News for September 2011

Clemency

Clemency:  a disposition to be merciful.

Letter (excerpt) from Troy Davis, executed last night in Georgia after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene without comment:

“As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.

“I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

“So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

“I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,

“I am Troy Davis, and I am free!”

Posted: September 22nd, 2011
Categories: Random Thoughts
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Comments: No Comments.

Off to LA

There have been, in the last weeks, so many things to do: speeches to write, visuals to prepare, plane trips that require me to be patted down and my bags unpacked and gone through by hand because my books and my computer cord in my carry-on are so close together in the x-ray screening that the entire line was nearly shut down to deal with the threat that is me. But now I am on my way to Los Angeles – five airborne hours – with nothing but the present moment. I can read the book I brought – Amy Waldman’s The Submission – for nothing but pleasure. I can daydream. I have been preoccupied with what to say to an audience I cannot yet see and whom I have not met. But to decide so far in advance what I should offer them and what they need to hear is to constrain the future. To predetermine it and make it less than it might otherwise be. I am not an historian, or an expert, or even an advocate. I am an artist, and a witness, and so I have decided to lecture less and engage more. To be in the moment when it comes. Wish me luck.

Posted: September 9th, 2011
Categories: Events, Hiroshima in the Morning, The Writing Life
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September 10th at the Japanese American National Museum

This weekend, to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks,  I will be speaking and reading from Hiroshima in the Morning at the Japanese American National Museum.  The program starts at 2 pm.  The museum, if you have never been there, is beautiful and features the names of former internees of the WWII relocation centers – including my mother’s, grandparents’ and great uncles’ – etched in the glass.

Come join me, and please pass the word along! Reservations are apparently encouraged, but that doesn’t mean it is too late!

JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
phone: 213.625.0414

When making a reservation, e-mail rsvp@janm.org or call 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours prior to the event.