Disturbing news out of New York City, where authorities are investigating the brutal beating of a gay Filipino American journalist as a possible hate crime.On January 17th he was attacked in Midtown, a block away from his apartment. He had just left a party around 4 a.m. and was on his way home near 54th and 7th Avenue - that is where he crossed paths with his attackers who beat him and left him for dead in the street.
Randy Gener, Gay NYC Journalist, Recovering From Brain Surgery After Alleged Hate Crime
46-year-old editor, writer and artist Randy Gener was assaulted on January 17, shortly before 4:00am after leaving a party in Midtown Manhattan. He was found unconscious in a pool of blood near 54th Street and Seventh Avenue — a block from his apartment. The attack left him with severe head trauma requiring brain surgery.
Gener, a beloved and respected figure in the theater community who has reported and written for the New York Times, National Public Radio, the Village Voice and New York Magazine, is listed in serious but stable condition. According to his sister, he is unable to answer questions of what happened the night of the assault.
The suspects did not steal Gener’s wallet. The NYPD says it’s looking at the attack as a possible hate crime.
Gener’s family and friends are holding a vigil Sunday at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street, and want the public to help find his attacker.
After the attack, police were called, and Gener was found unconscious in a pool of his own blood with his head bashed in.
Gener suffered severe head trauma and is currently in intensive care recovering from brain surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital. He’s listed in serious but stable condition.
"He can’t answer the questions of what happened that night, he doesn’t really exactly know who we are or where he’s at sometimes," said Gener’s sister, Jessica Blair Driessler, "and it’s really painful to see him here the way that he is because he’s the most articulate person."
Gener is currently recovering in the Neuro ICU. Meanwhile, his loved ones are collecting donations to help cover his medical expenses and have set up a fundraising campaign. You can contribute at YouCaring.com.The Fil-Am Press Club of New York in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of New York is holding a Prayer Rally for our member, theater journalist Randy Gener who was reportedly assaulted last January 17th in the vicinity of 7th Avenue near 54th/55th Street. He suffered severe head trauma, and is currently recovering in the Neuro ICU after brain surgery.
Police are asking anyone with more information about the assault to come forward. The active case file is #485, under Detective Enis at the 18th Precinct at (212) 767-8400. Or call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
More here: Police investigating possible Midtown bias attack on gay journalist
UPDATE: There will be a press conference and prayer rally for Randy Gener this evening, Monday, January 27, 7-9pm at the Philippine Consulate General in New York City:
Join us for an evening of prayer for Randy’s comfort in his suffering and complete recovery.
To help Randy go to http://bit.ly/love4randygene
For further updates, follow Justice for Randy Gener on Facebook.
The NYPD has released a sketch of the suspect wanted in connection with the assault on Randy Gener.
The suspect is described as an Hispanic male in his 20s, approximately 6-feet-tall and about 160 pounds with short black hair, police said. He was last seen wearing black jeans and a black jacket.
Police said the suspect fled in a grey four door Nissan with Mississippi license plate number KAT-397.
Anyone with information is asked to call 800-577-TIPS.
We joined Prabhjot in his hospital room and were surprised to find it already filled with officers from the NYPD and its Hate Crime Task Force. As he struggled to give his statement, we came to learn that his assailants had taunted him as they beat him, calling him “Osama” and “terrorist.” He described being punched in the face repeatedly until falling to the ground. And then he recalled how the punches to the head continued as he laid on the sidewalk.
I saw Prabhjot shudder as he realized how much worse it could have been. He had just returned from dinner, dropping his wife and one-year-old son at home before going for a walk. He reached from his hospital bed and grabbed his wife’s hand.
He recounted the scariest moment, seeing a young male put his arm inside his coat, as if reaching for a gun. He also remembered people pulling at his long beard. He couldn’t provide any descriptions about his assailants, and it seemed to me that in some way, he didn’t want to remember them.
