A huge wave of immigration into this country from Vietnam began in 1974. In spite of us having fought an actual declared war for ten years in which 55,000 Americans died, we welcomed the newcomers. We knew not to color all Vietnamese with the same brush. Many of those who came were probably Viet Cong because it wasn’t possible to document who was who.
We had become less xenophobic by 1974 because the glory days of the Civil Rights movement – which was in fact a human rights movement – were still with us. Our horizons were expanding, not contracting as they seem to be today.
It might have been a very different story had there been talk radio or Fox news in 1974 (hell, MLK would have been branded a Communist and civil rights wouldn’t have happend in the 60’s). Blessdely there was not, so we welcomed those Vietnamese – and today their grandchildren are in Congress. And it’s because that’s who we were.