The state Senate’s Democratic leaders forcibly prevented Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen, a refugee from Vietnam, from criticizing the late Tom Hayden.
Earlier in the week, senators took turns lionizing Hayden, who served in the Senate, as a visionary progressive.
Nguyen purposely waited two days before arising to present, first in Vietnamese and then in English, an alternative view of Hayden’s leadership of the antiwar movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Mr. Hayden sided with a communist government that enslaved and/or killed millions of Vietnamese, including members of my own family. Mr. Hayden’s actions are viewed by many as harmful to democratic values and hateful towards those who sought the very freedoms on which this nation is founded,” Nguyen said in Vietnamese.
After delivering her brief remarks in Vietnamese, Nguyen began to repeat them in English, but after only a few words, Sen. Bill Monning, a friend of Hayden’s, interrupted her and Sen. Ricardo Lara, who was presiding, told her to stop talking. When she refused, Lara told the sergeant-at-arms to “please remove Senator Nguyen from the chamber. Have her removed immediately, sergeants, please remove Senator Nguyen. She is out of order.”
The GOP really doesn’t have empathy for Vietnamese refugees. They simply saw a chance to perform a meaningless headline-grabbing political stunt that was pure symbolism over substance.
The police and the other arms of California state and local government routinely brutalize the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and people of color, meanwhile Republicans remain silent. Why?
Senate Republicans and their colleagues in the Assembly remain a side-show.
Source material courtesy of the Sacramento Bee