To the editor:
The Vietnamese community, of course, agonizes over what Little Saigon will mean to their children. It is a business enterprise zone where the fashions and people of Vietnam open their doors to commerce. At present, it is a wing and a satellite of the International District/Chinatown lacking a sense of place.
I don’t think it would compromise the bonds of community if Little Saigon had a public square or a Vietnamese temple to empower the longing of the Vietnamese to bring their cultural heritage into a new place and found a prosperous vision for their love of being Vietnamese. This isn’t just a question of pride, it is a question of prosperity common to all of us.
When the multicultural idea is allowed to seem like a melting pot where cultural distinctions are homogenized into a faceless, anonymous enterprise without preservation of true spirit and heritage, then we have abandoned the dialogue of good neighbors to a fear of culture shock.
For Seattle to lead, we must demonstrate this knowledge by helping to enrich, enhance and nurture Little Saigon into the sort of utopian community that much of Chinatown already is becoming.
—Mac Crary, Seattle