Prabhjot has dedicated his life to serving the underserved. He is currently the Director of Systems Management at the Earth Institute, and he draws upon his experiences abroad to help improve the health of local communities like Harlem. In addition to serving as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, he is also a resident physician at Mt. Sinai Hospital. His life’s work has been to help the underprivileged access quality and affordable healthcare, and he believes strongly that his countless hours of service are an investment in improving the health of impoverished communities.
Unfortunately, his assailants did not see Prabhjot Singh, the professor, the community health expert or the local doctor. They saw a man wearing a beard and a turban—his articles of faith—and saw a target. Sadly, for many other Sikh Americans like Prabhjot, this is a story they have heard and experienced before. This past May an elderly Sikh gentleman was brutally beaten with a steel pipe in Fresno, California, and in March a Sikh male was shot while driving just outside of Orlando, Florida. And as we all know, in August 2012 a white supremacist entered a Sikh place of worship (gurdwara) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire on the congregation.
by Christina Chen Four teens were charged last Thursday with the strangling death of 49 year old Chinese account executive David Kao, in Flushing, New York. Under questioning the teens, aged 16 and 17, confessed to dragging, choking, and beating…
The Asian American Legal and Defense Education allege, however, that Anti-Asian violence is widely underreported at both the individual and state level. The reasons are manifold: Asian American victims may not be comfortable with, or capable of reporting their experiences because of the lack of bilingual law enforcement personnel, mistrust of local police, fears of trouble over their immigration status, and a general lack of awareness around hate crimes and federal civil rights protections. Furthermore, despite the passage of legislation mandating the collection of federal hate crimes statistics, many states and localities have not made rigorous efforts to prosecute and collect data on anti-Asian violence.
guess how many immigrant rights groups are interested in working to address some of these issues?
“On Sunday, September 30, 2012, smoke was looming from the structure and firefighters and police were dispatched to the mosque. Firefighters found an intentionally planted incendiary device in the prayer hall on the second floor. Firefighters found extensive smoke, fire, and water damage on the second floor. An investigation is underway by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as well as local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Today, police and investigators have determined that the fire was actually an intentionally planted bomb. It went off when the mosque was empty, and hence no one was hurt. But the device was detonated in the main prayer hall. Sunday is the main gathering day for the parishioners at the Islamic Center, and if the bomb would have detonated just a few hours earlier, there could have been significant casualties. Thankfully, the mosque was empty.”
Take some time to pray for the Muslim community of Toledo, Ohio during this troubling time.
I can’t believe that the Joplin mosque was burned to the ground. Some prayer rugs didn’t just get burned, we didn’t lose a few Qur’ans. The whole masjid was razed.
Someone came to the Joplin mosque last night at 3:30 am with the intention of wiping it off the map. The loss would be felt even if this was an accident, but we know that the pain is magnified under these hateful and bigoted conditions. During our most holy month, the Islamic community of America has lost a place to pray and a place of peace. But what these arsonists don’t understand is that the real mosques and the foundations of Islam are not in mortar or brick, but wherever the believers are. The foundation of Islam is in over one billion people in this world, in every state, country and language. You might be able to get rid of a mosque, but you can’t get rid of Islam.
”But since we are people of faith we just can remember that this is a thing that happened because God let it happen, and we have to be patient, particularly in the month of Ramadan, control our emotions, our anger.” - Imam Lahmuddin of the Joplin Mosque
By: Narinder Singh
Just a few hours ago a Sikh (pronounced ‘sick’) gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in Wisconsin was attacked by a white male who killed at least six people during today’s Sunday service. While reasons are not yet known, I’ll conjecture that this will soon be confirmed as one of the largest hate crimes in American history.
