I was sent this video of Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee’s announcement of the survival of South Vietnam to the present era with a simple “Words escape me.”
Well, that’s why I’m here.
To begin with, may I be blunt? I shall be blunt: Rep. Jackson-Lee is what happens when you mandate gerrymandering as a tool of social policy for forty years. Note that I did not say ‘racial gerrymandering,’ although that’s essentially what majority-minority districting is: if we were drawing up election maps to concentrate as many green-eyed voters in a particular district as possible and waited half a century we’d end up with stunningly idiotic green-eyed Members of Congress, too. Or redheads, or people with freckles; or anything else based on physical, cosmetic differences. All that you need is a tacit if never stated limitation on who gets to be elected, and an one-party monopoly on the district, and you’re good to go.
As we are here. For the benefit of any natural born damned fools that may have wandered in: there is no South Vietnam anymore. It was conquered by North Vietnam in 1975, shortly after a Democratic Congress – yes, the same political party as Rep. Jackson-Lee’s – defunded the defense of South Vietnam, in defiance of our promises made to that unhappy country as part of the cease-fire that ended the Vietnam War. They are not living together side by side as two countries. Because, well, again, the North Vietnamese conquered the South. If Rep. Jackson-Lee likes, she could go ask Rep. Joseph Cao (R, LA-02) for the details of that event… assuming, of course, that she can make herself believe that an Asian-American can speak real English just as good as a Democrat can.
Second, and let us dispose of this right now: she’s not talking about North and South Korea. We know this for three reasons:
First off, she was quoting a casualty rate of 58K, which is consistent with Vietnam War American casualties but not Korean War ones;
Second, North and South Korea are not anywhere near the point of having normalized relations. Even by North Korean propaganda standards, which are only compatible by normal reality’s standards by the blindest accident;
Third: Rep. Jackson-Lee is a liberal Democratic politician, and they really are that pig-ignorant of American history.
In short: to quote a physicist friend of mine, that’s not even wrong. But it is rather offensively ignorant, racist, and even racially ignorant.
PS: Just one last point… mixing up Vietnamese with Koreans like that is, ah, well, not particularly culturally sensitive. Different culture, different ethnicity, different language groups, and well, generally just different people. Yes, Rep. Jackson-Lee, I understand that both groups commonly display epicanthic folds. There’s more to it than that.
PPS: Yes, we’re running somebody against her this year. John Faulk. Bet you that they don’t all look alike to him.
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