In Part 1 of this series, author Lac Su updated us on Saigonese rapper Nah whose “Địt Mẹ Cộng Sản” (“Fuck Communism”) video has gotten millions of views. Below is Nah’s incisive open letter to the Vietnamese Communist Party and his powerful words to Vietnamese people worldwide. To hear more about the impact of Nah’s letter, visit Part 3 of this post to read Lac Su’s interview with the rapper.
To the Communist Party and all Vietnamese
To the Communist Party,
First, I would like to send my apology for the offensive lyrics of the song (well, being communist, you’re already used to receiving curses), but let me strongly slap this letter on your table in order to get your attention.
Let me get straight to the point.
With the current geopolitical and economic situation, the wheeling and dealing that you’re doing to sell our land to China puts our people at risk, and it goes against our country’s benefit. You must be aware that in the war for power and influence between the U.S., Western Europe, China, Russia, North Korean, and Iran, the latter alliances are at a disadvantage. Not to mention, these countries are all dictatorial and they seriously violate human rights.
Your two-faced actions to cling to your throne are selfish. On one hand, you beg the U.S. to sell you weapons in order to fight China; on the other hand, you sell our land and resources to China to build friendship. You’re well aware of what China wants. China doesn’t need to start a war. By merely transgressing our territory little by little, they will eventually take over the whole country. You communists will probably run away with your money and let our country be taken over. All cowards. Then, when China gets our country, they will acculturate Vietnamese, and force our people to fight meaningless wars to protect China. Stop before it’s too late! You’re doing it all wrong, and you’re damaging our own country. Primarily, all you communist embezzlers should save your face and resign now, and let our people know that you’re not complete cowards. You have already lost our trust, so clinging to the chair, and bandaging things up won’t give any fruit.
If you don’t resign and apologize to the whole country, you will be shamefully forced to leave your chairs, and this event will forever be in the history. Vietnamese will reclaim our freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to control our own country, despite your shameless stubbornness. I think you already know how things will go, but let me remind you a few things.
All political changes start from changes in awareness. The number of people who hate the Communist Party—and knows its wrong-doing—doubles and triples every day. Like me, more and more people will become courageous enough to speak up. Please . . . this is the era of the internet. By putting up firewalls, blocking Facebook, and claiming that the AAG optical fiber are “down because of sharks” won’t buy you more time. You see, even a youngster like me knows it, let alone the elders. Well, we all know the greatest threats to you aren’t us—the poor and powerless. They’re the rich businessmen, with the wisdom and will to change the country. They’re the visionary politicians right in the government right now who wish for change. Actually, I CHALLENGE you to arrest people and violate human rights these days. Dare you violate global agreements and make the US and their allies halt economic and military aid to you? If you decide to use underground tactics like arranging “accidents” or hiring thugs to hurt and kill innocent patriotic people, I swear we bloggers, vloggers, writers, journalists, politicians, historians, moviemakers, musicians, rappers—inside and outside Vietnam—who follow the ideal of freedom—will record every sin you make, and let the whole world know. OUR EYES ARE LOOKING STRAIGHT AT YOU.
Also, more and more people are opposing police bribery by recording these actions and uploading them to YouTube. When you—the police—are not bribed, you become hungry. The hunger—together with increasing rebellion—take a big chunk of money out of your secret pockets, and lands in the hands of the regime’s protection forces.
If you refuse to lose money and, moreover, try to make more money from ordinary people, it is the people that fall deeper into poverty and hardship. With the current economic situation and sanctions from the US and Western Europe, even Putin has to suffer from headaches, let alone you. When conflicts with the police keep increasing, the people will make their voices heard. Situations like these become a snowball effect.
Your friends from Communist China are backstabbers as well. For how long do you think they will keep you in your chairs? Double-dealers are always the ones that have nothing in the end.
