Unity, media and the relationship between a man and his community

I’m sure all of us have heard the KDWB’s “30 Hmongs” by now. Many of you might be very tired of hearing this controversy. I completely understand your feelings too. After weeks and weeks of this non-stop war between the passionate “I hate KDWB” group and the “Learn how to take a joke” coalition, it’s very apparent that there is no absolute winner in this ongoing war that rages throughout our community.

Now to be very honest, many people did overreact to this problem and I do believe that this situation could have been handled better on both sides of the spectrum. However, I do strongly believe that what KDWB did was wrong, absolutely wrong and there is no two ways about it. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not calling them a racist, but I’m holding them accountable for their actions. This is something that many of us need to understand, KDWB must be held accountable for their actions and words they spoke on that day.

The 30 Hmongs In aHouse song did not directly affect me. It did not destroy the Hmong community nor did it amount to any intentional damages. However, this song did successfully create a rift between Hmong teens both locally and nation-wide. The boundaries that separate Hmong teens have never been more distinct then what it is today.

Across the state, teens are forced to choose between the two opposing views, however many teens are trapped in between. I for one am trapped in between. My Hmong side tells me to lash out with anger yet at the same time my Americanized views teaches me to calm down and realize that this is just a music parody. Even though this is just my individual thoughts, I’m certain that many teens also face this problem.

After countless conversations that dealt with this issue and many views analyzed, I began to see that this single secular problem was only a cover up for a larger more immanent problem: unity in the community. Countless decades have passed yet we still face the problem of unity. Unable to join forces and face problems together as a group, this has lead to our downfall and the proof is embedded in our history (Chinese War, Vietnam War). Now in a land of opportunity, we are still unable to agree on such topics. Even though now, we face no threat of war, we are facing the pressures of assimilation. If we are unable to agree on our future then the Hmong people will surely perish. The KDWB incident was the first real wake up call to the world. It shows how a modern day problem can still affect us if we are not united.

Being a Hmong man, I fully understand the consequences of this problem. We must forge a path for the Hmong people to walk, to individually succeed, yet ethically prevail. If we are able to do so then we are able to teach our sons and daughters the importance of our Hmong heritage and show the world that we are more than what the media portray us to be.