So Much For The Freedom Of Expression

For the last ten years a 144-flag display has hung in the atrium of the student center of the Irvine Valley College without incident.  However according to an article written by Marla Jo Fisher in yesterday’s Orange County Register school officials have removed the display after threats from radical anti-communist activists in the local Vietnamese community. 

The display represented the flags of the nations of the world “in a gesture designed to symbolize the diversity of the college’s student body”.  It was the fact that a flag depicting the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was displayed that drew the ire of the activists.  The activists threatened mass protests with busloads of protestors if the flag was not removed.  Fearing this, school officials caved and removed the entire display.

Leading the charge for the radical activists were Van Tran allies Westminster Councilman Andy Quach and Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen.  Quach and Nguyen essentially threatened and coerced school officials by reminding them of what happened during the 1999 protests in Little Saigon over a shop owner displaying the Vietnam flag and a photo of Ho Chi Minh.  During those protests some 50,000 people showed up and at times turned violent, going as far as attacking an American veteran of the Vietnam War who spoke in favor of the shop owners right to free speech.

It is time that this thuggery and intimidation by the radicals in Little Saigon comes to an end.  These folks believe in the right of free speech.  Theirs.  They wrap themselves in the Constitution to protect their rights, and step on it when it comes to the rights and beliefs of the people who disagree with them.  They left Vietnam in search of freedom and yet they act not too much different from those in charge of the country they fled.

Shame on Irvine Valley College officials for bowing to their threats and shame on those issuing those threats.  If you believe in the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression you must be willing to defend things that may be offensive to you.  That is the beauty of America, or at least that used to be the beauty of America.  Clearly we have allowed the threats of a radical mob to determine what can be said or expressed.

This leaves me to ask should Cuban-Americans be able to demand the removal of the Cuban flag because they don’t agree with the government there?  What about Persian-Americans and the Iranian flag?  Should we only allow the display of flags of countries we like?  Should we ban the display of all flags except the American flag?

So much for the freedom of expression.

  5 comments for “So Much For The Freedom Of Expression

  1. jose s.
    February 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    man this pisses me off and it doesnt suprise me one bit. what a bunch communists. “hey, lets fight freedom and our fears by acting like communists!” i remember when the bowers took down a chinese art exibit a few years ago because of this type of threat myself and a bunch of others called and complained to them not to let them do this in santa ana and eventually they didnt. sure there were protests but so what. some people just need to learn how things work here and if they dont like it they can go back to vietnam.

  2. jose s.
    February 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    here’s some phone numbers if you want to voice your opinion. van tran-916-319-2068, dina nguyen–714-741-5104, andy quach-714-898-3311 ext. 262

  3. Ugly Sanchez
    February 26, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Sean — I find it funny that you would characterize the protesters as “thugs” since the only threat/warning the made against IVC is a public demonstration.

    The college has the right to display any flag they want, and the folks in Little Saigon has the right protest against such a display. Sounds fair right?

    And Sean, as a sitting Santa Ana Planning Commissioner, I’m sure you might have higher political aspiration. I suggest you might want to keep such an idiotic opinion to yourself for your sake, and that of your appointer – Sal.

  4. jose s.
    February 27, 2008 at 12:13 am

    ugly sanchez, they arent thugs they’re communists.

  5. VOTER
    June 9, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I told you those two are dumb. Don’t know how they got elected in the first place. I though Andy would know better than that… well, now we know. I dont’ expect any better from Dina because from day one many have voice their opinion in the community and wondered how she got elected and wonder how long it would take for her to understand that council is not a full time “queen of Little Saigon” position. It’s only council, one of 5 members. She needs to deflate that empty head of hers. I am so glad the people spoke loud and clear at the last primary… this race is way out of dina’s league

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