Does your Advisory Board consult you on how long you will be able to hold on? Do your heads ache? It is aimless to try to hold the chairs. Remember, you grasp all you will lose all. You are already rich enough. Go live your old ages in villas in foreign countries, and leave the country to the hands of those who are better at managing the government than you. I’m definitely not implying that I’m capable of the task, but I know there are plenty of excellent political minds that possess the ability to make the changes and developments for Vietnam. You refuse to accept mixed opinions from your people, so it is very difficult for them to speak up. You deemed them unworthy to be heard. When you let go of your chairs, a lot of talented people will dare join hands in building the country without fear of your harm. You and I, and all Vietnamese people, share one enemy: Communist China. Therefore, I expect you to put your egos and self-benefits aside to listen to and ponder my opinions.
I hope we can resolve our situation in peace, otherwise my brothers and I would have more games for you. I don’t attack behind your backs the way you do mine with your mafia manner. After I finish my arrangements with school and work abroad, and eventually transitioning to Harvard to complete my education, I would openly come back to Vietnam and perform my song “DMCS” live, as I did with Sài Gòn đẹp lắm (Beautiful Saigon) and Đi Bụi (Go Dust) at the CAMA Festival in the middle of the capital in Hanoi in 2013. I would once again curse your police henchmen, curse the corrupted society you created, and call for the youth to change the country. You must know that the youth have more trust in me than in you. You won’t be able to deprive them of the freedom to listen to any type of music they choose to, and prohibit people from listening to music you censor.
My brothers and I are superstitious. From now until when I’m back to Vietnam, if I or any of my relatives or my brother are harassed, for example killed by thugs, go missing, get arrested, involved in a traffic accident, poisoned, become ill, fatally sick, drug shocked, commit suicide, or anything of that matter, even struck by lightning, I will assume that it MUST have been the sins that you do. You cannot conceal your crimes and barbaric acts from all of us. All bloggers, vloggers, writers, journalists, politicians, historians, filmmakers, musicians, rappers, and the underworld who respect freedom inside and outside the country are all on our side. If you continue to prove your cruel, dark, evil and dirty heart in this age of the Internet, you will be taken down faster than you expect. We aim to solve this by peaceful and non-violent measures, but if you don’t cooperate and thus make any sly moves by harming innocent people and violate human rights, we will have to use violence and rebellion.
Next, I am writing to those who care about the future of Vietnam in the mainland and abroad.
To Vietnamese people,
First of all, I would like to apologize for my crude and vulgar songs and words. However, I expect you to understand that this is how I attract the youth’s attention so as to disclose the truth. Swearing is also part of many people’s lives, and rap is a form of realistic literature. Do not simply judge my songs by the words I choose to use. There’s substance in my songs if you get past the cursing.
I am just an ordinary student and rapper from a middle-class family, having communicated with the upper class, and the street brothers as well. So I fully understand the rich and poor divide and the gap in people’s intellectual levels in this society. I’m deeply dissatisfied with such injustice and inequality. Some are living in prosperity like kings and queens while others in poverty like pigs and goats. I cannot lead a contented life and enrich the knowledge for my own good while witnessing Vietnamese people my age suffer from the lack of basic living needs—who have to work to support themselves every single day, and are being brainwashed daily. I cannot bear seeing social unrest with increasing burglaries and robberies. Our moral ethic has failed. I cannot do anything else but let young people know the truth. I know the Communists have poisoned their brains, but I believe they will find a new one.
I want to tell young patriotic Vietnamese that they are definitely not alone. You are being separated, frightened, and distracted.
I want to call for you, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and BUSINESSPEOPLE—big or small, to contribute to helping the youth change the country. With social status and financial capacity, you can do a lot of good deeds for the Vietnamese, and help change the deeply corrupted government. It will have much more long-term macro impacts than sporadic charities. How can you stand idly by as your country is gradually invaded? Fishermen and farmers are being robbed. Your offspring have to forever escape abroad to study and find a way to stay. Are you satisfied with the current weak ruling party to handle the life of the entire people? When Communist China occupies Vietnam, you will no longer continue to live in pleasant and luxurious buildings and villas. The country is in danger as the workforce is dying in poverty and of diseases. You will also have nowhere to call home. Therefore, once again, let’s join hearts and do everything we can to help change the country.
