A Vietnamese American Poet’s Slide Down the Slippery Slope of Hatred

Someone who hates one group will end up hating everyone – and, ultimately, hating himself or herself.

– Elie Wiesel

Linh Dinh (LD), whom I have long admired for his insightful, brutally honest, and superbly written essays about important issues of the day, including his relentless and merciless chronicling of the decline of the USA, and whose work I have shared with many and cited in my own essays, is a hater of Jews, among others. Read on for the sad and incontrovertible evidence.

In early August 2023, I sent LD an email after reading a post entitled Marx Laughs in Hell. A contact emailed me saying that he follows LD closely, noted his “strange hatred of Jews, ”referring to him as “repulsive” and adding, for good measure, that it’s “odd that someone who has such insights can also slide into such a deep ugliness.” Not exactly a feather in the cap of an otherwise distinguished career as a societal critic and global gadfly. The man who so skillfully documented the plight of victims has become a full-on victimizer.

Wondering how my contact knew about the email, which I only shared with one other person, I called upon my formidable online sleuthing skills and did a quick search on Google using the terms “ashwill linh dinh jews.” Bingo! The first result was a 19 August post. Linh didn’t have the cojones to respond to me directly so he used it as grist for hislatest beer-induced rant. It seems that cyberbully, in addition to anti-Semite and racist, is another shoe that fits, the trifecta of deplorableness.

Here it is in italics:

On 8/1/23, I received an email from Mark Ashwill:

Hi, Linh,

Greetings from Vietnam! I generally like your posts but can’t abide anti-Semitism: From behind the curtain, Jewish Victoria Nuland gets her revenge. On stage, Jewish Vladimir Zelensky becomes ever more insufferable. Some will let it slide, most will not.

If you know anything about me, you know that I call a spade a spade. You lost me (and other readers, I presume, except the anti-Semites) at Jewish Victoria and Jewish Vladimir (Volodymyr). 

Thanks for your response. 



So PC, Ashwill even corrected my spelling of Vladimir! (Since when is correct spelling PC?)

I’m glad Mark didn’t let me slide. I am returning the favor. To point out that Jews are the key architects of the Ukrainian war, as even Jewish Tablet has done, is to clearly see what’s happening. Anti-semitism has nothing to do with it.

Sticks and Stones

Based on the title of his post, Against Genocides Always, I think I got under his skin with my short but sweet email.What a bold admission and noble sentiment. Who isn’t “always against genocide” unless you’re a wannabe perpetrator or are currently involved in one? Aren’t there reams of evidence now and throughout history that others act on words of hatred and that these acts sometimes result in injury or death of the hated? Isn’t hatred of groups of people a slippery slope from words to mistreatment, sticks and stones, prisons, and death camps?.

LD’s self-cultivated image is complete: the poor, starving, persecuted, canceled outcast-artist, a beacon of light in an ocean of darkness and despair, a courageous purveyor of truth in a world full of lies, slumming it in Laos, or wherever he’s hanging out these days.

Many of us are angry about important and, in some cases, existential issues but we don’t join hate clubs. In a 2022 Substack post, Dan Duffy, an old Vietnam hand who self-deprecatingly refers to himself as the “janitor” of the Viet Nam Literature Project, referred to LD as “an intellectual anti-Semite and vulgar Jew-hater. You can’t play that way here. … It strikes me that writing in a gratuitous, hateful, and rude manner about my people has won independence for Linh.”

There are plenty of wackos and haters in the cybersphere. Like love, hatred is global. Just check out a few of the fawning comments that follow his posts. A true brotherhood (yes, mostly men) of hatred, cynicism, and alienation. Pissed off political peas in a simmering hate-filled pod.

A fitting irony is that many of the same people who hate Jews and Blacks, i.e., people who look like me, also hate Asians, Asian-Americans, and immigrants. LD checks all three boxes. It’s like African-American Trump supporters. Most people aren’t logically consistent, a term the usually wordy Germans sum up in one beautiful, economical word.

A reliable source told me that The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media gave LD the boot. Thisdoesn’t come as a surprise since his last article, which is sprinkled with references to “Jewy government and media,” “Jewy media spin,” “Jewy press,” and “Jew jabs,” was published in December 2021.

One observant netizen, “Bob From Brockley,” tweeted on 21 November 2021 that “This particular Unz contributor, Linh Dinh, has a regular column pushing unapologetic antisemitism, Holocaust denial and COVID denial.”

