The Asian Coalition for Equality at the University of Washington has become aware that a band named after a political regime derived from the country of Vietnam called Viet Cong will be performing at a local music venue called Neumos in Capitol Hill. The name Viet Cong has offended many people in the Seattle-area because of the experiences that people and their families faced as a result of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Seattle has the 3rd largest Vietnamese population in the nation, and for most of these people, just hearing the name “Viet Cong” is taboo. The name “Viet Cong” has negative connotations because of the lasting physical and mental trauma the people of Vietnam, as well as American veterans and surrounding Southeast Asian countries have suffered as a result of their actions.
Neumos has always been a very respectable venue in the Seattle-area that has attracted many people. We recognize that it may be difficult to cancel a show in such short notice and that they have a lot to lose, but we believe that by not canceling the show on October 16 they will lose much of their audience and supporters. Neumos respectable reputation is at stake.
The band has expressed that they will be changing the name of their band via their Twitter page in September but has not shown any acknowledgment or efforts to do so. We understand that they are on the final few shows of their tour but it still shows the lack of respect to a possible audience. Their ignorance to the opinions of the community has been gaining attention and the band is thriving from that. They continue to generate profit under a very offensive name. As artists, their music should be the main attraction, not their name—therefore the title of their band should not hold any leverage to their careers. Having “Viet Cong” be the title of their band is parallel to having named their band after another tragic incident that occurred in history, which would still not be okay. It is not “just a name.” It is a constant reminder of lives lost, painful memories, tragic scars, and broken traditions.
We encourage Neumos to take into consideration all of these opinions and cancel the show in order to maintain their reputation and show that they value the community.
We also urge other RSO’s on campus and community organizations to stand with us. The Viet Cong not only affected the Vietnamese community, but it also affected countries such as Cambodia and Laos as well as American veterans. We need to come together and prove that things like this should not be taken lightly.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact ACE or any of our officers.
An effort is being made by numerous individuals, groups, and API activists to protest a Canadian rock band called Viet Cong on Friday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m. For more information, click here.