Jennifer Nguyen Bernal
ASA 150 E
In "Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refugees" by Yen Le Espiritu talk about how the term refugees are used to objective them to fit America's narrative of the Vietnam war. America believes that they have rescued these refugees and have reformed them to be better. I remember hearing from my family that America has saved them from the war and we must work hard in America for giving us this opportunity, that idea of the " gift of freedom." Ye is pointing out that America views Vietnamese refugees as an object and have gifted them "freedom." They have never mentioned or mourn for the refugees or the Vietnamese veteran who were working class and people of color. I didn't realize how America always saying that they rescue refugees, but never cared about what their perspective and what they have been through the Vietnam war. She focuses on the importance of the refugee's stories before and after teh war. They were known as "damged' or " the model minority."
Although America views them as the new "model minority" since they work har for low hours, they were many unemployed and struggle to make it to the next day. I think of my family, who struggles to get by when they started to live in America and have no community to reach for help. Ye explains the assimilation narrative of the Vietnam war of the "good refugee" embracing " the American dream." It was a tactic to differentiate America from Southeast Asia. Ye says that she is showing the Vietnamese refugee "internationalized being" who has hope and values. America says they have Vietnam syndrome and believe that they had "good warrior" who was innocent white boys who need to do horrible things. The history of the Vietnam war has not been taught to the future generation of Vietnamese American, and they only hear the stories from their family. I remember in high school that they briefly cover the Vietnam War, and I just know the history of the Vietnam war through my family. I have learned about the history of the Vietnam War at my college, and I feel like the perspective of the refugee's perspective the war needs to be shared.
Le Espiritu, Ye. " Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refugees".2014
VUNG TAU , VIETNAM - APRIL,1975: Refugees from Da Nang and Hue, north of Saigon, pour ashore from navy barges at Vung Tau, south of Saigon.