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“The musical Miss Saigon has been running for over 20 years, which means it's lived longer than many Southeast Asian refugees gunned down by police brutality, violence, in poverty and with PTSD. Tickets are $125-$222 USD. If you believe colonialism is the greatest love story of our time, how can we live in the same world? Wait, don't answer that. The Mandarin, the dreadlocked Uruk-hai, the Indian savage, the Mexican illegal, the samurai who's actually a Jap: they are the enemy, and we pay to see it. All the while Michelle Malkin agrees that immigrants are not as smart as whites, but what do you expect from the Asian who argued we should lock up Arabs like we did the Japanese. And the U.S. puts Assata on the Most Wanted list. Nonetheless people line up to empty their pockets and listen to tragic staged Asians sing their song, the war that churned our people apart turned to a wet dream fantasy of Vietnamese written by two white Frenchman. How's that colonialism working out for you. This is the world I helped bring a daughter into. Happy f--- Asian-Pacific Heritage Month.”—
Poet Bao Phi on the play Miss Saigon. Despite continual protests from the Asian American community, theater companies like Towne Theater in Columbia, South Carolina continue to perform the racist musical—and to add insult to injury, this production has an all-white cast. The show is opening during Asian Pacific American Heritage month.
“In the Twin Cities, the problem is not that we haven’t organized against it. The play has been here at least three times and we’ve organized against it, with different strategies each time. Each time, the white theater tells us they’re sorry and they want to be sensitive to the community. They create focus groups, then ignore the focus groups when they advise them not to bring Miss Saigon back.
“All the while, new generations of people of all races go to see this play despite all of our educational teach-ins, our counter-shows and protests, and it’s the one ‘learning experience’ they have about the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people. I was a teenager the first time we organized against it - I’m 38 now and i’m tired of it. We’re still going to organize against it but a lot of this crankiness is with my frustration that there seems to be little to no progress. White supremacy is a machine that keeps grinding, I guess.”