Miss Saigon Protests- Mixed Views not only on the play, but the Vietnam War

stereotyping-660x450I was at the protest to observe and report. I agree with some of the protestors statements on stereotypes and racism in general and needing other narratives. I also believe that history, including American history, isn’t always told completely or truthfully. This happens everywhere. I believe citizens in every country can and have been naive to their governments and the misleading “patriotic” sentiments.

Although I agreed with some of the points that were shared by the protestors, I did not agree with them entirely. What I found in the make-up of the protestors were mostly non-Vietnamese and missing were Amerasians and their mothers or Vietnam Veteran’s voices represented. I was able to find a couple of Vietnamese voices, but they were not directly connected to the Vietnam War Era. Majority of the protestors were not even Vietnamese or didn’t even see the play to begin with.

Below is a clip from the actual protest that took place in late 2014 at the opening of the play in MN. Here is also a link to my reflections on the whole controversy / debate. You should read the piece at this link along with watching the clip to get a full understanding of this debate / controversy from more than one perspective. I am Vietnamese Amerasian who has worked with Vietnam Veterans and Vietnamese Amerasians for 14 years. What I have found from many in the Vietnamese, Amerasian, and Veteran community is an entirely different take on this play. Of course I can’t speak for everyone, neither should the protestors.

Here is also a link to my reflections on the whole controversy / debate. –You should read the piece at this link along with watching the clip to get a full understanding of this debate / controversy.

The Secret War that took place during the Vietnam War

*Lecture taped and pieced together by TSIO with permission. Learn more about the Hmong’s role and history with the Vietnam War Era.

*Added Reflections- Many times the images on TV, Movies, or in the media you see are limited or with only one narrative, if even altogether accurate to begin with. Many times stereotypes develop out of these limited images about a place and people. (Related Video Clip-I am not who you think I am) Those same images usually point fingers to practices that have occurred in other countries regarding using children as soldiers. The U.S. did not turn away that practice either during the secret war in Laos. Many were very young boys. Some as young as nine or ten.

The Joy of living, A Cambodian Village Portrait

Stories like these are inspiring. I also like this video because it is the Cambodian people who are taking the lead to make change in their own countries as they are very much capable of doing. I’m sure outside assistance is welcomed and appreciated, but sometimes well meaning foreigners come in without truly listening to the real needs and even wisdom of the people they are trying to help.

Although I also enjoy the shops, restaurants, and parties out when I’m overseas, the villages and country-side are usually my most favorite places to be.