For young people, THE FOLLOWING IS THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO. Please continue to bravely speak out and say that you do not like the Communist. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE WELL-KNOWN. They need to speak out louder and more often. Talent comes with responsibility, and if you keep silent and live in fear, you’re allowing the Communist Party get on with “business” as usual. Boys and girls, lesbian and gay, young and old, if we all speak out simultaneously, no one can do anything to us.
If you take this stance, then continue to bravely demand that you not be harassed and avoid setting up briberies with the police. This is an ugly, evil, and dirty face of the street and has bothered us for many generations. Please take the time to be little annoyed. Your cell phone is your weapon of choice. Record the scenarios in which the police take bribes. If they assault you for doing this, footage will be captured.
We must unite against the actions in which police arrest and beat people unjustly by speaking out and recording everything. Only this can cause disorder to that regime. Unless all of us protest and demand for better conditions, nothing will change. Initially, FIGHT PEACEFULLY. For those who want to lead a non-violent movement, I suggest you find the movie Selma which was released recently. Or, read up on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to understand how to fight peacefully and non-violently. Take advantage of the power of the Internet at the moment because it will spread the word about the unjust circumstances you’re experiencing and awaken those who believe in what is right. Look at the movement that young people started in Hong Kong last year to fight against the Chinese Communist Party. Voice your opinions loudly to attract the world’s attention because the communists DO NOT DARE MAKE PUBLIC VIOLATIONS at this time. The entire world is looking at Vietnam.
Remember, if you are not interested in politics, a corrupt government will always rule you, your parents and children. To change the country, you must change your own perception first. There is nothing wrong with the occasional chats with friends, but we can spend more valuable time doing great things. Educate yourself about political affairs to understand how hollow and ridiculous the doctrines of the Communist are. Read more historical documentation and research of worldly situations to expand your view. Question everything that the Communist Party crammed into your head. When reading material on the Internet, do not take into account the comments of public opinions that serve the Communist regime. It’s they who are commenting on Facebook and YouTube to keep you brainwashed. They will talk nonsense, provide illogical reasoning, and create many fake accounts to “like” their comments to the top of the post. Public opinion and demagogic propaganda won’t be able to erase the sins of Communism forever, and I am sure that in this letter you will find enough grounds to reject all their hollow rhetoric that pretends to be righteous. Also, you should question what I wrote in this letter. You shouldn’t take my word for anything. Do your own homework to prove me right or wrong. Make self-comparisons from many different sources. Use your own head to analyze what is right and what is wrong. Go online to research how to “detoxify” the pineal gland in your brain. Let’s go out to see the sun, meet older people who have lived through the war, meet people who know and are willing to tell you the truth, and listen to their stories. Break the monotony from lounging at home or in the cafe shops. Go look for answers. These things will make you smarter and look at the problems more clearly. Go seek the truth. Google has all the information you need. Spend time to search, read, and learn about how other countries are governing their free countries. Most importantly, do not hate each other or function like you have a childish ego. Think about your nation, as the heirs of Vietnam is our youth. Whether you are from the North or from the South, we are all Vietnamese. Don’t expect other countries to help us, unless we unite and stand up for ourselves in the first place. We play hard, and then we also need to work to serve the country hard. Remember, history respects people who do great things, but no one will remember when you die if you live a mediocre life. DO YOU WANT TO BE A SLAVE AND DIE MEANINGLESSLY UNDER THE COMMUNIST PARTY, OR DO YOU WANT TO DEDICATE YOUR LIFE WHOLEHEARTEDLY TO SEEK HISTORICAL FACTS?
In the very near future, when the regime changes, we will have more work to do. Soon, I believe various Vietnamese tech start-ups will provide an exclusive technology to bring the economy up. In time, the communist’s censorship will fall by the wayside, as cinema and music in Vietnam gain popularity to compete with South Korea, Japan and even the U.S.
As I predicted, for the first time Vietnam will have to negotiate with the U.S. and its allies to receive aid for heavy weapons. We need to find allies to protect the border. Japan and the Philippines will be the closest allies. We have a common enemy that is the Chinese Communist Party, so if we can show them that we are ready to cooperate to attack dictatorships, they will certainly help us. American economic sanction on petroleum shows that the U.S. and its allies are keen on weakening Russia and Iran, and certainly China is also on this list. The Western Bloc is very impatient.
