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L.A. County's Jane Fonda Day Sparks Vietnamese American Backlash

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently declared April 30 as “Jane Fonda Day” for ‘her contributions to social justice and environmental sustainability.’ However, the decision sparked significant backlash, particularly within the Vietnamese American community, which observes April 30 as "Black April," commemorating the fall of Saigon in 1975.

The controversy centers on Fonda's past opposition to the Vietnam War, which remains a sensitive subject among Vietnamese Americans. Phat Bui, chairman of the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, criticized the choice of date, highlighting the pain it brings to those who suffered during and after the war. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors responded to the outcry by planning to move Jane Fonda Day to earlier in April.

State Sen. Janet Nguyen and Rep. Michelle Steel also expressed strong opposition. Nguyen labeled the decision as profoundly disrespectful to the Vietnamese American community, while Steel condemned the honor as offensive to those who endured the war and its aftermath. Both politicians urged the board to reconsider the date, emphasizing the deep cultural and historical significance of April 30.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath acknowledged the oversight and announced that the board would consider moving Jane Fonda Day to April 8, aligning it more closely with Earth Month. According to Constance Farrell, Horvath’s spokesperson, the initial date selection was unintentional and based on the board's schedule.

Fonda has been a vocal advocate for Senate Bill 1137 which establishes a 3,200-foot setback for oil and gas operations. During the board's April 30 meeting where she received the certificate of honor, Fonda emphasized the importance of voting with climate change in mind, urging people to consider the environment in their electoral decisions. She failed, however, to discuss the ramifications of favoring imported crude from the Middle east ahead of local, climate-compliant energy.

For more information, contact Sean Wallentine.


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