As I become more engaged with my fellow Vietnamese Americans, I realized that the majority of us supports Donald Trump. Whether they are ill- or well-informed, I respect their political perspective. We argued when we drank, but we agreed to disagree.
With the recent controversy surrounding Mr. Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn, I am disappointed with the Vietnamese-American community. The attack and the name-calling are low and narrow-minded. He was called “Việt Gian” (Fake Vietnamese or traitor) for criticizing Trump. Anytime anyone has a different opinion from the community is accused of working for Việt Cộng no matter how profound the person had contributed to the Vietnamese-American community.
America is a free country and the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. Mr. Nguyễn is entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us entitled to ours. I find the responses from Vietnamese-American news media and celebrities to be hilarious and ignorant. They advised Mr. Nguyễn to do thorough research before opening his mouth and yet they failed to do their own research. Mr. Nguyễn pointed out that Canada processed more than 50,000 asylum claims coming from the U.S., which is true according to Canadian government statistics. He did not just pulled that number out of thin air.
As a community, we must embrace and respect different perspectives. Diversity makes us stronger. We are not monolithic; therefore, we don’t have to be all Republican. We certainly don’t have to worship the ground Trump spits on. We can still call him out for his inhumane and immoral politics. Stop boycotting, protesting, and silencing Mr. Nguyễn for speaking out. We are not communist.