(Featured below is a post forcibly expunged from the Facebook page of Melissa Chen on April 21, 2017.)
Exposing Amos Yee’s American Guru Of Free Speech: Six Facts About Melissa Chen That Need Be Told
Will the real Melissa Chen please stand up and stop corrupting the youth of Singapore with her US-oriented free speech claptrap!
For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Ms. Chen, a Singaporean-American PR, is the mentor/facilitator/keeper of Amos’ dream of absolute right to freedom of speech. Without her influence, Amos would unlikely be embroiled in his present U.S. asylum quagmire he is in today. This article has no bearing whatsoever on her character assassination — for all I’m able to gather, Ms. Chen is indeed a charming, hail-fellow-well-met activist in the States. This very post here, however, deals with established facts, exposing her inherent contradictions and befuddlement as a self-styled free-speech ‘absolutist’ (her term not mine) vis-a-vis her mentee Amos Yee. [For a brief summary of her role in Amos’ present imbroglio, here’s a link to an earlier introductory piece titled: The Mother/Son/Holy-Spirit Trinity of Fallacies.] https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/the-trinity-of-fallacies-an-anatomy-of-the-amos-yee-asylum-debacle/
Item: That Ms Chen, a transplant from Singapore in the U.S., professes herself hopelessly enamored of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (i.e., the unabridged freedom of expression bestowed as birthright to its citizens), is unmistakable. She effuses enthusiastically about such on her site, advocates the same for the world, and for Little Red Dot no less. Translating it into practical terms then, would mean burning the Quran as a kosher form of free expression as demonstrated by Floridian pastor Terry Jones, or dipping a crucifix in a jar of urine as permissible public art (as was the case of artist-photographer Andres Serrano in his 1987 New York art exhibition); or more recently, the profane act of simulated copulation with the Quran in public by her mentee Amos Yee — all these questionable expressions would be legally permitted and protected in the East as per Ms. Chen’s global prescription of free speech à la the First Amendment.
Item: Ms. Chen’s infatuation with all things American has deracinated her of what’s left of her Eastern root, so much so that she has publicly intimated in 2017 her personal detestation of the Chinese New Year Festival. Her unadulterated contempt for anything suggestive of ‘Asian values’ is writ large in her 2016 interview on The Rubin Report in which she characterized her native country’s founder Lee Kuan Yew’s mention of ‘Asian values’ as ‘one of the most dangerous legacies’ of his (seen in video link below at time sequence 37:38).
Item: She is utterly confused on her stance regarding DHS’s (Dept. of Homeland Security) aggressive detention of asylum-seekers. On her Jan. 22, 2017 Facebook post, Ms. Chen created an Internet petition to secure Amos’ release from DHS; it received about 400 positive responses since. The petition reads: “He came to America to seek refuge so he could exercise his free speech but due to the US’s flawed immigration policy, after hearing that Amos wished to seek political asylum in the US, the immigration officers arrested him and Amos has been in American jail since Dec 16 2016.” [https://www.change.org/p/department-of-homeland-security-free-amos-yee-for-usa-asylum]
But in that same Jan. 22 Facebook post of hers, she wrote: “Personally, I think US immigration policy detaining asylum seekers is perfectly fine. I think it’s very important that we vet all incoming immigrants strongly, no matter where they’re from. And yes that includes even countries on the Visa Waiver Program like Singapore.” It continues…
“So I’m just sharing this as a friend of Amos Yee but not because I think this aspect of immigration policy needs to change. Sign it show support of his release.”
Item: Ms. Chen is all at sea as to how the asylum system works — and Amos walked right into the asylum trap from the outset largely due to his mentor’s total naiveté and ignorance of the asylum process. As a clear-cut example here, on March 30 Ms. Chen facebooked: “How is it that an immigration judge can override Trump’s executive order on the travel ban but the immigration judge who awarded Amos Yee asylum last week, thereby legally granting him political refugee status, has been undermined by Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) who insists on retaining him in detention?” Obviously, Ms. Chen does not even know the basic difference between an Immigration Judge and a Federal Judge — it was Federal Judges, not Immigration Judges, who overruled both of President Trump’s executive orders on travel ban. In fact, earlier I wrote a post describing the ‘Amosization’ of goof-ups, about how badly this asylum-planning gang (Amos and his asylum-coach Melissa) had misfired, couldn’t even shoot straight to begin with and thus landed Amos straight in the slammer right out of the arrival gate at Chicago. [ https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/the-coinage-of-amosization-in-amos-yees-honor/ ]
Item: Ms. Chen’s puppy love for America has either blinded or silenced her from speaking truth to power. Upon the news of Amos’s temporary asylum victory, she rhapsodizes: “This is a decision that strengthens my love for this country and what it truly stands for.” But Ms. Chen’s evident timidity to vociferate against the arbitrary and unconscionable, wholesale incarceration of asylees by DHS, belies her assertion as a free-speech absolutist. [An update: as of Sept. 2017 Amos is now being interned in the pokey for over 9 months and counting.] Granted, Ms Chen has her own hide to protect first as she is not yet a full-fledged citizen. Ironically, I find myself as Amos’ fiercest critic, clamoring instead ever so loudly for his immediate release; my recent post on Amos’ attorney Ms. Grossman’s website highlights the absence of due process and the injustice stemming from such unprincipled and overzealous detention by DHS of its asylees.
Item: Ms. Chen is a free-speech absolutist merely in label not in practice — as a self-proclaimed champion of unfettered speech, censorship should be the last thing on her mind and yet she is nothing loath to exercise the unthinkable. Here are posts of mine on her site she saw fit to dele:
In sum, here’s a personal plea to Ms. Chen: Amos Yee has been sold a bill of goods by a self-styled free-speech absolutist with the promise of unstinted freedom of speech in Wonderland. Instead, he is being incarcerated and remains so indefinitely since his arrival late last year; his final freedom may yet take years to mediate and sort out. Willy-nilly, for better or worse, he’s yours to keep now. But for Pete’s sake, henceforth for all time, leave the impressionable youth of Singapore alone — compromise no more another Amos Yee again, please; you have your conscience to answer to.
[ N.B. an update: here’s a sequel featured in the link below to the above article in the wake of Amos’ release in late Sept. 2017. ]
April 23, 2017