Letter: Naing: bigoted American

By The Daily Illini

After reading Mr. Naing’s column, “In a Democratic fix,” I was thoroughly disgusted with his blatant bigotry. Here are his own words: “If the Democrats really want the Southern vote, all they have to do is hand out free Confederate Flags and stained wife beaters (Disclaimer: As someone from rural Southern Illinois, I reserve the right to make fun of Southerners: every inbred, slack-jawed, mullet-wearing, illiterate, trailer-trash one of them).” Using his logic, as someone from Asia that immigrated to Illinois, I reserve the right to make fun of Mr. Naing: every thing about him, from his frog eyes and weakling countenance to his bigotry and his irrational hatred toward those who don’t agree with him. (At least I didn’t say that his grandpa is also his dad). As a journalist, he simply lacks the ability to logically persuade, but excels in promoting hatred and division. I don’t know where he got the facts from, but he seems to believe that every Southerner that voted for Bush belongs to the group he mentioned above, failing to understand the diversity within the Southern Republicans. Little did he know that in the South there are two men that I highly respect – my two white uncles that fit his stereotype. Like he said, these two men all have stained wife beaters, but from the hard toils under the scorching Alabama and Oklahoma sun. It is very true that they don’t wear nice shirts and pants like the white-collared, educated men like Mr. Naing. As former Vietnam veterans and humble farmers, they don’t have the distinguished jobs like Mr. Naing, which involve sitting and writing in an air conditioned room while mocking the people that work in the blazing fields trying to maintain a subsistence living. They are not wealthy, but they are honorable men. Even though they are qualified for social welfare and food stamps, they choose to work and support themselves independently. But Mr. Naing seems to think that they are not honorable people. Not being rich like the “American middle-class” fails to win his respect. Like Mr. Naing said, they are not highly educated. Unlike the highly educated draft dodgers who claim that they love the UNITED STATES, fight with words and burn the flag, they fulfilled their duty by enlisting in the Army during the Vietnam War. The last time I checked, they were risking their lives for the Star-Spangled banner, not the Confederate flag. When they fought, they didn’t buy into the liberal argument that Vietnamese people are not worth dying for, or that we shouldn’t be fighting for a foreign democracy. I mean, we Americans love peace and the lives of Americans are much more supreme than the millions of non-American lives! No, they fought not only to defend the name of liberty and democracy, but for the welfare of the Vietnamese, and I am very grateful for the fact that they did. I think they would be very heartbroken when they found out that Mr. Naing not only fails to appreciate their sacrifice, but also calls them “inbred, slack-jawed, mullet-wearing, illiterate, trailer-trash.” They would undoubtedly ask Mr. Naing why he doubts their patriotism. Mr. Naing, please enlighten us and explain what patriotic things you’ve done. I think Mr. Naing should apologize for his gross bigotry against the poor, blue-collared, uneducated Southerners. Even if he fails to do so, at least he should apologize to my two uncles. Please, Mr. Naing, don’t lump people into one big group. And to the readers, please don’t categorize all Asians into those like Mr. Naing … he is one of a kind.

Chia-Tse Chien

junior in LAS