Coming this Sunday, 7-20! Me! Live! On stage! On stage?

 

 

Been developing a solo performance piece that puts into context  the death of my cousin Stephen and the history of Filipinos in America.

Come see where I am as I show a bit of it  at this series at Stage Werx in San Francisco at 7pm this Sunday the 2oth.

Buy your tickets here, and tell them Emil sent you. It will score all of us brownie points!

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/757139

I tell Stephen's story in my new solo theatre piece. Come see it!

I tell Stephen’s story in my new solo theatre piece. Come see it!

 

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

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World Cup final set: Empanadas vs. Frankfurters

After a long grueling match, PKs are really the best way to settle a 0-0 tie.

I didn’t think that years ago. But you can’t play until someone dies from exhaustion. Better to take advantage of the tension and the anxiety of the penalty kick.

1 v. 1. Man, ball, goal. It is soccer at its root.

You match up, until someone blows it.

The Dutch had two wooden shoes in the mix. The Argentines were all hard tango.

And then, fireworks.

In lieu of actual World Cup fireworks, here are the pre-July 4th fireworks from July 2nd after the #SFGiants lost that night.

They are still losing. But the fireworks still work on video.

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UPDATES FOR STEPHEN GUILLERMO CASE: The power of a diploma as a symbol of justice, 6/20/14; Today we get a little sense of justice at Stephen’s posthumous graduation ceremony, 6/19/14; Graduation info on Stephen at SFSU, and a cool disco pic of me! 6/13/14; After election day, a silent vigil for Stephen, a month after his shooting; Petitions for justice to be delivered to DA, 6/4; One month after his shooting death, it’s Election Day in California, 6/3/14; Stephen Guillermo is now an SFPD crime stat that decries the PR of low homicide numbers in the city; Updated 5/3/ 11:52 a.m., with confirmation of suspect arrest. UPDATED 5/7/14 SUSPECT RELEASED…UPDATED 5/8, 5/9,5/10, 5/12, 5/13,5/14,5/15 funeral day, 5-17 with info on 5-19 eulogy, 5/20 SF State to give degree, 5/21 DA meets with family,5/23 San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed piece runs as SFSU graduation weekend begins; 6/3 Election day in CA, are you voting for a DA in your county? #justiceforstephen

Amisi Kachepa, released suspect in shooting death of Stephen Guillermo

UPDATE, FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014 

Stephen officially is a graduated member of San Francisco State University’s class of 2014.

Thanks to the school, and to the head of the International Relations Department, Dr. Sophie Clavier. When I contacted her in May, graduation was just a few weeks away. But she knew the importance of a posthumous degree and  cut through the red-tape to make it all possible.

Fitting that the event was in the Oakes Room, named for Richard Oakes, a Mohawk activist who reclaimed Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay for native peoples and occupied it from 1969-1971. He was instrumental in changing how the U.S. government dealt with Native Americans, and he helped establish Native American studies at SFSU. But the ultimate coincidence is that Oakes was also gunned down in an altercation.

It’s funny how few people know of Oakes today. I wrote about Oakes and Stephen here.

The ceremony began with a little “Pomp and Circumstance.” Stephen should have been able to hear that song and march along. He didn’t get that privilege in life. So we had to play it on our portable speaker. The cousins made some great photo boards, and Stephen’s sister Sharmaine assembled a very touching video tribute.

It was a great event.

 

But the big deal was the paper. And here it is.

diplomaStephen

 

He may not need it where he is now. And yes, the ceremony was as much for the living as it was for Stephen.

But the paper still acknowledges his life was far from wasted. In his short life,  he has achieved a great and valuable thing.

And now we are left to wonder what an International Relations degree with his enormous smile and heart  could have accomplished.

 

UPDATE, THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2014

The day has come. At 2pm, the posthumous graduation of Stephen Guillermo will take place in the Oakes Multi-Cultural Room in the Chavez Center at San Francisco State, 1600 Holloway in San Francisco.

Check out my column here on the blog of the magazine,  Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

As I mentioned, Stephen worked too hard for that degree and the dream it represented, to have it taken from him when he was shot to death.