Next year, when Obama leaves The White House, I believe the new president of the U.S. will have stronger policies to support military for its allies. With our location and our hatred for the Chinese Communist Party, Vietnam will be a highly beneficial ally to the U.S. There is nothing to fear once there is an understanding of our roles and the knowledge of the enemy’s weaknesses. So only by making the fight for our rights big—really big—then it can attract international attention and turn about the time before it is too late.
The Communists can see this but they lack courage. If we let the Communist continue to take charge then they will continue to sell our resources and land to—and thus continue to placate China. Our international friends will no longer want to help us. It is a sybaritic policy. We will lose our country to China, and they won’t even break a sweat! We have to take side instead of hanging in between. Stop taking sides with the disloyal Communist. We the people must overthrow the Vietnamese Communist government before asking the U.S. and its Allies to aid and support heavy weapons and military personnel. Then we will kick the Chinese Communist Party out of our Paracel Islands. Also, let me be clear. The Chinese Communist government is the problem, not the Chinese community living and working in Vietnam since they are not guilty of anything. They also suffer from living in the same Communist regime like us.
Communist China has always been deceptive, fraudulent, and always seeking to enslave the Vietnamese. Since the feudal period, the Vietnamese, whether they are pro-Communist or anti-Communist, understand this better than anyone else. In the war with the Chinese Communist, our hearts were united and the power of Vietnamese was restored. It is just like the old days, the founders of America established an agreement with the French to win independence from the British Empire. Learn how America fought for independence and territory. And certainly the Vietnamese can do better than that. I believe the politicians and diplomats of the new government will wisely put the interests of the nation above all. See how Japan rebuilt their country, despite two atomic bombs, poor resources and numerous disasters.
On internal relation, we need to reorganize a lot of things. First, our people need to have the freedom of speech, the freedom of press, and the freedom of gun ownership. When there is the freedom of press and political information is shared, people will be more interested in it. We need to put the media back to its true purpose: to educate people of useful things, and put demagoguery aside. The liberal media will spring up like mushrooms after the long rain. The characteristics of the Vietnamese are very smart, and when they are no longer brainwashed, I believe they will contribute greatly to the country.
Regarding political parties, let there be multi-party freedom. The effective party will certainly win the hearts of the people, and will be publicly elected. The ineffective party will have to abdicate for the other. Allowing people to own guns is an important prerequisite for the prevention of any dictator party because then the real power lies in the hands of the people. When people’s hearts are unified, when they share the same enemy—which is the Chinese Communist Party—there is no need to worry about internal divisions and nonsensical fights between the parties.
On the structure of the new government, I request the separation of powers. We will have to change a lot of documents and laws. We also cannot imitate the US or anyone else because they have many gaps and differences with our culture. The issues are complex. In the beginning, we need a strong government to oversee the bad situation of the country. Here are a few things to look at.
For education, we need to teach children how to think rather than force them to memorize. Healthcare should get back to the roots by encouraging people to treat food as medicine, encourage vegetarianism, focus on the scientific use of medicinal plants and psychedelics, and research and educate in the fields of social sciences and mental health. We need to allow religious freedom. At the same time, we need to recruit the Vietnamese talents currently exiled around the world to come back home to build the nation, especially the scientists, such as those who work at NASA.
After improvements are made, the government needs to reduce government control of everything and let the Vietnamese exercise the freedom in development. I am libertarian, and I believe that the immediate goals for the Vietnamese are these.
Truthfully, I know this letter has not gone into the details for each problem, and the writing is in a non-academic style. But I think the launch of this song (DMCS) is a great opportunity to attract many people, and I want to present the country’s issues most broadly with it. My hope is that more youngsters can listen to it. I believe what I have said is the basic knowledge that any Vietnamese youngster needs to know at this time to be able to engage. No matter how immature you are it is important and daring to think, to do, to dream, and to speak out. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO ACCUSE ANYONE FOR SPEAKING OUT HIS OR HER MIND. We’re able to chitchat but let’s move beyond small talk and the weather. We need rights to protect any controversial talks.