LD’s absence from The Unz Review makes even more sense when you read this comment from his 6 May 2023 post entitled Bourla, Walensky, Chomsky, Unz and Barrett?Among many others, I decided Unz was a fraud when he didn’t just ignore the greatest historical crime ever, the ongoing Jewjab Genocide, but was positively hostile to those who tried to dissect it. In another post, LD noted that Since whites routinely turn friends into enemies at Unz Review, it’s about the worst vehicle for white interests. It is a sick joke, really. UR is often akin to a KKK rally with an unhooded Jew as grand wizard! (Unz was born to a Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant and raised in a Yiddish-speaking home in California.)

A May 2022 essay entitled Crumbling Sewer On The Hill is chock-full of anti-Semitic references. Being the dedicated teacher and devoted activist that he is, LD uses the comments section to suggest readings to help his students expand their knowledge of why Jews are so evil. Here’s one especially unsavory example. “Benedict Tiberius Cato” asks: “Linh, do you have a particular piece of writing that indicts the Jews? If not, please write your indictment of the Jews. I respect your writing, I suspect the Jews, but I hesitate, probably because of my conditioning, to blame them for society’s ills. That’s why I am asking. Not trying to troll or flame, I am looking for guidance here.”

In his response, LD lists some of his anti-Semitic literary hits, including Mass Child Sacrifice in Plain Sight (11-21), Juden Über Alles! (3-21), Kafka, Anti-Semite (10-19), and Blacks, Jews and You (9-18), all published by The Unz Review. He ends with But really, you should read Laurent Guyénot and E. Michael Jones, among others, on this subject.

The icing on this bitter, hate-filled cake is this P.S.: On the Holocaust, do read Arthur Butz’ ‘The Hoax of the Twentieth Century and adds links for a free download, thus solidifying his status as a hardcore Holocaust denier. That name jumped off the screen because I remember this book from a small undergraduate research project that focused on the beliefs and activities of US Neo-Nazis. Butz is an associate professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University. His research interests are signal processing and space-filling curves, but he’s best known for Holocaust denial. What a legacy – much like his adoring Vietnamese-American fan’s.

From the Bottom Looking Up

Before being canceled, I was an anthologized poet and fairly prolific author, with my last book Postcards from the End of America. Now, I write about our increasingly sick world for a tiny audience on SubStack. Drifting overly much, I’m in Cambodia. -Linh Dinh (description on his Substack account with 2k+ subscribers)

Understanding why LD was “canceled” isn’t rocket science. Even the open-minded folks at The Viet Nam Literature Project grew tired of him “running his mouth about the Jews like a crazy person.” Have a look at this 29 April 2023 essay by Dan Duffy entitled 13 Ways of Looking at a Jew Hater (i). This tidbit should suffice: The poet Linh Dinh is running his mouth about the Jews like a crazy person. Let me tell you about it 13 times. Here is number I. You go read him for yourself. I am not going to repeat his crazy talk. You may feast your eyes upon the Jew hater Linh Dinh at substack where he carries on his work of this century as Postcards from the End.

Dan, who claims to be a good friend of LD, told me via email that, “As a man, my sense is that he is exhausted and isolated, degrading his intellect.” More on point, he referred to LD’s anti-Semitism as “muddy, not much to it,” adding that “he is just not making sense. If he was making sense, it would be something like Celine’s (Louis-Ferdinand Céline)effort to capture life and people as they are. But of course, Celine was a serious and consequential enemy of the Jews so I do hope Linh is just tired.”

In case you need more evidence that LD has become a pariah among his peers and more than a few of his one-time admirers, the Vietnamese Diasporic Artists Network (VDAN) felt the need to distance itself from LD whom they interviewed him in 2015, Interview with Linh Dinh: Poetry, Politics, and ‘Postcards’ with this crystal-clear disclaimer: In 2021, it came to our attention that the featured writer, Linh Dinh, has expressed anti-Black, anti-Semitic, and overall harmful views since the publication of this post. Linh Dinh’s views do not reflect the values of diaCRITICS. This post will remain available for archival purposes.

Here’s yet another disclaimer, further proof that LD’s reputation, at least among those who are against hate, is in the toilet. In a 2011 review of his book Love Like Hate: A Novel, a website called Rain Taxi added this editor’s note of condemnation three years ago: Recently (as of Winter 2020) Rain Taxi has been made aware of anti-Semitic and anti-Black statements by the author whose book is discussed below. Because of these abominable public pieces, the original reviewer no longer wishes to have their name associated with the author in any way and it has been redacted. Rain Taxi fully denounces those statements and does not in any way encourage its readers to support racist authors at any turn, but we are leaving this piece public as a matter of transparency.