Stephen doesn’t need the degree nor the credits where he is now.

But this, the last of the expected ceremonies—spiritual and secular—is needed by all those who were close to Stephen.

We may not get the justice we want for him. Not now, maybe not ever.

But we did get him his  diploma.

Higher ed was the most important goal in his young life, and it turned out to be his ultimate achievement.

It’s got to be worth something even now, if it’s worth anything at all.

The living need to know and affirm that Stephen did not die in vain.

UPDATE, FRIDAY,JUNE 13,2014, 12noon

Stephen will be graduating on June 19th. SF State will grant him a posthumous degree. If you want to attend,  email me at emil@amok.com.

Too many deaths have taken place since Stephen made the news. Seattle? Oregon? Vegas? Santa Barbara? Not one more? #TooMany.

Obama’s statement this week about his frustration is disappointing. When the commander-in-chief can’t tell people to lay down their arms, we’ve got a problem.

Father’s Day coming up. Stephen was a surrogate dad to his younger siblings.

See my Father’s Day tribute at aaldef.org/blog. Includes a cool pic of me during the Disco Days!

 

UPDATE,WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4, 2014, 6AM

SUPPORTERS OF #JUSTICEFORSTEPHEN GUILLERMO WILL HOLD A SILENT VIGIL OUTSIDE THE HALL OF JUSTICE IN in San Francisco at noon.

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures will be presented to the DA, urging his office to continue its investigation that will lead to charges against Stephen’s killer.

A day after the election day, we want our public servants in the District Attorney’s office to know that there are voters out there that are watching this case, and care about justice.

We will also announce the date of Stephen’s graduation from San Francisco State, when he will receive a posthumous degree in International Relations.

 TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 2014,  7am

Today is election day in California, Asian America’s most populous state.

Go ahead. Make my day. Go out and vote.

If you’re voting for a DA, make sure your vote goes to someone who has some guts and courage. One who will put justice above self-interest. 

DAs have more discretion than they let on. But they play the percentages, like any politician.

They also tend to seek higher office, and we need to remind them that what can seem like safe decisions now can come back to haunt them tomorrow.

So vote today. Show your strength.

Most people won’t, but this is Democracy’s day. Don’t be silent.

STEPHEN, a month later: We have passed the one month marker since Stephen’s death.

We will hold a silent vigil at the San Francisco Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 4 at lunchtime.

We will also announce the commencement ceremony for Stephen who will be given a posthumous degree from

San Francisco State University.

 

UPDATE FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014  1PM

Stephen Guillermo would be preparing to graduate had he lived. But SFSU has stepped up and granted his degree in International Relations. The ceremony won’t be this weekend but next.

Now that the school has moved toward academic justice, will the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon?

Read my opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle:

www.sfgate.com/default/article/Justice-for-Stephen-Guillermo-should-not-be-5499880.php

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 5/21/14 9AM

WE MET WITH THE DA: SF Asst. DA David Merin met with Stephen’s family Tuesday night in San Francisco. I’m not sure it was better than prayer, but it did help us understand where things were in the investigation.

Merin is open minded  and is still looking for and at evidence. We want him to take his time.

If you know anything about the case or the people involved, please call the SF DA at 415.553.1751.

Read  more about the meeting and my impressions on www.aaldef.org/blog and on www.facebook.com/emilguillermomedia  #justiceforstephen

 

 

UPDATE TUESDAY, 5/20/14 1pm

Stephen was a legal immigrant. But he was undocumented in one respect. He didn’t have his bachelor’s degree. He was to get it from SF State this year in May. Now the International Relations Department has granted him his degree. The first in his immediate family to achieve the goal and a great example to his younger siblings and relatives.  Ceremony won’t be this Saturday, but in a special event this summer. Stay tuned.  It’s a small bit of justice. Now it’s the San Francisco District Attorney’s turn to value Stephen’s life and bring his killer to justice.

http://diverseeducation.com/article/64353/

 

Thanks to all the people who attended my public eulogy for Stephen. If you missed it you can still fill out a survey to help the Rockefeller Aspen Diaspora project find ways to provide philanthropic help to the Philippines.

