Monday, October 11, 2004

Asian Prisoners' Revolution

For the past 18 years, I've witnessed the steady rise of the Asian American population in the prison system, especially Southeast Asians. This is a problem that has often been neglected by the mainstream media and the Asian communities. Due to cultural differences and traditions, Asian prisoners have become lepers of their own communities. We're left to survive by ourselves with minimum support from our families. Most guys in here don't know how to reach out and those few who do find little response. I have come to the conclusion that the lack of interest from the Asian American community is its need to stay in the glass house of blissful ignorance. It's easier to neglect the problem that causes shame to its model minority status than address it. The result is the multiplying of "Asian Leprosy" in this modern day slave plantation of the Prison Industrial Complex and the continued victimization of the Asian community.

That's why I'm want to publish an anthology of Asian American prisoners' writings. I want to give the lepers an opportunity to show the Asian community that beneath the plague of leprosy they're good people. With help, they can change and become productive members of society.

My friend Ben Wang was generous enough to help me with this project along with folks from the Freedom Bound Center. Ben has made up a flyer to distribute to prisons to solicit participation from Asian prisoners. The following is the text on the flyer. We need your help to spread the words. If you know Asian prisoners or have connections to reach them, please pass on the information:

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Asian Prisoners' Revolution

A call for writings, poetry, and artwork from Asian prisoners across Amerika.

Featuring writings and artwork by Asian prisoners, this zine will raise awareness about the rise of the Asian population in the Prison Industrial Complex. It will be distributed throughout the Asian Pacific Islander community once it is published. We call on all Asian Pacific Islanders prisoners to submit poetry, vignettes, essays, short stories, and artwork to be used in this first every Asian Prisoners' Zine. Please include a short bio about yourself with your submission.

Please send all submissions to

Asian Prisoners' Revolution
c/o Freedom Bound Center
4104 44th Street
Sacramento CA 95820

Tentative deadline: June 2005
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Let's cure this "Asian leprosy!"

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