Saturday, November 27, 2004

Last Hmong Post

As this story clearly needs to investigated further, I will cease posting on this topic until it is at least heard by a grand jury.

In the mean time though, Minnesota Public Radio has taken the daunting task of reconciling the cultural influence that may have contributed to the event, on its own shoulders.

Ilean Her, executive director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, says the community wants Vang to be seen as a man who committed a violent act who happens to be a Hmong immigrant. She says the community dislikes the spotlight on Vang's ethnicity by the wider Minnesota community.

"Like, how could this have happened? Maybe some of this cultural background may be influencing how he behaved. And I think that's the mainstream community trying to understand this," Her said. "At the at the same time Hmong community trying to understand it with their own personal experience, background. And so the the Hmong community does not want to bring his culture into it at all."

What does this mean? I don't know. I think she may be saying that although it has nothing to do with culture, it actually may be all about culture.

His story conflicts with a surviving hunter's statement which makes no mention of racial taunting. Still, Her says Vang's account confirms Hmong community suspicions that Vang was provoked.

She says Hmong hunters widely report harassment from non-Hmong hunters. She knows hunters who have been confronted by white hunters at gunpoint, with baseball bats, or white hunters who have run over Hmong camps with their cars.

Her says though the community does not condone the shootings in any way, the Hmong community can identify to a certain extent to Vang's version of events.

And although race may have played a role in the unfortunate incident, race has nothing to do with it. And while all in the community find Vang's actions vehemently repugnant, some of them can understand why.

Hmong leader Ilean Her is cautioning everyone to not convict Vang before he's had his day in court. She says she's been puzzled by e-mails that accuse community leaders of defending Vang.

"The response is that we're not defending him," she said. "We just want to know the truth. We just want to know from point A to Z. We sort of know what happened at point Z, the killings. And that's terrible. But we want to know and understand from the beginning to the end and then we want to be able to allow the justice system does its job."

Well thanks to Minnesota Public Radio for making this so crystal clear to us.

As to our earlier question about whether only white people can be racist, an estimable reader has posted his answer in the comments sections of the earlier post. Minnesota Public Radio doesn't seem able to come right out and say what it means, but that is not so for our reader:

CHAI VANG acted upon Self defense and I just think that they deserved what they got. Honestly, I would have done the same thing if they had shot at me. In his mind, I believe, he thought they were going to kill him. Why else would they have fired two shots at him? Common sense, why would a "person" shoot someone else without cause? That doesn't add up, they must have done something to him to make him act in self defense. Yes, they shot at him, why would he "sound so self incriminating" in his report if he had done it out of anger, rampage? He was only letting the truth come out. But it is a white man's world, and they are ONLY up for their people. So I stand with mine. You would think that living in the 21st century that "CAUCASIANS" born in the United States of America would act as leaders. That they would take the pride in showing and demonstrating leadership. But, no. In reality, they are just some racist motherfuckers. I am glad that they got shot at. & if I sound racist, oh well, why? I have the same rights as those who tried to kill Chai Vang and then are still looked upon as "the innocent." That's bullshit, and GOD sees all. Chai Vang won't be the one to burn in the hot ashes of hell, but the WHITE people. I hope they all died a slow, tormenting, and torturing death that they surly deserved.

(h/t to Taranto at Best of the Web)

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