight. As she lies in the emergency room in the hospital, I reasoned with myself, “Here I am advocating for the rights of the African Americans, Latinos and APIs in the community, why does it has to be an African American who hurts my Mom? Then again, I did not think about my victims’ feelings when I committed my crime. Who am I to judge others?” There’re many reasons why people do what they do. It’s what I am going to do, that matters. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary.
I remember standing on the stage in the Laney College auditorium with my poet friend SKIM performing our collaboration of “Breath is Life” to celebrate my birthday with friends and community members. I’m reminded that community is how we include and embrace each other. (more…)
Dec 10, 2009
Spoke with Professor Roger Chung’s Asian American class of approximately 30 students
Dec 08, 2009
Spoke with Dr. Darby Price’s Asian American class, “Asian American History from 1945 to the Present”, of approximately 20 students
May 14, 2009
Presented to approximately 40 students
Feb 28, 2009
Led a workshop for approximately 35 Asian and Pacific Islander youth.
Asian and Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership
AYPAL is a community organizing project dedicated to building the grassroots leadership and power of low-income Asian Pacific Islander youth in Oakland. Our mission is to transform school and neighborhood inequities so that all youth can be healthy, safe and thriving members of their communities.