Immediately, my thoughts turned to what must have been going on inside at the time the gunmen entered thegurdwara (Sikh house of worship). Like most faiths, gurdwaras hold their primary religious service on Sundays. Kirtan (hymns from scripture) is sung, kids rally to begin Punjabi language school, langar (free meal for anyone who comes to the gurdwara) is prepared to be served later, and the sangat (community) sits on the floor (in a sign of humility). In smaller communities like my hometown of Cincinnati, or in Wisconsin, on Sunday the Gurdwara feels like a big family reunion — the sangat is together.
For Sikhs, because we look different (identifiable because of our turbans and beards), often we become symbolic for whatever ‘other’ our country faces. Over ten years ago, on Sept. 15, 2001, Singh Sodhi, was shot and killed in Arizona, becoming the first hate crime victim after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This spawned several in the community, including myself, to start the Sikh Coalition. Our initial goal was to help deal with 9/11 backlash like hate crimes, employment discrimination, and school bullying.
Over time, our focus has shifted to include educating broader society on who Sikhs are, and Sikhism’s fundamental beliefs of honest living, giving back and remembering and living in the service of Waheguru (God). We have also made steps to help our country live up to its fullest potential by supporting the rights of all Americans. We’ve worked on things like the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, instituted broad anti-bullying programs for all students in New York City schools, and worked with hundreds of other organizations on similar programs.
Despite these proactive steps, we are still left to deal with the aftermath of violence. As recently as last March (2011), two Sikh men, aged 68 and 75, were shot in an alleged hate crime in the suburbs of Sacramento. Along with today’s even more dramatic event, these are extreme manifestations of hatred that pervades too much of American society. The way in which our public discourse takes place — vitriol in politics, the eagerness to demonize broad groups based on the actions of a few, and forgetting that people have far more in common than they ever will in conflict — provides an environment that nurses extreme ideologies and enables unstable members to society to justify extreme actions.
Our responsibility as a society is to do more than just prevent lunacy on the fringes. Income, religion, appearance, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and ethnicity are parts of everyone, not sole characteristics that define us completely. Recognizing this and incorporating it into how we characterize one another helps us live up to the best principles of America. It cannot occur, however, unless we seek to understand those we perceive to be different from us.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community involved and the first police officers on site whose heroic actions likely saved many more lives. Their bravery and grace in the face of extreme circumstances represent the best of us and the values we should all aspire to.
Vincent Chin would have been 57 today. But the Michigan man never made it out of his 20s. Instead, 30 years ago this week Chin was brutally murdered when he was bludgeoned with a baseball bat wielded by two white, jobless auto workers who thought Chin, a Chinese-American man, was Japanese. “It’s because of you little [expletive] that we’re out of work,” witnesses said Ronald Ebens yelled at Chin before he and his stepson Michael Nitz trailed Chin and attacked him.
Chin’s Asianness made him a target at a time when it was popular to blame Japanese automakers for the crumbling U.S. auto industry. His death, and the protracted and largely unsuccessful fight to bring his killers to justice galvanized Asian-Americans, spurring the community to organize and act and speak out. On the 30th anniversary of his killing, civil rights advocates are telling his story again with fresh urgency. As racialized hate trains its eye on new targets, communities of color have had to learn and relearn the lessons Chin’s death offered many times over in the decades since.
Here now, civil rights advocates and activists offer up the key lessons they’ve carried with them in the 30 years since Chin was killed.
Sharing our stories and knowing our history is a necessary, political act. The effort to keep the lessons of Chin’s death and the fight for justice from being swallowed up by the unstoppable passage of time is not about any romantic nostalgia—understanding the past is key to making sense of the ongoing fight for justice today, activists say.
“The facts of the story are never going to change. It’s never going to have a happy ending, but it can move people to get indignant. It can move people to action,” said Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, a Michigan-based writer and activist. It’s often said that in the the aftermath of Chin’s murder, the Asian-American community was born. Asian Americans, who tended to identify by ethnicity first, came to unite around a new political identity. Chin became a symbol in the Asian-American civil rights movement, a reminder that the struggle for justice is never quite over. Wang organized the Vincent Chin Postcard Project to collect exactly these sorts of stories. Among Wang’s favorite responses was one which asked: “How long will it be before we forget Trayvon Martin like we forgot Vincent Chin?”
