So much for FREEDOM of expression! So much for FREE speech!
By Paul Truong
After I posted that I believe the players have the rights to do whatever they want, kneel or stand during the National Anthem, and I have the right not to watch the games on TV or physically go to the games. But that is not good enough for some people. So unless I support athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, I am a racist!
Freedom of expression and free speech must go both ways. But it does not. A few idiots sent me private messages saying that I am a member of the KKK, a White Supremacist, and I am a Neo Nazi! Of course I blocked them immediately from ever contacting me ever again. They said that the ONLY reason why I succeeded in America after arriving to this country with nothing while not knowing a word of English is because I benefited from White Privileges!
Seriously? Do I look white? I am NOT white just in case if someone needs eye glasses, and yes, I am offended. I respect the flag as well as everyone who served. This is MY personal belief and I am NOT trying to change anyoneâ€™s opinion. This also has NOTHING to do with President Trump. I could not care less what he said or did not say. I felt about this long before he said a word about it.
My Father served in the military. He also worked for the US Embassy for many years. He helped many Americans when my former country was fallen to the Communists. He saved many lives, including Americans. Two of my three uncles were in the service and they died. We were allies of the United States to fight Communism in Vietnam.
I had a hand gun pointed at my temple by the Communist Police when I was around 10-11 in the middle of the school yard, in front of all other students, because I refused to stand for the Communist National Anthem. I refused to recognize the Communist Flag. My parents did not even know about this.
After I came to America (after 7 grueling months a boat person), I thought things would be different. It sure was, but I was in quite a shock. I do not recall seeing anyone that looked like me in my High School. Just about everyone was white. People looked at me very strangely. I was put in some "retarded" classes because I could not speak English and the school did not know how to handle me. They did not realize that my education was far more advanced than anyone can imagine. Just about everything I was taught in High School was in my curriculum in South Vietnam in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. In fact, quite a few things in my 4 years of college were taught in Vietnam in middle school.
Two of my closest friends in High School are chess players, Chuck Adelman and David Cole. They were as nice and kind to me as possible. They are the only two people I still keep in touch with from High School. And while others were doing homework or enjoying life, I had to work. My first job was at a local Shop Rite, a supermarket chain in NJ. They gave me a job cleaning the toilet and mopping the floor for $3.35 an hour before tax. But since I was too young, around 14-15, they could not give me too many hours. So I had to find other odd jobs to make minimum wages to help my family who were still in Vietnam. Is that the definition of White Privileges?
Around 300 extended members of my wife's family died in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. So we both have a little bit of a different experience than most others. But we cannot have any opinion because it sometimes may not be the same as others? We have two choices in life. To do everything possible to succeed, or blame everyone and everything for our failures! So instead of wallowing in self-pity because of racism and discrimination, we used our tough life experiences, and our setbacks, to fuel us to succeed.
This is the problem with this country today. Too many people no longer listen. There is no peaceful and respectful dialog. There is very little tolerance on all sides. Name calling is a "normal" thing now. It is easy to insult on Twitter and Facebook. The attitude is how can anyone disagree with me? Something is wrong with you when you cannot go along with what I believe.
I am thankful every day that I live in a FREE country. I am thankful every day that I live in a country where if I work hard, I have an opportunity to succeed. This is not something I will ever take for granted. And no, I will never disrespect the flag of the United States, my second home, a country that gave me a second chance in life.
Please slow down and think just like in chess. Please do not contribute more to the current political vitriol. Be civil and be respectful, especially to those who do not agree with you. Thank you!