Wednesday, May 20, 2009

NYC, 5/21: Berkeley Carroll and rally

Hi everyone,

We haven't been to NYC to perform in while so we're happy that we'll be in the city for 2 events tomorrow. First, as a reminder, there is a rally/candlelight vigil in support of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the 2 APIA reporters who are being held prisoner in North Korea for investigating reports of human trafficking between North Korea and China. Catzie and I plan to attend this rally from about 6-6:30pm. Here's the info again:

Please join Gwendolyn Elaine Lindsay-Jackson, Esq. and several others at a Candle Light Vigil in support of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

Thursday, May 21, 2009
6:00pm - 8:00pm

In front of the MSNBC BUILDING/Today Show located at:

The Today Show
10 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

North side of 49th street between Rockefeller,Plaza & 6th Ave
Across the street facing 10 Rockefeller plaza
Nw York, NY 10020

Gwendolyn Lindsay-Jackson, Esq. is the point person for this Vigil:

After the vigil, we'll be heading out to Brooklyn to perform for the upper school students at the Berkeley Carroll School. We're very excited to meet everyone there. And they made a great flyer for the event.

Here is more detailed info about the event.

POC Spoken Word Event

Time: 7:00 PM

181 Lincoln Place

POC is hosting a spoken word night (slam poetry, prose, music, etc.). It is open for all BC US, faculty, and alums (not MS students). Tickets will be $5. We are featuring a professional spoken word duo who have performed on Def Poetry Jam called 'Yellow Rage'). Here is the schedule:

7 - 7 15 tickets, arrival, seating
7 15 - 8-15 Performances
8 15 - 8 35 INTERMISSION (live music, ambiance)
8 40 - 9 10 Yellow Rage
9 10 - 9 40 Open Mic*
9 40 - 10 more performances
We will be offering coffee, tea, cookies, cakes, etc (coffee house style) for sale.

You can also check out the event info on the Berkeley Carroll events page.

We look forward to seeing everyone. Please support these 2 events if you can.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On the road again! Knox College, 5/14

Hi everyone,

Well, Catzie and I are officially back on the road again to finish our spring tour. As you all know, Catzie is a new member to the Super-Mom Club, but gosh-darn-it that doesn't mean she's/we're going soft. You best believe that not only are we ready to do it up Yellow Rage-style but also ready to bring up the next generation of Little Rages. Watch out now!

Anyway, I'm feeling a tad goofy this morning but wanted to let you all know that we have 2 shows that will mark the end of our spring tour. The first will be at Knox College--TOMORROW--Thursday, May 14. Details are below.

Just as a heads up, we will be in BROOKLYN next Thursday, May 21 at the Berkeley Carroll School. I will post details about that show early next week, but also as a reminder, May 21 is the day that a rally is slated for APIA reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee who are being held in a North Korean prison for investigating human trafficking between North Korea and China. I will repost details about the rally--Catzie and I are planning on attending the rally before the Berkeley Carroll event.

Finally, I will be performing in PHILLY May 29-30 at the Asian Arts Initiative as part of this year's Edge of the World production. Again, more on that to come.

Catzie and I will be busy busy this summer deciding on recording a new CD and preparing for this year's APIA Spoken Word and Poetry Summit to be held in the Bay Area this July-August. Check out the official website, beautifully created by our homie Adriel from iLL-Literacy.

OK, before I close out this post with the Knox College info, I just want to give a shout out to Senator Zavalas and Sheila Hanley of TrueJustice in Austin. Thank you so much for the opportunity to come down and protest the voter ID bill, dedicate "Listen Asshole" to Betty Brown, and piss off the Texas Rangers. Also, thanks to the amazing camera crew, Jessica, Candice , and Nariman (who was so friggin funny!) for their professionalism. Special shout to Clarissa for telling me my poetry was beautiful and to David (D-Rail? I'm not sure what his MC name is) for telling the cops that I wasn't trying to incide a riot but instead obtain peace. I will post pix soon. I promise!

Peace & Love,

Knox College, Thursday, May 14
Kresge Recital Hall,
Knox College, Galesburg, IL

We are on the Knox College Events Calendar. Check it out.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Rally on May 6 in Austin, TX: Oppose Bill 362

Hi all,

I will be in Austin on May 6 to perform at a rally in protest of Senate Bill 362 on restrictive voter ID requirements in Texas and of Texas Republican Betty Brown's racist remarks against Asian Americans made on April 7. If you're unfamiliar with either, I'm posting info below.

If you'll be in or near Austin on May 6, the protest will take place near the Texas House of Representatives office building. I don't know exact times, but maybe it'll all go down close to noon.

The organizations organizing this protest are True Justice and Vote Rescue.

Hope to see you there.

In Solidarity,


Asian American Organizations Outraged by Texas Representatives Remarks


9 April 2009

Sarah Smith | OCA Communications Manager
202.223.5500 |

Leonie L. Campbell-Williams | AAJC Director of Communications
202.296.2300 ext 135 | Cell: 202.492.4591 |

OCA, Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF) express disappointment over Texas Representative Betty Brown’s suggestion at a hearing on April 7 that Asian Americans adopt “names that are easier for Americans to deal with.”

The hearing was to discuss Senate Bill 362 on restrictive voter ID requirements. An OCA member commented that that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and identifying themselves because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on identification cards. Brown suggested that Asian Americans should change their names for manageability.

“Representative Brown’s comments made clear that she lacks an understanding of Asian American cultures and that she in fact undervalues other cultures,” said OCA Executive Director George Wu.

"It is unacceptable that Representative Brown believes that the burden should be placed upon individual voters to make it easier on poll workers to ensure that the voters get to exercise their right to vote, rather than expecting that the burden lay with the government to do its job correctly," said Terry Ao, director of Census & Voting Programs at the Asian American Justice Center. "Participation in the democratic process should unite all Americans; we should be seeking ways to encourage more voters, not inventing excuses to deny citizens their constitutional right to vote."

Senate Bill 362 will have its greatest impact on voters who are poor, elderly, belong to racial minorities or have disabilities. Asian Americans are among those who will be disproportionately impacted by these laws.

About OCA

Founded in 1973, OCA is a national organization dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, DC, OCA is engaged in organizing its over 80 chapters and affiliates across the nation to develop both leadership and community involvement. OCA is online at www.ocanational. org.

About Asian American Justice Center AAJCis a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to advance the human and civil rights for Asian Americans, and build and promote a fair and equitable society for all and is a nationally recognized expert on voting rights.

About Asian American Legal Defense Fund Founded in 1974, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.


Lawmaker defends comment on Asians

Call for voters to simplify their names not racially motivated, Terrell Republican says


Houston Chronicle, April 9, 2009, 11:58AM

Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, made the remark during House testimony on Tuesday.

AUSTIN — A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments caused the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday to demand an apology from state Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell. But a spokesman for Brown said her comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Ko told the committee that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations.

Easier for voting?

Brown suggested that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible.

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

Brown later told Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie said Republicans are trying to suppress votes with a partisan identification bill and said Brown “is adding insult to injury with her disrespectful comments.”

Brown spokesman Jordan Berry said Brown was not making a racially motivated comment but was trying to resolve an identification problem.

Berry said Democrats are trying to blow Brown’s comments out of proportion because polls show most voters support requiring identification for voting. Berry said the Democrats are using racial rhetoric to inflame partisan feelings against the bill.

“They want this to just be about race,” Berry said.


See also an article published by The Huffington Post: "Betty Brown, Texas Republican, Asks Asian-Americans to Simplify Names."