Today, Westminster is the heart of Little Saigon, but for decades it was a nasty place where white made right–this was the setting for the Mendez, et al vs. Westminster, et al case after all. And the last bastion of that old guard is longtime Mayor Margie Rice, a coffin-dodger if ever there was one, who seems to be surviving the ravages of age solely on the power of her own anti-Vietnamese bile.
Back in 2006, Rice opposed naming a street in Westminster after Yen Do, the late, legendary editor of Nguoi Viet, because “This is America, not Vietnam. You've got to draw the line somewhere.” Rice is at it again, now implying the city's Vietnamese drivers cause too many accidents and will overwhelm the city if only given a chance.
The latest controversy emerged with a request by 400 Buddhist monks to march on the sidewalks of Bolsa Avenue from Nguoi Viet's office to Magnolia Avenue, then to Bushard Street, then back to their starting point. The Westminster City Council agreed to give the monks a special permit to undertake such an endeavor by a 3-1 vote, with the retrograde Rice dissenting.
“You can't even drive through Bolsa safely,” she said as reason for voting against the march. Bolsa, of course, is the heart of Little Saigon and seen in the Orange County imagination as a scene of chaos much like the “Me so horny” segment of Full Metal Jacket. And then Rice made matters worse by adding, “They say 300 or 400, and then they'll have 1,000.”
Who are “they,” Margie? Vietnamese? Asians? Yellow menace?
What's amazingly hypocritical, of course, is how Rice manages to wear ao dais whenever it can earn her votes from the very electorate she despises. Thank God Rice was outvoted by the Vietnamese-majority city council, and those Buddhist monks will have their day. Geez, when will Rice retire already and move to Arizona?