Is it just me or does it seem like too many Hmong people pay no attention to politics? I know plenty of non-Hmongs who don't care one bit for what is taking place in the political world, but it's starting to seem to me like this is perhaps even more true for Hmongs. I'm not talking about the ones who have limited understanding of English, but more so the ones who are of my generation, born in the U.S. or raised here.
There is quite a bit going on in the political world that affect Hmongs, but somehow, many of them are just completely unaware or simply don't care about it. For example, there is a new budget bill being pushed in Wisconsin that makes major cuts to educational programs. Part of these cuts include taking money away from ESL or ELL programs, and the bill even specifically names "Southeast Asian" students as the group that politicians are looking to cut aid for. That's us, right? That's those of you who have kids who use those programs or services in school, and that's those of you or relatives of yours who serve as Hmong translator or ESL aide to schools. That's your job about to be cut.
On top of that, there are going to be cuts made to Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc.--programs that many Hmongs rely on to stay healthy and to have food on the table.
Now, whether you agree with the need for these programs to exist or not, the point is that so many Hmong people don't even know that these serious debates concerning them are happening in the political world.
When you think it's "just politics" and nothing more, or when you see it on the news and brush it off because it's boring or because you don't fully understand it, please know that YOU are the one who stands to lose. Even if you yourself are not directly affected by changes that politicians make, I'm sure you know family and friends who will be negatively affected.
So I guess all I'm saying with this post is that you should start paying more attention to the news and specifically what is happening in politics. And if you don't understand what it all means, look it up, do some quick research, ask somebody. And then what? Well, after you've gained a little knowledge on the issue, talk about it with your Hmong relatives and friends. Make them aware of situations in the political world that may affect them.
A stronger and better Hmong community is one that is well-informed, one that can be pro-active to situations rather than re-active.
And please, fellow Hmongs, get out and VOTE on election days. Your vote does matter.