Converge. Gangs trucing. In memory of Luci Williams. End Domestic Violence.
Mourn not the dead.
by Ralph Chaplin
Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie-
Dust unto dust-
The calm sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must;
Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwell-
Too strong to strive-
Within each steel bound coffin of a cell,
But rather mourn the apathetic throng;
The cowed and the meek-
Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak!
Nations, Tribes, Gangs Converge.Dedicated to Luci Williams, African American photojournalist, San Jose Mercury News.
End Domestic Violence
There I was at a Gang Summit in Minneapolis. Puro Raza, and Blacks. I can claim Filipina, but I look all Caucasian. Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam were about. Outside Mujahid Abdul Karim was eloquently preaching that Farrakhan killed Malcolm X. This was about the time Malcolm X’s, daughter; Qubilah Shabazz said Farrakhan kill her Father. At lunch, I turned to a crowd of Black Militant separatists asking, “You hear the news about MalcolmX’s daughter saying Farrakhan killed her Father? Death seemed imminent; this was Farrakhan’s territory. Farrakhan called for Malcolm X execution in the Nation of Islam newspaper the, Final Call. Farrakhan deferred to the Elijah Muhammad even though Mohammed was having sex with his young secretaries. Malcolm X came to the defense of these women.
I didn't get photos of the Soldiers in the Nation; they wouldn't allow it. But I did while Farrakhan was talking. The Discipline, well dressed, well mannered, unless you're white; they got reasons to hate whites. If you look white, get out of the way. For moments it was terrifying since I was about the only white looking person amongst thousands of angry, pissed off people of color. At one point when I thought I was finally safe, it turned into a nightmare in a nightmare. In an all women's group, a group of women descended and surrounded me like a pack of hyenas, with words like if you are the enemy you will die. Are you the enemy? Are you an agent? You will die. You will die. You will die. They were threatening my life. I was dying just listening to these fools. If there were an agent (no doubt there was) it would not be a white looking person, it would be one of their own. It was not a well thought out accusation, nevertheless, I remembered even though I had a cunt I still was not cunt enough, and I did not go about shouting from the roof tops I was Asian. It brought to mind when I was attempting to join a woman's group early in my political development; I was already 15 years in, but not a feminist. I was violently opposed to feminists since they were detracting from the communist agenda of revolution. Nevertheless I ventured out of my area of comfort, but hey I was not wanted in the woman's group since I was not colored enough, measuring drops of blood, who is and who is not. A Black can have one drop and their Black. But they let in a white woman. Why? She was cute, a prospect and because she was living with a Chicano, and hopefully maybe thought they were going to be next. Somehow that rubbed off on her and made her colored; like that was more valid then my colored Asian blood. I was now really turned off to feminism and their pettiness. It would be decades before I overcame their folly and betrayal. I was colored, had a cunt, willing to become a feminist and they ostracized and tossed me overboard. But that was not new, they were just continuing what the patriarchy had done to me since I was born, rejected. Nothing new, just the same old, same old, except they were another version of the same- me better then you, your cool, your not, your in, she's out, she might lick pussy, you don't, hierarchy.
Much horror has been done to people of color and no acknowledgment to undo what can never been undone. No way the past can ever be repaired, compensated for, but we can endeavor to. Once I told my friend Daxi Arredondo I had worked with people of color for 30 years, never claiming my Asian heritage. She was like, are you fucking crazy? Are you out of your fucking mind? How did you survive? She was horrified. She really questioned my sanity, scolded me and told me to claim a color; otherwise there would be too much hatred to deal with. She was a very beautiful light Black, with a taste of Puerto Rican and she always claimed her color. She had me swear to get a patch with Philippines sewn on my best and most worn jacket, to announce my People especially with peoples who have been genocided. They hate whites, even unconscious hatred is caustic. How could they not? There is a lot of good reason to rage against whites; too many that should be named, after all I'm writing a tiny article, not a book. Daxi had me swear I would never ever do that again. She was actually angry with me and puzzled why I would willingly expose my self to be despised and voluntarily submerge fully into deep-rooted hostility, resentment and hatred. From now on I was to announce my Filipina flavor, or I would continue to be a kicking bag for all the centuries of sins whites have perpetrated. Rest in peace Daxi. She was killed in November 2006. The San Francisco hotel refused to call for help in order not to upset their customers and the video in the hotel lobby was “lost.” I want justice for you girl. Goddess Hecate have no mercy; hunt down the one who did this to Daxi. My other friend a 16 year old who was dying of a brain tumor and who was then raped; she begged me to leave a group. She told me; I would never, never be accepted, belong or be respected. I was white. You can give your whole life, you will never be welcomed. They will use you and you are indeed hated. I found out I was unpaid because of my pigmentation, except the last months, 60 plus hours a week; came to 50 cents an hour. I stayed for 5 years since I cared while everyone else were paper tigers. The hottest place in purgatory is reserved.
Gang Photo Shoot in Kansas City.
The gangs were trucing and one of the high points was at the press conference, where there were dozens and dozens of press core. Everybody was converging. The press core was insane; A black woman was frantically looking for film; no one would give her film since it is a cutthroat world amongst the press. Run out of film, you lose the shot, so no competitors helped. Not competitive I gave her film. Two years later I am at San Jose State University wanting to be an upcoming photojournalist. One professor hated women, or maybe it was that he was only interested in the men, he wouldn't call on me in class; he was not encouraging. Another teacher; a raving manic everyone despised because he enjoyed shouting at everyone. Cantankerous. In front the class he said, just because my grandmother frequented bars, didn't make me an Asian. That response of his occurred when he asked what the students thought should be in the magazine we were about to produce. I had noticed on campus that there were a lot of Asians. I said maybe we should see what the Asian population is interested in. Later a Filipina said, do you realize he called your grandmother a whore, because back then that's how Filipino meet women; in bars, dance halls, not because my people were lusting after pale skin, but because the first immigrant laborers were mostly men. These men were segregated and prohibited from marrying whites, but did so secretly. I confronted this hate mongering teacher on his way to his office. I said I needed to talk to you about what you said, but he was slamming the door on me as I was still talking. I jammed my foot in the door so he could not close it, through the narrow gap in the door, I peered in and said I realize you called my grandmother a whore in front of the class. He said from now on call me (his last name.) I said and from now on you call me Seneres. I decided even though I had done well at Cabrillo College for 6 years, after my experience with the big “boys” I did not have it to be a photojournalist, it wasn't for me so I was quitting. I was an outsider; no one in the darkroom would talk to me; I was snubbed and I went home crying sometimes because of the coldness; in such close proximity no one was interested in me. I decided to go to the last lecture, before I packed it up. From the back of the packed auditorium I'm listening to this woman talking but more worried of what I would do after I gave up my cameras. I heard her say Kansas City summit a which point I came alive and said shouting, the Gang Truce in Kansas City, as I stood up in front of everyone. I said where the gangs converged? Remember that last press conference? She said you were there? She began to raise her voice, she was so excited she was shouting and I was answering as she was running towards me. We embraced, such a tiny world, I was the one who gave her the film. The next day students were licking my butt but I shunned them. I told her I was going to quit because of all that had occurred with the two teachers and she said, shit, don't fall for that, those two men tried to squeeze you out of a male world. She gave me her card, which I still have since I decided to push on as a photojournalism because of William's. Luci traveled high and low, no stranger to danger but she could not survive her husband.
Luci William's was shot in the
stomach and back of the head, wrapped in a tarp and dumped by her
body found 11-25 2001