Images and language matters. Dehumanizing language and images make it easier to attack those who are treated as less than fully human. Whatever the community, whoever the target, demagoguery comes with a real human cost. “People who do this are putting our lives at risk,” said Wang. She cited this year’s fearmongering political ads which played on American fears about the economic ascendance of Asian countries. In transparently coded images and words, politicians exploit those fears, but not without with great risk. “People see those ads and even if they don’t fully understand the message of the ad they take away this fear of China, and that makes it dangerous for those of us real Asians who are walking around on the street.”
Immunity from hate is an illusion. “Even within impacted communities, I often hear: ‘Oh, that happened years ago,’ or ‘Oh, we’re going to be good Americans and it won’t happen to us,’ or ‘Oh that sucks for him but that hasn’t happened to me yet.’” said Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Billoo has organized South Asian, Muslim and Arab communities in response to post-9/11 Islamophobia. “The question becomes: how do you deal with the desensitization of hate? It’s frightening to see that history repeats itself, which is why it’s so important to connect the history.”
“When Vincent was killed it was a wake-up call that Asian Americans had to be vigilant about racist attacks, that they had to be vigilant about how animosity toward Asian countries would continue to have an impact on Asian Americans,” said Stewart Kwoh, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Suddenly, Kwoh said, Asian Americans couldn’t afford not to be involved and to organize themselves and others, and to build alliances with people who weren’t Asian.
We are stronger when we speak up for each other within and across racial lines. “A lot of times our mistake in advocacy is not to connect the dots between communities. Would we be in a different place if we were speaking out against hate crimes when they weren’t impacting us directly?” said Billoo. “Where I find inspiration is in looking at the Japanese-American community’s evolution around the [World War II] internment issue, in challenging it and continuing to talk about it and broadening that conversation to say: ‘You did that to us. You cannot do that to other people,’” Billoo said.
Justice is also about the small acts of solidarity and community-building. “I’d love if people could ask themselves: are we challenging hate in our daily lives?” Billoo said. “What does it mean to interrupt someone when they’re saying something that’s inappropriate?”
This weekend Asian Pacific Americans for Progress is organizing a nationwide townhall this Saturday, June 23 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Chin’s death. The event which will be streamed live at 2pm ET at www.apaforprogress.org.
“It’s imperative that, at the 32 hearings, that the top charges of negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter are not dropped,” Elizabeth OuYang, New York branch president of OCA, a national civil rights organization serving Asian Pacific Americans, said Friday. “What they did to Danny, drove Danny to his death and a strong signal must be sent throughout the military that anyone will face these charges if they engage in this type of conduct.”
The riot and massacre was triggered by the killing of Robert Thompson, a local rancher. He was caught in the cross-fire during a gun battle between two Chinese factions. This fight was part of a longstanding feud over the abduction of a Chinese woman named Yut Ho.
The dead Chinese in Los Angeles were hanging at three places near the heart of the downtown business section of the city; from the wooden awning over the sidewalk in front of a carriage shop; from the sides of two “prairie schooners” parked on the street around the corner from the carriage shop; and from the cross-beam of a wide gate leading into a lumberyard a few blocks away from the other two locations. One of the victims hung without his trousers and minus a finger on his left hand.
Practically every Chinese-occupied building on the block was ransacked and almost every resident was attacked or robbed. The county coroner confirmed 18 Chinese deaths at the hands of the mob, although some estimates ranged as high as 84.
Only ten rioters were ever brought to trial. Eight were convicted, but their convictions were overturned on a legal technicality.
