Monday, May 15, 2006

Feminist Dissidence Vietnamese Style

Last week, KQED public radio's "Pacific Time" featured an interview with Vietnamese political dissident Duong Thu Huong who is now living in France, hoping to find some money to support herself there and not have to go back to Vietnam, where she would most likely be arrested again. She has one last book she wants to write and then retire from the world stage to make room for younger Vietnamese dissidents to take up the flag against the government and the Communist party.

As I listened to the dulcet tones of Nguyen Qui Duc, whose accent intrigues me; it seems to be a mixture of Vietnamese, British, American (possibly) and something else I can't quite identify, ... anyway, Nguyen interviewed this 60 year old woman who is now in exile from her home country because of her political beliefs.

To have spent your life fighting a political regime that is so wrong, so harmful; speaking up and writing repeatedly about the wrongs in the hopes that others will join you in that call and work with you to bring about change. To speak up with honesty and dignity against what you know to be wrong, that is a high calling. To pay the price of prison and exile so that others will be called into action, that's a noble calling.

Let us all hope that it won't come to this in America but I fear in many ways it's been happening for quite some time and isn't about to stop. Let us bind together in our determination to work to bring about change and equality for all people on this planet. Let us look to people like Duong Thu Huong who speak the truth and let them inspire us to greater things.

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