Saturday, May 4, 2013

Liz Shigetoshi - Week 5

In the chapter “Whose Community Is It Anyway?...”, Professor Valverde expresses the struggle for identity amongst the San Jose Vietnamese community and its city council member, Madison Nguyen, in 2008. The struggle stirred over naming an area in Nguyen's district “Little Saigon” or “Saigon Business District”. Though Nguyen believed she was helping the community and trying to compromise with different groups in her district, several vocal supporters of Little Saigon called Nguyen a traitor/communist and proceeded to insist on the recall of Nguyen, which eventually failed. This struggle in San Jose made me curious about the process of naming the area around Stockton Blvd Little Saigon in Sacramento, CA. Was there a similar struggle for identity? Is there still an active struggle? Or did Sacramento learn from places like San Jose and Westminster?

I thought it was really interesting how a lot of emotions were brought to surface by instigation. As similar to what was seen in the documentary Saigon, U.S.A., there was a lot of miscommunication and a lack of compromise due to very vocal protesters. It's fine to have an opinion and to express freedom of speech, but it easily becomes immature and foolish once someone starts attacking another by calling them names and trying to turn a whole community against them. Though I'm not fully aware of the whole story and the different angles of everyone in the San Jose community, by the end of this reading, I felt like I sympathized with Madison Nguyen and what she had to endure as a political leader, a Vietnamese American, and a woman.

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