Friday, January 18, 2008

Faleomavaega displays racist side in Ho Chi Minh issue

For years people have described Faleomavaega as being "anti-haole," especially when it comes to the French, but let's call it what it is: Faleomavaega is a racist. That really came out in his long response to the two Vietnam War veterans who wrote stinging letters of criticism to the editor of Samoa News after Faleomavaga issued a press release in which proudly proclaimed that he called Ho Chi Minh a "great leader" during a recent trip to Hanoi. In a way it was unfortunate that the two vets just happened to be haoles who are married to Samoan women and have lived in the islands for many years. This fact has given Faleomavaega and his sycophants the opportunity to attack the critics by their race and divert away from the issue of whether Ho deserves to be called a great leader.

In a follow up letter to the editor, one of Faleomavaega's goons wrote:

"There is a fine line between freedom of press and being disrespectful of a Samoan leader in your letters to the editor. You are entitled to your opinions. However, since you have chosen to live in American Samoa, I encourage you to take a little time to live and learn the epitome of the Samoan culture, 'respect.'"

In a second letter he wrote:

"you are obligated to your opinions and you have that freedom even in the Samoan culture. Have you done a sanity check about your position on the issue as well as how the Samoan people feel about your approach? The last time I checked our leaders were elected by the majority. I know you have been around several of your wife's extended family meetings and village council meetings to appreciate the decision-making process in those settings. You can say whatever your heart dictates as long as you know your place and the language to use in those meetings. As you have known in those meetings, nobody talks out of line."

In the past, letters like this have been enough to end discussion, but in this issue, this approach appears to have backfired. More letters against the position of both Faleomavaega and his backers have been published, and this time from Samoans. This issue does not appear to be going away. Whether Eni will cut his losses and apologize remains to be seen.

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