Japanese Americans in Support of Muslim Detainees
Last week in federal court, the descendants of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui filed a brief in the case of Turkmen v. Ashcroft, urging the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a 2006 ruling which upheld the legality of post-9/11 detentions of Muslim immigrants. The brief draws parallels between the WWII internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans and the treatment of hundreds of Muslim noncitizens who were rounded up and detained after 9/11, despite the lack of evidence linking them to terrorist activities. We’ll speak with Eric Muller, the legal scholar who wrote and filed the brief, about the contemporary resonances of a historical episode.
ERIC MULLER is the George R. Ward Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, NC. A former assistant US attorney, he is the author of Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters of World War II (University of Chicago Press, 2001).
Filipina Domestic Workers Seek Justice
On March 14th of this year, Felisa "Fely" Sales Garcia, 58, a Filipina migrant domestic worker, was found dead in her Bronx apartment. In a suicide letter, Fely revealed harassment and abuse by her employer where she provided care-giving services for an elderly woman. Fely was just one of the 1,700 Filipina women who leave the Philippines each day to become domestic workers across the globe, most significantly in the Middle East, Hong Kong and the US. While remittances from overseas workers comprise a bulk of the nation’s economy, migrant workers live unprotected by the Phillipines government and the laws of the host country. As details of the case are being investigated, we will speak to Linda Abad, a staff organizer with Damayan, a group in New York which organizes on behalf of Filipino migrant workers. As domestic work makes up a significant portion of New York’s economy, we will also discuss new legislation which calls for wage increases and fair treatment under the law.
DAMAYAN Migrant Wokers Association, Inc. is an independent, non-profit, grassroots organization based in New York and New Jersey that promotes the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers through educating and community organizing. DAMAYAN’s leadership consists of a group of committed Filipina domestic workers, including nannies, babysitters, cooks, and housekeepers, and is currently circulating a petition to advocate for a proper investigation into Fely’s case and justice for migrant workers everywhere. More here and here .
From the Fields of Punjab to the Dance Halls of NYC: A Conversation with DJ Rekha
Finally, we’ll be joined in the studio for music and conversation by cultural producer and activist DJ Rekha (Rekha Malhotra). We’ll talk to Rekha about how the Punjabi folk music “bhangra” is played, spinned, and mixed in dance halls across the country, how as a female DJ she broke into a male-dominated industry, the changes she has witnessed after a decade in the scene, and the evolution of New York’s hit dance party “Basement Bhangra,” which is marking its 10-year celebration on April 20th. These days Rekha tours the country, using her cutting-edge work on the music scene as a platform for her activism, lending her expertise to social justice organizations such as Breakthrough and Pop and Politics.
Named the best DJ by New York Magazine and one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, DJ REKHA has been making waves for over a decade with the monthly New York dance party “Basement Bhangra” at SOBs. Through her production company Sangament, Rekha produces live concerts and music consulting services to record labels, cultural institutions, media companies, and corporations. On April 20th, Rekha will be live in concert with Dhol Foundation, Panjabi MC, and Bikram Singh, as Basement Bhangra celebrates its 10th year. More at www.sangament.com .
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