 

 

UPDATE SATURDAY, 5/15/14, 8AM

Stephen’s body was buried, but he is not forgotten.

I will talk about the case and Stephen’s role in the timeline of Filipino history, touching on immigration and the Diaspora. Stephen was part of an historical legacy of injustice that makes his death even more tragic.

Date: Monday, May 19, 6pm

Place: Philippine Consulate, 447 Sutter , SF

It’s free. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Aspen Diaspora program.

Even if you can’t make it. Please fill out this survey:

www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media/photos/a.562192250504528.1073741828.561970593860027/681891581867927/?type=1&theater

 

UPDATE THURSDAY, 5/15/14, 7AM

We bury Stephen Guillermo today.

He will be wearing his Giants jersey.

For photos of the wake go to the facebook page at Emil Guillermo Media.

 

www.facebook.com/emil.guillermo/posts/10152840677642571

 

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 5/14/14,  1PM

THE PHILIPPINE DIASPORA is evident in my family as relatives from Canada and Europe have come for Stephen’s funeral.

At the viewing, I noticed Stephen will be buried in his Giants jersey.

Public viewing is tonight at Duggan’s in Daly City. The funeral is on Thursday.

Still, nothing from the SF District Attorney. The case is still open, but sources say charges against Kachepa are highly unlikely.  On Tuesday, I waited over four hours to give a two minute urging to the Board of Supervisors to let the DA know that there is enough to charge Kachepa. Read my piece at www.aaldef.org/blog to see the questions I’ve raised. If Kachepa let in or could see Stephen through the peephole, why couldn’t he simply tell Stephen he had come to the wrong door? Kachepa, a former security guard knew he could use his gun. This law overprotects gun owners, and underprotects the innocents who get killed by accident. As I told the board on Tuesday, why is a Montana DA challenging a similar type “Castle” case, but the DA in liberal San Francisco? He can and should do the right thing. Charge Mr. Kachepa in the death of Stephen Guillermo.

Stephen Guillermo, half the size of Kachepa, unathletic, and  ineffective after a night of drinking, simply  posed no threat to any reasonable person.

I’LL TALK MORE ABOUT THE CASE, Monday, May 19

I will be speaking about the murder and how it connects to  the Philippine Diaspora on Monday, May 19, 6pm at the Philippine Consulate at 447 Sutter in San Francisco.

It’s free, and there will be food. It’s sponsored by the Rockefeller Aspen Diaspora program.

If you’re interested in helping Filipinos, please fill out this survey:

 

 

UPDATE; TUESDAY, 5/13/14, 12 NOON

Thanks to the SF Giants for putting up what essentially is a scoreboard tombstone for my cousin at yesterday’s game.  Stephen loved the Giants, and attended the Padre series the week of his murder. He would have been at the Giants’ Filipino Heritage night.

www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media/posts/680449758678776?notif_t=notify_me

The Giants won, Tim Lincecum struck out 11 and had his best game of the year, and afterwards in the clubhouse expressed his sorrow about Stephen’s murder.

Lincecum, part Filipino is a community hero, and was a favorite of Stephen’s.

Now it’s time for the DA to step up to the plate. How can the DA in Montana  challenge the Castle laws in that gun-friendly state , but not in San Francisco?

Let’s hope the DA takes the time to reconsider the matter for the sake of justice.

UPDATE: MONDAY, 5/12/14, 8AM

After a mournful Mother’s Day, the family prepares to bury Stephen.

We hope the SF DA George Gascon will take the time to go over the police investigation and consider charging the released suspect.

We ask that people who support the family send a message to the DAs office at 415.553.1751  and let them know Stephen deserves justice. The shooter needs to explain his action, was deadly force justifiable? Why not let a jury decide?

www.aaldef.org/blog

PUBLIC TALK ABOUT THE CASE:  I will be speaking about the case next Monday, May 19, 6pm at the Philippine Consulate of San Francisco. It’s free.

