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A RED STORM OF LETTERS
The following letters concern Nick Schou's Aug. 16 article, "Red Scare in Little Saigon," discussing theViet Weekly newspaper's struggles with anti-communist protesters.
I looked up the OC Weekly on Wikipedia, and after reading the article "Red Scare In Little Saigon," I was glad someone was speaking out for whatever cause it wants to. I just want to mention some facts that maybe the author forgot to mention in the article.
I wasn't really sure who the article was pointing at when I read the sidebar titled "A History of Violence."
When we think of history and violence, we think of Hitler, the world-renowned dictator. But Hitler didn't kill his own people, he killed 6 million Jews.
I can't think of a type of government in the 20th century that mass-murdered their own people other than the communists. I don't recall the actual number; all I remember is that The New York Times estimated that since the start of communism, 100 million lives worldwide were lost.
My mom and my aunts lost their father because one night the communists came to their house and took my grandpa; it was the last time they saw their father. Twelve days later, he was found buried alive with 80 people in a hole. For better knowledge of what really went on in the late '70s in Vietnam, look up "Tet Offensive" on Google.
My dad (a college graduate who served in the Southern Vietnam navy) was taken to the so-called re-education camps for defending his homeland from the invasion of the communists. After Vietnam fell into the hands of the Viet Cong, he and his fellow men were accused of being traitors with the Americans. He served six years and eight months, sanding gold for the VC, sleeping on potato bags, witnessing his fellow men as they were tortured or starved to death. His father died while he was in the communist jail. He was safe in America when his mother passed away. Without an established green card, he couldn't get out of the country to attend his mother's funeral. He never got to see his parents for the last time. . . . Did he blame the communists for this?
I swear, my parents protesting against this Viet Weekly are so harmful and violent! How could one have the heart to remind the refugees of the communists' red flag? That is like showing up in a community full of Holocaust victims and waving the symbols of the Nazis.
Lastly, I remembered reading the name of a Vietnamese poet in the article. I believe it was Nguyen Chi Thien. In comparison to Nelson Mandela, Thien was in jail for the same cause. The only difference is that Nguyen Chi Thien was in jail seven years longer. Twenty-seven years imprisoned in the communist jail, and I bet the author of this article has never heard of him. Do you wonder why Nelson Mandela is so famous? His stories are released everywhere around the world. Even with the oppression in South Africa, there was still freedom of the press at the time.
As for Nguyen Chi Thien, we didn't hear of him until he immigrated to the United States. Simply, the current Vietnamese government does not allow any newspaper to write/display their shadiness. What makes one believe they would let reporters come into their country and come out writing what really goes on in their administration? There is something fishy here.
I think the protesters went overboard this time. That area on Main Street used to be a nice place to visit whenever I had a chance to stop by to pick up my kids from school over there. However, due to an overly violent act, the crowd made it look uglier than ever. Not to mention, I now have to worry for my children's safety in that area, too.
When will they come to their senses about this? People who have businesses in that area should comment to the city council or city mayor to resolve this problem. I am also Vietnamese, but I don't agree with the protesters. And I am afraid of them, too. That's why whenever I pick up my kids there on the dates they protest, I always go to the back door.
Thank you for writing your recent piece on Orange County's Vietnamese American community. I live in Oakland, and this sort of reporting needs to be done more. Complex perspectives on my community rarely get written about. This piece does that journalistic mission justice. I work with a progressive Vietnamese-American group here in the Bay Area, and I want to ask Le Vu and those at Viet Weekly if there is anything we can do to help them.
Tony Van Nguyen
Asian Pacific American Community Program
AN UNKINDEST (HAIR) CUT
My barber—a shady type of guy with a fu manchu and shaved head—never read the Weekly until the Haidl trial came along. Now, with [R. Scott] Moxley doing nothing but crime stories, he picks it up every week and is telling his scummy pals to do the same. I personally miss Moxley's political coverage (whatever happened to the Great Park, Scott?), but at least know that the "new" Weekly is picking up a bunch of non-gay, non-liberal readers.
SKA'D FOR LIFE
The following letter pertains to Conor Izzett's Aug. 9 article, "Prescription for Progression," about the Rx Bandits.
The beginning of this article is so wrong that it hurts to read the words. "Rx Bandits are the best band to come out of Orange County in the past 10 years." Wow. I'm sorry. Please don't insult OC like that ever again. First of all, they are a ska band; ska hasn't been popular since the '90s, and even then, it wasn't that great. Secondly, that's your opinion, NOT a fact. What about "real" bands that actually headline tours and are part of REAL tours such as Atreyu and Bleeding Through? They are way bigger and way better. Not to mention that both are local, born and raised in OC. Please get your facts straight before publishing this crap. Please don't have Conor Izzett write anymore. It makes me not want to read OC Weekly anymore. I'm better off reading the Weekly World News and getting facts from that than from Conor's so called "articles."Dbizzal
TAKIN' FLAK FOR MY OLD SCHOOL
The following letter is in regard to Derek Olson's Aug. 2 article, "Litigating It Old-School," about former Chapman instructors using a Civil War-era law in their multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the university.
Nice "light" journalism. Why not mention which campuses these professors previously taught at, for starters? Maybe you could have interviewed other instructors, students or administrators to find out how prevalent this is.
I have no problem with this legal complaint being addressed and given its due process, but it sure sounds like these ex-profs have an ax to grind (not necessarily unusual in higher education). When you consider that one featured in the article has a wrongful-termination suit pending, that ax becomes that much more apparent. This case certainly sounds like one that should—and very possibly will be—thrown out of court.
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When I attended Chapman, I took more than a dozen courses there to complete my degree and was almost never allowed to leave early. However, I also took some classes at University of Phoenix, which was much more of a joke regarding academic standards.
I realize these allegations come against one particular master's degree program, but for my undergrad, the vast majority of my Chapman instructors insisted we stay the entire time the class was scheduled with no real exceptions. They knew if they didn't, they could be disciplined or worse. A few regularly made a deal with us students to allow for one break instead of the scheduled two and let the class out 20 or 30 minutes early as a result. This is perfectly within the rules. At least one of my professors actually kept us past 10 p.m. about half the time.
I certainly can't vouch for "20 years ago," but I graduated in 2006, so I know of what I speak.
In the cover story of the Aug. 17 issue ("Red Scare in Little Saigon"), the name of Garden Grove school board member Trung Nguyen is misspelled. Also, he should have been referred to as "Nguyen" on second reference. The Weekly regrets the error.