8.5.04

HO-HO-HO CHI MINH. Yet more selective repression on the part of university administrators. It's commencement season, and universities welcome dignitaries and family members honoring graduating seniors from all over the world. But what happens when the graduating seniors have Vietnamese roots, but their families fled at the time of the takeover by the current government, a Communist government not afraid to take Nike's money.

Opinion Journal is on the story.
Right now the two municipalities that straddle Little Saigon--Westminster and Garden Grove--are mounting the kind of protest traditionally associated with the left. But instead of declaring themselves nuclear free or unwilling to enforce the Patriot Act, these cities are considering legislation that would make them no-Communist zones. The frank intention is to discourage any outreach to Hanoi, and already the controversy has led the State Department to cancel plans to take one Vietnamese delegation to the area for a goodwill visit.
Not quite ready for the Scottish compromise, in which H.M. Government can send a representative to the Highland Games and the multitudes can sing "Rose of Scotland," are we? Opinion Journal says send 'em a message.
We're not for giving Little Saigon a veto over U.S. foreign policy. But surely universities that would be the first to understand African-American students legitimately offended by the flying of a Confederate flag should have no trouble understanding Vietnamese-Americans who hold equally strong sentiments about a Communist flag. And by accommodating those sentiments, we might give any visiting Vietnamese delegations something they are unlikely to see back home: a taste of how we do things in democracies, where authorities are accountable to the people.
Professor Bainbridge, who picked up the story, enjoys the dilemma:
This will present campus lefties with a dilemma of their own making. On the one hand, since American universities are one of the last bastions of Marxist and socialist thought, how can they turn their back on one of the last Communist states? On the other hand, a core tenet of the modern multicultural left is avoiding offense to any underrepresented ethnic group.

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