History vs. hate

Wisconsin may require schools to teach Hmong history — especially the Hmong role as U.S. allies during the Vietnam War — to ease racial tensions.

“All of the difficulties that the Hmong face and experience in the U.S. are due to the fact that there is no formal teaching about the Hmong to the general public,” said Za Blong Vang, president of the Hmong Community of Wisconsin. He spoke in Hmong but provided an English translation of his remarks.

This month, a white hunter was charged with killing a Hmong hunter. Some fear the killing was revenge for the murder of six white hunters two years ago by a Hmong deer hunter, who claimed the victims shouted racial slurs.

I’m not persuaded that hate crimes are caused by ignorance of history. Surely the sort of people who murder others because of their ethnicity are not the sort to be turned around by a history lesson — or, more likely, — a two-minute “mention.” They need to learn self-control and manners, which are difficult to teach in school if parents aren’t demonstrating those qualities at home.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    It was a big mistake for us to resume normal relations with Communist Vuetnam before we had an agreement to allow refugees to return without penalty.

  2. Chai Vang killed 4 of the of the 6 by shooting them in the back, most of them several times–not a self-defense issue. He also had priors for domestic violence. Knowing the history of the Humong wouldn’t have saved any of those people–although educating the Humong about trespassing and how hunting in the Midwest differs from hunting in Southeast Asia might have been a good idea.

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    We need to move prosperity, not people.

  4. The Hmong are among us, as Americans, and will be for the foreseeable future. I don’t think teaching about their history will immediately cause tensions to disappear, but I can’t see why it can do any harm either. If the Wisconsin schools teach state history and include Scandanavians and other European immigrants, there’s absolutely no reason not to include the Hmong.

    And I agree with Kate that the Hmong need to learn more about us. And I agree with Mr. Wallis regarding negotiations with Vietnam and our need for prosperity. But we’ve got these guys in the country now, legally and with some sort of actual obligation as far as I’m concerned, so we’ve got to do things to make it work out. Saying they shouldn’t be here isn’t a practical response.

  5. Sebastion Krakowicz says:

    As usual, it’s white America that bears the onus to understand, tolerate and assimilate to alien cultures.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    It is better to leave people in their own society and bring them along there than to feed them modern with a fire hose.