Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Protesting the Band "Viet Cong": Another Example of How Organizing Around "Little Things" Impacts the Larger Culture

(9/19/15: UPDATE: three days after publishing this piece, the band announced it was changing its name. I can only assume it was because of this writing, haha. For real, though, respect to all of the organizers and advocates who made noise about this)

...they explained that their name came from a moment when their bass player was holding his instrument like a weapon. One of them remarked, "All you need is a rice paddy hat and it would be so Viet Cong." (source)

You may or may not already know: there's this band called Viet Cong. And you also may or may not know: that name is offensive to a whole lot of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian people.

They're about to play First Ave. here in Minneapolis, and here's the petition asking/demanding: "change your band's name, and provide more critical thought into whatever it is that you choose."

I signed it, and I'd encourage you to sign it too. I'll share a few further thoughts below, but I'd suggest people first check out the text of the petition ("The name is a reminder of a history’s worth of violence and trauma to many Southeast Asian communities..."), and also read these links for some background info and commentary:
I can hear the questions already.  Here are my answers, for what they're worth: