Thursday, August 13, 2009
Earlier this month marked the 10th anniversary of the killing of Joseph Illeto, the Filipino American postman who was targeted because of his race. A Jewish daycare center was also attacked. Fortunately, no one was killed.
This incident inspired my second novel Talking to the Moon. I had to write about it as a way of dealing with ugliness in the world. Hate crimes, injustice, unfairness. I had the pleasure of meeting Ish Illeto (above), Joseph's older brother. He's talked about how his brother's death was constantly ignored by the media and politicians.
Perhaps, that's one of the reasons why I wrote the novel. I wanted to give attention to this incident. Though my novel has nothing to do with the Illeto family, I've spoken at public venues about the book, reminding them all of Joseph Illeto.
In Talking to the Moon, I get my revenge. I wrote a scene about how the brother Emerson is at a press conference. He's completely ignored by the press and by the politicians present. He manages to find his own powerful voice and chastises people for not paying attention to the death of his brother.
Here's a commentary on the API Equality-LA website. Click here.