Photographer's Note


My brother and his big family in zip 38122 called me continuously since March, asking me to look around if I could find him a job as carpenter in Houston so he could move. His wife ran away from a position in town to accept a similar job in Olive Branch, Mississippi. My nephew posted his property for sale, getting ready to leave the dangerous area. My son told me he is going to quit his job to return to Houston to live with us.

Not only my relatives. The entire Vietnamese community in Memphis is nervous after the robberies rate against them happening more than once a day in consecutive weeks during daytime. The criminals just parked their vehicles near the target and waited for the victims’ presence to ensure the harvest. They acted as in the movie: pointing gun for cash, gold, credit cards, jewelries and go.

Vietnamese don’t have much confidence into police, and they rather suffered to find their own resolution than calling and reporting local authorities to be involved in the loss of more time and to invite retaliation. Local media still can’t find an effective way to track such activities to work and to help. NEWS-3-Memphis reported “Vietnamese Americans living in Memphis say they've been targeted by a four month long rash of crimes. Many of them are afraid to tell their stories for fear of revenge. One woman, who we won't name, tells us her mother was tied up, beaten and robbed. Another tells us criminals posed as landscapers to commit a burglary.”

When I asked, none of my relatives wanted to accompany me to Beale Street in downtown but the little 13-year-old nephew who was excited to hear the horrible stories of gun and blood happening to the area, and my quotation of Robert Young Pelton: "In America one in every 175 people are in jail. Prison populations have doubled in the last 15 years. Maybe we should move to Chechnya, it's safer isn't it?

Within the next year or so the United States is expected to overtake Russia as the country with the highest per capita rate of prisoners, according to a March 1999 report by the private nonprofit group Sentencing Project. The United States, which already has the largest prison population in the world, houses some 1.8 million prison inmates, an incarceration rate five to eight times those of other industrialized nations. According to numbers released by the Justice Department that same month, the United States has 668 prison inmates for every 100,000 residents while Russia currently has 685 inmates for every 100,000 residents."

Actually, we were safe.

We came and returned without incidents. I am going to share with you some snapshots in the next days.

Thanks for your time.



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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 472 W: 125 N: 2331] (8456)
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