fall of saigon, 1975

The Foreigner (2017, starring Jackie Chan) is unfortunately likely going to be racist.

The Foreigner is based off a 1992 book by Stephen Leather, called The Chinaman, which stars a Vietnamese main character.

So this means we have a slew of problems.

  • Creators of The Foreigner paid a Very White man to make a movie on his book regarding a Vietnamese father.
  • The role of the known Vietnamese characters went to two Chinese actors- Jackie Chan, and his character’s daughter, starring Katie Leung.
  • Those roles are still of Vietnamese characters, even in the movie.

[Image: Screenshot of Jackie’s character’s passport. The name on the passport is Ngoc Minh Quan, place of birth is stated as Vietnam.]

To say two Chinese actors look like Vietnamese people, not only erases SE Asians from media, it also tells Asians like myself that we all look alike.

And, as twitter user linhtropy pointed out, this raises a number of issues.

Base level information: 1. China was one of Vietnam’s colonizers. This is similar to whitewashing in terms of power dynamics.

3. The Fall of Saigon was in 1975. It’s still fresh for most Viet ppl. I don’t feel comfy w white ppl using this pain for entertainment.

I’m not comfortable with this either.

HISTORY MEME → [9/10] Moments: Vietnam War

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war.

The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region, while the People’s Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare, at times committing large units to battle. As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were fighting to reunify Vietnam. They viewed the conflict as a colonial war and a continuation of the First Indochina War against forces from France and later on the United States. The U.S. government viewed its involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam. This was part of the domino theory of a wider containment policy, with the stated aim of stopping the spread of communism worldwide.

Beginning in 1950, American military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with troop levels tripling in 1961 and again in 1962. U.S. involvement escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft, which was followed by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the U.S. president authorization to increase U.S. military presence. Regular U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations crossed international borders: bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were heavily bombed by U.S. forces as American involvement in the war peaked in 1968, the same year that the communist side launched the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive failed in its goal of overthrowing the South Vietnamese government, but became the turning point in the war, as it persuaded a large segment of the U.S. population that its government’s claims of progress toward winning the war were illusory despite many years of massive U.S. military aid to South Vietnam.

Gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces began as part of “Vietnamization”, which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves. Despite the Paris Peace Accord, which was signed by all parties in January 1973, the fighting continued. In the U.S. and the Western world, a large anti-Vietnam War movement developed as part of a larger counterculture. The war changed the dynamics between the Eastern and Western Blocs, and altered North–South relations.

Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 240,000–300,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action.

4

1. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese line up at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, seeking evacuation days before the fall of Saigon
2. April 1, 1975, Nha Trang - South Vietnamese scramble to board an aircraft fleeing North Vietnamese forces 
3. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese waiting in line for evacuation watch an American helicopter take off from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon
4. March 23, 1975, Tuy Hoa - South Vietnamese civilian and soldiers climb aboard a rescue helicopter to escape advancing North Vietnamese troops

April 30, 1975 - North Vietnamese forces capture Saigon, ending the war 

Like many other remaining South Vietnamese, my father, a soldier, was imprisoned in a “reeducation camp” for seven years where he endured severe malnutrition, forced labor, and inhumane conditions.  

drunkasianhistory:

The Royal Lao Family: A Story of the Last King, the Family Betrayal, and the Fall of a Kingdom.

Laos was once three kingdoms in the late 1800’s. In the north, the Kingdom of Luang Prabang, in the center the Kingdom of Vientiane and in the south, the Kingdom of Champasak.

The Last King:
His Royal Majesty Savang Vatthana was born in Luang Prabang in 1907. In his early years, he was sent to study in France for over 10 years, returned back to Laos and became a buddhist monk for a short time. Around 1930’s, he married Queen Khamphoui and had 5 children, with the eldest son as Crown Prince Vong Savang. (Crown Prince, because he will become king when his father passed away).

