The airwaves of Little Saigon's radio stations are legendary outposts of slander, lies, innuendo, political water-carrying, intimidation, Red-baiting--in short, no-holds-barred banter, the kind State Assemblymember and Congressional hopeful Van Tran loves unless the criticism is against him. Most of it is intra-Vietnamese hectoring, but a recent broadcast on KALI-FM 106.3 Saigon Radio suggests that the recent nationwide Mexican-bashing fest has now reached the Little Saigon media.
According to multiple sources contacted by theWeekly
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who heard the broadcast, the hosts of Saigon Radio's noontime radio bloc this past Wednesday discussed a recent incident involving a group of students who wore to their school on Cinco de Mayo clothing emblazoned with the American flag only to get reprimanded by school administrators. They also touched a bit on Arizona governor Jan Brewer signing a law that effectively banned ethnic studies in the state. From someone who heard the broadcast:
"They talked about how Mexicans are here, unlike the Vietnamese, to take over the land! They pointed out evidence of how displays of the former flag of the Vietnamese Republic is a symbol of anti-communism, while displaying the flag of Mexico is a threat to America. Also, speaking tangentially, they denied racism from the Republican party. They acknowledged the atrocities committed against [Native Americans] by European immigrants, and in the same breath denied that any such thing currently exists."
As an aside, one person who heard the broadcast also said that Vietnamese sometimes refer to Mexicans as nguoi di chui, which translates roughly as "the creepers" and was apparently also used to slur Vietnamese boat people. Wow, what synchronicity with my ¡Ask a Mexican! column this week! It's not clear whether the Saigon Radio commentators used that slur in their broadcast, though.
Vietnamese-Mexican relations have never been particularly cordial in Orange County, but outright anti-Mexican ridicule by Vietnamese public figures has been on the increase in the past couple of years, with politicians and media types alike fully, finally assimilating into Orange County by realizing that trashing wabs is a lucrative business. The Weekly is currently transcribing the Saigon Radio broadcast (a bit tough, when your fluency in Vietnamese is limited to mot bánh mì gá) and will put it up when ready. More to come on this story, I'm sure, including the fascinating question: are the commentators Trannies or Jannies?