Week Six – Diasporic Experiences and Transnational Experiences
Reading Chapter Five, “Whose Community Is It Anyways?” had some of my questions about the Vietnamese American community addressed. During the week when our class had a discussion of both perspectives, that of the North and South Vietnamese, it opened and altered my perspective and views towards those who were deemed “communist” as a person who grew up with the mindset of that being a South Vietnamese-American. Through that lecture, it made me question about the community of San Jose, because it is known to have strong pride and nationalistic view of South Vietnam. Growing up, I would see Southern Vietnamese flags all around town during Black April, with stories occasionally here and there of the San Jose Vietnamese American community expressing hateful actions towards those who waved or embraced the identity of a red flag with a yellow star in the middle.
Growing up as well, I would often here about the Vietnamese American community and media criticizing Madison Nguyen. In my head, I wondered why they did so to a person that was progressing a community through politics and representation; however, I didn’t know that the issue behind those critiques were that of addressing the question of whose community is it anyways. I love how Nguyen is breaking the wall that has been formed by the Vietnamese American community of San Jose because if this energy persists, it suppresses certain narratives that are shunned by nationalistic Southern Vietnamese views.
I believe that Nguyen's actions through her campaign and term challenged the atmosphere of the Vietnamese American community of San Jose in a progressive way. While it is a work in progress, how can we break these strong views found in the Vietnamese American community without offending or dismissing the narratives that South Vietnamese Americans?
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