Lastly, this is not a ceremonial speech for me as if I won an award, but these are the last few words I would like to send to a few people.
Thanks to my uncle, a pastor, who has always comforted and nurtured my will.
Thanks to my literature teacher in second grade because she has always supported me and given me good advice.
Especially, thank you to all my fans, and the brothers near and far, who have always believed in me and have guided me to do good. If you know me, you will understand that this DMCS track is something from the heart, and it will grow legs and walk a path of its own. I need you to copy the important things in this letter (FULLY) on Microsoft word, PRINT MANY COPIES, and distribute to as many places as you can so that our friends and family can read it too.
Friends, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, those in journalism, if you have a genuine conscience and concern for the fate of the country, please help me spread this letter to awaken young Vietnamese people.
Thanks to Professor French, Professor Huston, Professor Schmidt, and Professor Eisenberg, Attorney Morgan who have taught me political science, history, social science, humanities, and law at Oklahoma State University, and thus, expanded my mind.
Thanks to one big brother who has always stood from afar watching and wishing good things for me.
Thanks to VietDragon and his song “Dear Vietnam.” Hope you practice with joy and hope we will meet again one day.
Thanks to my old girlfriends who I used to love with all my heart because they taught me many lessons about love and life.
Thanks to rap music, hip-hop, and authentic rappers that have always been a mirror for me to follow. I used to feel too “street” and clumsy, covered in tattoos, that no one has taken my voice seriously, until I realized the true power of rap music. If black people use rap music to claim racial equality, I would like to borrow their rap music tactics for non-violent struggle for human rights for the people of Vietnam. I look forward to having the fate to work with Nas, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Jay-Z.
Thanks to the soldiers for human rights around the world who have not hesitated to sacrifice personal interests to reclaim freedom and awaken people. I extremely respect the work of Joshua Wong, a young but talented fellow.
Thanks to the friends who are online. I don’t know who you are, where you came from, but I could not do this without your remote support and assistance.
My parents warned me that they would no longer consider me their child, and would cut off all ties with the family if I continue in politics. My brother is still young and does not understand my intent and vision so he is confused and concerned. My lover, who has been close to me for six years (and her family), has also rejected me. Many close friends and brothers have turned their backs to me. I am at risk of being sued by my own record label Làng Văn in America for breaching the contract. The Vietnam Communist government and the defenders of the regime will look for all ways to assign me the charges of treason, and will hunt to harm me. I’m currently self-exiled by doing this.
I am not ebullient nor am I paroxysmal in my intent for doing this. If you listen again to my old songs like Phố Cũ, Sài Gòn Đẹp Lắm, Những Đêm Dài Bất Tận, Làm Chủ Thế Giới, Xã Hội Thời Tàn, Rơi Tự Do, Tội Lỗi, Đi Bụi, Làm Việc Nước (an elaborate drama), then you will know that this has been simmering for years as I mentally prepare for this moment. I have waited until the time was ripe to plan elaborately and implement it.
Why am I willing to sacrifice all? Simply . . . because I love the people of Vietnam. I love rap music. I believe in the truth. I believe in the good. And I believe in my own ability and capability. I’m sure someday not too far away, people of Vietnam will be on par with other nations in the world in all aspects. This letter may sound crazy to some people, especially those who have been thoroughly brainwashed by the Communist crew, but I’m proud that I dare to speak my thought as a true free man.
I believe in Jesus and Buddha, and hope that my God will bless the people of Vietnam.
So farewell as I continue to be on the road and find ways to save the country. We will meet again soon. If you need to contact me, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Son Nguyen aka Nah
This series on Rapper Nah Nguyen is organized by diaCritic, Jade Hidle. Visit Part 1 here.
Jade Hidle is a Vietnamese-Irish-Norwegian writer and educator. She holds an MFA in creative writing from CSU Long Beach and is working on a PhD in literature at UC San Diego. Her work has appeared in Spot Lit, Word River, and Beside the City of Angels.
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