I will be talking about the murder and how it plays into the Philippine Diaspora.  Just fill out the survey here to come to the talk. Or just fill out the survey:

http://rad-aspen-institute.polldaddy.com/s/rockefeller-aspen-diaspora-program

 

UPDATE: SATURDAY, 5/10/14 6AM

THE FAMILY’S MOURNING BEGINS: it has now been a week since the murder  of Stephen Guillermo, the San Francisco DA’s Office has been given the file from the SF Police Dept. 

A mass will be said Saturday, May 10.

Where: St. Patrick’s Church at 1:30 p.m.

Address: 756 Mission St., San Francisco

Let’s hope that as the family begins its mourning time, the SF District Attorney’s Office will begin to look at the facts in earnest. Since the suspect was already release, the DA has no deadline and can leisurely look at the case. The DA has full discretion. Cases have been charged and convicted on less than what he has. Let’s hope he has the courage to do the right thing for Stephen Guillermo.

See more at: http://www.aaldef.org/blog/justiceforstephen-the-guillermo-family-continues-to-hope.html

 

 

 

UPDATE: FRIDAY, 5/9/14 7AM

SFPD has sent “reinvestigated” file back to SF District Attorney George Gascon, and now DA has a second chance to do the right thing. Let’s hope he considers the witness who indicates this was not a break-in nor home invasion, and that Amisi Kachepa was wrong to use deadly force against a small, unarmed, non-threatening, inebriated Stephen Guillermo who was merely in the wrong apartment.

We are gathering for another lunchtime vigil at 11:30 at the SF Hall of Justice to remind the DA there’s a way to find justice in this senseless tragedy.   see www.facebook.com/emilguillermomedia

 

UPDATE: 5/8/14 go to 

 www.facebook.com/emilguillermomedia

 

UPDATE: 5/7/14   SUSPECT RELEASED? REALLY? Yes.

Hard to believe that in a city that takes a stand on everything from nuclear power to immigration, there is not the political will to take on the gun lobby in a meaningful way. The DA had a time limit of 48 hours, not four days, as I was told originally by a court clerk. And as I tried to speak the truth in two-minutes before the board, I was running out of time.  By late afternoon, the police report was going to the board, and by 6pm if the decision was made there would not be enough to charge, the suspect would be let go.

That was DA Gascon’s choice.

Why? There was enough to charge and hold. Now the man is back in the same apartment building where he shot Stephen.

We are outraged. But controlled. We want the justice system to be outraged for us.

Despite our efforts of the family at the Board of Supervisors, it didn’t matter. The standard of the  DA was much higher to risk his win/loss record, I guess.

That’s what having zero “political will,” means. I guess he doesn’t think Filipino Americans or Asian Americans vote in San Francisco.

But the family has will.  And the fight continues for #justiceforStephen. There will be a vigil at the Hall of Justice today, 850 Bryant around the lunch hour.

We will also be at the Police Commission meeting at SF CITY HALL today at 5:30.

As I said, we are outraged, but controlled. We will raise real questions today.

 

5/3/14

SFPD Chief Greg Suhr boasted this week about a low homicide rate for the first quarter.  Personally, the Guillermo family murder stats in SF are  up by an infinite amount

Homicides at an all-time low in the history of San Francisco? Tell that to my family.

My cousin Stephen Guillermo, 26, was gunned down last night in the city.

My relatives tell me, he came home and mistakenly tried to enter the wrong apartment. Stephen lived on the fifth floor.  He mistakenly tried to enter the same apartment on the 3rd floor.

The resident of the third floor apartment was armed and is alleged to have shot Stephen, whom he might have mistaken for an intruder.

The older resident apparently felt he needed a gun to live in his urban apartment on Mission and 5th Street. 

This is how safe the city is when one only feels secure when armed and dangerous. 

That’s the situation that leaves an innocent 26-year old  dead.

My cousin, who took the journey my dad had taken 70 years before him, came to San Francisco from the Philippines and was living his American life. Stephan had some time off work and was officially on his  “long weekend.” He was planning a mini-road trip. I saw he went to see the Giants this week. I was going to give him my tickets to the next home stand.