The Three Prince:
In 1959, Savang Vatthana became king after his fathers death. During this time, was a turmoil of the Cold War, between the West and the Soviet Union & China. King Savang Vatthana had an idea and decided to send three princes to study three forms of politics: Monarchy, Democracy and Communism.

The Crown Prince was sent to study Monarchy, his cousin was sent to study Democracy in France and his half-brother was to study Communism in the Soviet Union.

When they all grew up and came back to Laos, instead of having a combination of all three government, they contended for the throne as three different factions: The Royalist, the Neutralist and the Communist.

The Royalist were pro-West and backed by the Royal Family. The Neutralist were very democratic, and remained neutral. The Communist were backed and supplied by the Communist Vietnamese. The Neutralist would eventually side with the Royalist with American and Thai militia aid, which would ensue the “Secret War” between Laos and North Vietnam.

The Betrayal:
With the fall of Saigon in April 30th 1975 and the unification of Vietnam, Vietnam now declared a full secret war on Laos and Cambodia. Laos would fall in August 23rd 1975 and the king would abdicate his throne in December 2nd. Many of the Royal Family, including the King, Queen and the Crown Prince were arrested and sent to reeducation camp. Their deaths were unknown, but were said to have died between 1977-1984.

The Half-Brother who sided with the Communist became the first President of the newly established country of Laos.

The Kingdom-in-Exile:

(Regent of the Royal Family Prince Sauryavong Savang in the middle left, Pretender to the Throne Prince Soulivong in the middle right)

However, the Crown Prince’s son survived and escaped with his younger brother from the camp and arrived to France in 1981 as refugees. Soulivong Savang is now the pretender to the throne, with his uncle, Sauryavong Savang, the youngest son of King Savang Vatthana as the regent of the Royal Lao Government-in-Exile.

These two, Prince Sauryavong Savang, youngest son of the King, and Prince Soulivong Savang, grandson of the king and son of the Crown Prince, are the two most key important figures in the 21st century Royal Lao Family and Lao Social-Politics.

It was some time after the fall of Saigon in 1975 that Vietnam slowly, but surely, began to be an acceptable topic of conversation. People began to ask, with what seemed genuine interest, if I had been in the war. But during these conversations, I also began to notice a very peculiar thing. About every third or fourth person would then ask, ‘Were you wounded?’ …

People still ask me the question from time to time, although not as often as they did before the Wall. When they used to ask me, I would reply, 'No, I was lucky. I wasn’t wounded.’ Now I say to those who ask the question, 'Everybody was wounded in Vietnam… everybody.’

—  John C. Dibble
Yorktown

Everyone, except for a few British generals riding desks in London, knew that with Yorktown’s surrender on October 19th the War in America was over. Like Viet Nam in America two hundred years later, the average Englishman had turned against it.

But what of the Americans loyal to the Crown? Does anyone remember the fall of Saigon in April of 1975? It was much like Saigon in Yorktown on October 20, 1781. There was a very serious attempt by the American command to hold all loyalists as traitors and punish them accordingly. The British had promised all slaves who escaped and came to their lines to work would be granted freedom. Former slaves were in a worse position than the average loyalist, who might get off with a fine and incarceration, as they would be returned to slavery.

Then there was the special case of Tarleton’s legion, all of whom were Americans and hated for the supposed atrocities committed during the Southern Campaign. The Americans most certainly wanted to hang Tarleton and his men.

Washington had agreed Cornwallis could keep the Bonita, a sloop of war, to convey messages to British forces elsewhere in the Colonies. On October 20, Thomas Nelson informed Cornwallis that slaves and loyal residents were attempting to take refuge aboard the ship. Cornwallis ignored the letter. Not only that, he arranged for as many slaves as possible and the entirety of Tarleton’s Legion to be evacuated from Yorktown to New York before the Americans caught on to the plan.

Cornwallis was finally exchanged for Henry Laurens, an American diplomat who was the last prisoner held in the Tower of London.