The Anti-Model Minority

The Model Minority sprang out of White attempt to divide and conquer Colored Empowerment, but one cannot discount the truth behind Asian American accomplishment–that is until they encounter the Hmong.

The Hmong are said to be inedible and unwilling to cooperate with mainstream America. Their secondary migration patterns have disrupted government attempts at dispersing the impact of states absorbing refugee peoples who will consume millions of dollars of SSI and Medicare/Medicaid. They smell, have strange rituals in which they sacrifice animals and they have no sense of family planning or birth control.

But we are more than that.

The Hmong are stubborn–hence they have been able to survive generations without a land called their own. The Hmong are united–they invest a great deal in community and surround themselves with allies, with family. They are never alone. The Hmong sacrifice–to appease the elders and ancestors who watch over us. The Hmong have massive families–they worry about the loneliness of their children.

Am I romaniticizing myself? Or am I exoticizing the Hmong?

Both and neither. I think I just get tired of the Anti-Model Minority label. I mean, that label is inherently in reference to Chinese & Japanese Americans–the early migratory Asians to America. Although we share a history and I am all for pan-ethnicism, can we contextualize? Can we differentiate that (obviously) Hmong were not part of the construction of the term “Model Minority”–although one can admit our complicity in its contemporary existence by virtue of sheer existence.

Anyways, I just wanted to rant…something like the above. I wanted to note our flaws and weaknesses, the idosyncracies of Hmong nature that I have found and the delights, the accomplishments, the strength that can be found beyond the seemingly obtuse surface.

Perfection is a willingness to be flawed.

-Lilian Thaoxaochay

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