[For compelling evidence of LD’s racism, have a look at this 2016 screed when he still had an Unz Review stamp of approval: Who’s Racist? an inadvertently rhetorical question. As “Disclaimer” wrote in the comments section, “Lin (sic) should know better and dig deeper as the violent blacks theme is the low hanging fruit and will not lead anyone anywhere.”]

Finally, indulge me while I add one last nail to LD’s reputational coffin. He recently published an  interview on his Substack account about transgender people that began with this statement and these questions: “You mock transgender people in some of your recent Substack posts. Why do that? What is it about this community that you are against? Your poetry and literary work overall radiates empathy, tolerance and comradery, to a degree that is in effect more radical than what we find in the writings of other authors from your generation, so this positioning is quite shocking and disappointing to me. Do you not agree that trans people should be allowed to freely shape their bodies according to what they perceive their sexual identity to be—and be treated as any other man, woman or intersex person?”

After droning on about how “the trans movement is being imposed from the top, to benefit big pharma and big government while harming women, children and the autonomy of the family,” thus confirming Elie Wiesel’s assertion that “Someone who hates one group will end up hating everyone,” LD felt compelled, apropos of nothing, to invoke Barack Obama’s name: “After decades of whispers, it’s finally acknowledged Obama was, and perhaps still is, a crack smoking homosexual. Though we shouldn’t care where Obama likes to stick his dick, it’s concerning that he kept up such a phony façade and may have had knowing insiders killed.” (Note: This is a legal textbook example of libel but it’s unlikely Obama will he waste his lawyers’ time and his money on a pissant.)

Acknowledged by whom, the same folks who dreamt up the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that linked some high-ranking Democratic Party officials and US restaurants with an alleged human trafficking and child sex ring? Had knowing insiders killed? Seriously? This is the alternate reality that so many inhabit these days. More red meat for LD’s expanding base of wing nuts and other assorted loonies. I wonder if he hears voices, too?

Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear

Our own life has to be our message

-Thích Nhất Hạnh

LD and his followers would do well to reflect on these sentiments expressed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Baldwin, both of whom knew a thing or two about being objects of hatred simply because of the color of their skin and, in Baldwin’s case, sexual orientation. King said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Baldwin, who had every reason to be pessimistic about life, rejected that outlook saying, “I can’t be a pessimist because I am alive. To be a pessimist means that you have agreed that human life is an academic matter. So, I am forced to be an optimist. I am forced to believe that we can survive, whatever we must survive.”

Howard Gardner, a chaired research professor of cognition and education at Harvard University and the author of the theory of multiple intelligences, said in a 2012 lecture that “There is no evidence of any interdependence between morality and intelligence,” something most of intuitively know. God knows there are countless examples from the present and the past. LD and many of his Jew-hating followers, apprentices and veterans alike, are shameless examples of this chasmlike disconnect.

One of my all-time favorite LD essays is House Slave Syndrome, published in 2010. He kicks it off with this powerful statement that touches on one of the legacies of US foreign policy, at home and abroad, in a succinct and amusing (think black humor) manner:

A recent article declares, Tired of war, thousands of Iraqis want to go to U.S” What it fails to mention is who triggered all the bloodshed. Who made conditions in Iraq so intolerable that these people must flee?

You know who. Over and over again, the U.S. has instigated mayhem or carnage overseas, generating thousands if not millions of refugees, many of whom longing to escape, paradoxically, it seems, to the source of their suffering. You beat and humiliate me, so can I move in?

After reading that brilliant indictment of US foreign policy, I thought of him as a kindred spirit. Now he’s just a bitter, cynical, hate-filled sexagenarian man who happens to write well but has lost his moral compass and gone off the deep end. It’s fair to say without a hint of exaggeration that the bloom is off this literary curmudgeon’s rose.

Coming full circle, LD’s self-hate is on full display for the world to see. The degradation of his intellect, to which Dan Duffy referred, has kept pace with the implosion of his moral code. A gifted poet and writer, LD is a shell of his former self, a man who once gave a voice to the voiceless through his writing and photography. His most recent success has been shredding his reputation and becoming an object of derision, pity, and scorn.

Linh Dinh would be well-advised to reflect on the fifth of the Buddha’s Five Remembrances:

My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.

Now excuse me while I take a spiritual shower and cleanse my mind of this ideological dreck.

Mark A. Ashwill is an international educator who has lived in Vietnam since 2005. He is an associate member of Veterans for Peace Chapter 160. Ashwill blogs at An International Educator in Viet Nam and can be reached at markashwill@hotmail.com.