Tet Parade without Pride Parade

Tet—Vietnamese new year—is usually the time to celebrate and to wish for happiness, prosperity and good health in the coming year. Tet is no time for quarrels. Tet is the time to be happy—not angry.

This year, Tet started off wrongly for the Vietnamese community in Westminster, California and the Viet LGBT.

From OC Register, Viet LGBT met with the Westminster City Council to request the council considering to add a non-discrimination clause to the city’s ordinance for future special-event permits. Viet LGBT is undoubtedly still not happy for being excluded in the Tet parade held by the Vietnamese community.

What they said/thought now…

Councilman Sergio Contreras:

— “No one here on the council supported what took place this past weekend…”

—“The Westminster I grew up in is about inclusion, it’s about diversity…”

Councilwoman Margie Rice:

—“I did urge them to realize that they came to this country to be free, and they were taking away other people’s freedom. They didn’t listen. I was very disappointed…”

—“we need to take a good look…” at who can receive permits to host special events

Councilwoman Diana Carey said she would support the idea of adding non-discrimination clause to the city’s ordinance.

A Vietnamese/Garden Grove resident said… Today, I’m very ashamed that our very own community discriminates against our children.

What they did back in 1999…

These politicians need to be careful in adding non-discrimination clause. Once they add that clause, how can they prevent—say—a group that wants to march in the parade with the picture of Ho Chi Minh. How can they include—LGBT—but exclude a hypothetical group that loves Ho Chi Minh wanting to march with his pictures in the next Tet parade?

After all, this is a city that drew over 20,000 protesters against a video store owner who hang Ho Chi Minh picture in his store in Febuary 1999—many of the city’s councilmen/councilwomen stood with the protesters at the time.

And this is the city whose city council unanimously passed a resolution does not welcome visits (nor even just drive-bys) by representatives or officials of any levels of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Double standards…

How can one include all but exclude some?


Ch3 Nguyen


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