I never got to see him again.

Sorry, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr.  

Boast all you want about how the city has had just four homicides in the city to date, compared to 12 in the same time last year.

Numbers don’t mean a thing.

Especially on an individual basis. The Guillermo family had no murders last quarter. None last year. None ever. And I’m a native San Franciscan with a long history in the city.

But we had one last night.  Do the math. Since you can’t divide by zero, that put our percentage increase at INFINITY.

That’s how ridiculous crime stats are. They don’t tell how safe the city is, nor how safe people feel in the city. 

City crime stats surely can’t explain the sad logic of my cousin’s senseless death.

UPDATE 11:52 a.m. 5/3/2014  FROM SFPD:

At approximately 1:40 AM this morning, San Francisco Police responded to an apartment building on the 900 block of Mission Street for a report of a shooting.  Officers arrived on scene and located a shooting victim, male 26 years old, in an apartment.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.  The suspect in this incident was located at the scene, arrested and booked into San Francisco County jail.  He is identified as Amisi Sudi Kachepa, 68 years old, San Francisco resident.  He was booked into county jail on a homicide charge.  His booking photo will not be released at this time

 

UPDATE: 11:07

I just got this statement  from SFPD–

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE STATEMENT REGARDING HOMICIDE ON THE 900 BLOCK OF MISSION STREET

At approximately 1:40 AM this morning, San Francisco Police responded to an apartment building on the 900 block of Mission Street for a report of a shooting.  Officers arrived on scene and located a shooting victim in an apartment.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.  Homicide investigators are actively investigating the incident.  Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call San Francisco Police.
 SFPD:  415-553-0123

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

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Zero Tolerance on racism? The NBA’s Adam Silver got it right on Donald Sterling

Adam Silver’s NBA media conference had that special kind of feeling. That same feeling I had when as a young boy  I saw Tommie Smith and John Carlos, U.S. Olympic sprinters, raise their fists from the medal stand in Mexico.

This was that kind of special moment for all people of color in society.

And, of course it had to happen first in the place too often dismissed by people as the toy store of life—in sports.

But where else would we see this sort of thing happen first?

Sports has always been the place for the truly gifted and exceptional athlete—many of whom are persons of color.

And when we see their excellence, it is hard for society to square up with all the ignorance that exists on race.  Sports people want to win. They want the best players. When the best players are people of color, it’s hard to harbor a racist thought.

Unless someone tape records you and releases it to the public.

And then, from there,  it really is up to the players, not the bosses.

Great leverage comes when 70 percent of the league’s  players are African American. The players’ recognition of their power made Commissioner Adam Silver’s job even easier.

Morally, and for business, it was just the right thing to do.

But Sterling is a professional litigant. Here’s a guy who wasn’t scared of the Fair Housing Act.

And he will no doubt challenge whether and if the NBA can force him to sell his business, or impose a lifetime ban.

That judgment will take place in the courts, where it always takes time, and money to get the kind of imperfect justice we usually end up with. I expect a long, protracted court fight.

But Silver really showed what an empowered executive, with the backing of the players, and a majority of fans can do—achieve a moral triumph.

It’s definitely “feel good” time. But this battle is far from over.

We still live in a society where soon we will hear from people who will question Silver and the NBA. These are the people who are against things like  affirmative action, who see eye to eye with Sterling, and believe that he was a man who enriched minorities,  bought them houses, cars, put food on their table. There will be people who will insist Sterling is some sort of humanitarian.

Hard to believe. But  remember, we live in a society where there are people who think you’re a racist if you fight for race-based admissions and fairness for people of color.

Enjoy the “feel good” of the moment.

When Sterling responds, it will be a new game, new fight. Already Rush Limbaugh has come to his defense. Surely, he will enlist his One Percent allies, the Kochs, Tea Partiers, et al.

Amid the noise, we will need the memory of the moment to remind us Silver got it right when it came to Sterling.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HOME FOR THE AMOK COLUMN: www.aaldef.org/blog

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