The LA Times had an article:
The greatest unsolved murders in Los Angeles’ history — bloodier than the Black Dahlia, more coldly vicious than the hit on Bugsy Siegel — occurred on a cool fall night in 1871. Seventeen Chinese men and boys, including a popular doctor, were hanged by an angry mob near what is now Union Station, an act so savage that it bumped the Great Chicago Fire off the front page ofThe New York Times.
Eight men eventually were convicted, but the verdicts were thrown out almost immediately for a bizarre technical oversight by the prosecution. Unbelievably for a crime that occurred in full view of hundreds of people, no one was ever again prosecuted.
The truth about the Chinese Massacre remained buried for 140 years, until writer John Johnson Jr. took up the hunt. Johnson spent more than a year examining every piece of evidence, including documents long thought to have been lost to history.
Aided by newly discovered records at theHuntington Library, Johnson found that the men convicted of the killings were in fact guilty. Little surprise there.
But Johnson found something astonishing — and sinister. The bloodlust unleashed that October night was allowed to unfold (if not also set in motion) by some of the city’s leading citizens, men so powerful they could arrange to have the convictions fall apart and the reasons for the massacre covered up.
What emerged from Johnson’s research is a portrait of a town engaged in a death struggle against its own worst nature. Come with us on a journey into the liar’s den of our Los Angeles ancestors.
Read more here
Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:00 – 9:00 pm KAAGNY Join Asian Pacific Americans for Progress NY for our summer mixer and a special screening of the documentary “VINCENT WHO?” co-hosted by KAAGNY. Writer/producer Curtis Chin will be at the screening for a Q&A session directly following the documentary. Hosted by: APAP NY and KAAGNY Community Partners: Korean American Community Foundation and Korean American Community Services Cocktails provided Free with RSVP. RSVP to Lisa@apaforprogress.org As a network of progressive Asian Pacific Islander Americans, APAP works to promote unity amongst our communities. With this screening of “VINCENT WHO?” we hope to remind ourselves not only of the social injustices we continue to overcome but also of the enormous steps forward we have achieved. In partnership with KAAGNY, we hope to see you there! About VINCENT WHO?: Vincent Who? is an award-winning documentary that examines the current status of Asian American political empowerment in the context of the historic hate crime murder of Vincent Chin. We have toured to over 200 colleges, libraries and corporations. For more information, including upcoming screenings, please visitVincent Who’s New Official Web Page About KAAGNY: The Korean American Association of Greater New York has roots dating back to 1921, and was established as a full service organization in 1960. KAAGNY primarily serves the 500,000 Korean-Americans living in the New York Metropolitan Area, and acts as the umbrella organization for over 1,000 professional, educational, religious, and trade organizations.
149 W 24th Street 6th Floor, New York, NY 10011
Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Join Asian Pacific Americans for Progress NY for our summer mixer and a special screening of the documentary “VINCENT WHO?” co-hosted by KAAGNY. Writer/producer Curtis Chin will be at the screening for a Q&A session directly following the documentary.
Hosted by: APAP NY and KAAGNY
Community Partners: Korean American Community Foundation and Korean American Community Services
Free with RSVP. RSVP to Lisa@apaforprogress.org
As a network of progressive Asian Pacific Islander Americans, APAP works to promote unity amongst our communities. With this screening of “VINCENT WHO?” we hope to remind ourselves not only of the social injustices we continue to overcome but also of the enormous steps forward we have achieved.
In partnership with KAAGNY, we hope to see you there!
About VINCENT WHO?:
Vincent Who? is an award-winning documentary that examines the current status of Asian American political empowerment in the context of the historic hate crime murder of Vincent Chin. We have toured to over 200 colleges, libraries and corporations.
For more information, including upcoming screenings, please visitVincent Who’s New Official Web Page
The Korean American Association of Greater New York has roots dating back to 1921, and was established as a full service organization in 1960. KAAGNY primarily serves the 500,000 Korean-Americans living in the New York Metropolitan Area, and acts as the umbrella organization for over 1,000 professional, educational, religious, and trade organizations.