Saturday, April 23, 2005

Democrats in Sacramento Honor Communist Leader

The California Republican Party forwards this letter:
April 21, 2005
Honorable Fabian Nunez, Speaker
California State Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I write to express my profound and genuine outrage at the occasion by which the Assembly earlier today honored Phung Huu Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Parliament. I further wish to understand how -- on the day the Assembly in which I am so honored to serve saw fit to recognize both the Armenian Genocide and a delegation from a democratic Hungary that succeeded in freeing itself from the oppression of totalitarian communism -- I, a refugee from communist tyranny perpetrated against my family and my former countrymen in Vietnam, was denied by both you and the Speaker Pro Tem an opportunity to speak of this outrage on the Assembly Floor absent specific intervention by the Assembly Republican Leader.

Mr. Speaker, you have never lived in a land devastated by war. You have never been forced to leave the home of your birth, possibly never to return, because to remain would mean your certain death. My family and I have. Yet today you, Speaker Pro Tem Yee, and your Democratic majority honored a representative of the very communist regime that sought my death, my torture, my imprisonment -- even as a young boy -- simply because my family and I wished to be free. Free to pray as we chose; free to vote as we chose; free to allow our conscience to be heard.

Today you honored -- you personally applauded -- a representative of a regime that enslaved and murdered countless thousands of my former countrymen. A regime which to this very day denies in a vicious and systematic manner so many of the basic freedoms which you, I and every American are so privileged to possess. A regime which condemns priests, monks, healthcare and human rights workers to prison simply for daring to speak of the very rights which so many Americans take for granted. To add further insult to this profound injury -- an injury afforded to all Vietnamese-Americans who have sought safety, security and a new life in this truly blessed land --Speaker Pro Tem Yee told me I would not be allowed to speak at all on the Assembly Floor. Only after the direct intervention of Assembly Republican Leader McCarthy, Rules Committee Vice Chair Cogdill and others was I afforded two minutes to speak. A mere two minutes to relate to the Members of the Assembly and to all Californians the profound shock, indignity, and shame of such a recognition, let alone the pride I possess in being a Vietnamese-American who is so blessed to have come to this nation, and been elected to serve in this honorable body.

Mr. Speaker, the lesson of today's Armenian Genocide ceremony may be summed up in two words: Never forget. Today you chose to forget the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese-Americans who first braved death in their homeland, then braved it again to start life anew in America . You forgot the 58,000 Americans who gave their lives, and the more than 500,000 who endured combat injuries, fighting in the uniform of this nation in the effort to ensure the freedom of my native land. And you forgot the most basic principle of the Pledge of Allegiance which each of us recited at the beginning of today's session: that freedom, like our nation, is indivisible. You forgot all of this by affording honors to the chairman of the Hanoi communist parliament. But I will not forget.

Assemblyman, 68th District
Mr. Tran is a better man than I am for still being able to refer to the California Assembly as "this honorable body".