Chapters 9 and 10

Chapter 9 begins with Lia returning home from her foster family. The Lee’s sacrifice a cow to ensure that Lia will have good health even though it cost three months worth of Lia’s disability checks. Chapter 9 also describes the scrutiny over using animals as sacrifices. The Hmong’s like many ethnic cultures use animal sacrifices as a sign of honor. Using animal sacrifices created many rumors in the community such as that the Hmong’s use of cats and dogs in their sacrifices. I thought it was interesting how this stereotype of people of Asian cultures using cats and dogs as sacrifices was built on by the community of Merced. The false reports of residents viewing Hmong people sacrificing cats and dogs seemed to conform to the previous stereotypes.¬† The residents of Merced were jumping to conclusions about the Hmong people, and because they are an Asian culture and because they were sacrificing an animal it had to be a cat or a dog. I thought it was interesting how this happened because it reminded me of the White Like Me video when Tim Wise experienced implicit bias on the plane with the two black pilots, and he assumed they weren’t qualified. The sacrificing reminded me of inherent bias because this stereotype of people of Asian cultures sacrificing dogs and cats is something we all heard and the people of Merced just applied this stereotype to what they heard about a tradition that was foreign to them. What this community did is a step above implicit bias because they did not try to correct the rumors. I also thought the history of states trying to ban sacrifices to be very strange. I had no idea that individual states had banned or attempted to ban sacrifices. I feel like that goes against the first amendment, but because sacrifices are not a regular practice in America it makes sense why states tried to ban them.

Chapter 10 focused on the conflict in Laos during the 1950’s. The section also described the Hmong people’s way of life. The Hmong people would farm in the high mountains, only grow enough food for their family to eat, grow small amounts of opium to sell for silver, and more often after the slash and burning their crop fields. They were very self-sufficient. The conflict in Laos started during the Cold War. America wanted an area in Asia to help fight the spread of communism. The American’s trained the Hmong men to fight in Vietnam and used them with promises of American aide. This conflict is known as the quiet war. Like many American’s I had never heard of this conflict. I have learned about the Cold War and Vietnam but never about this quiet war. The quiet war is another conflict that is not taught to Americans because it may make us look bad. We used the Hmong people to fight in Vietnam and destroyed their villages causing many people to become refugees and have to immigrate to the US.¬†Like many other wars and situations where America is made to look like an awful place with conflicting viewpoints, it is swept under the rug just like the war in Laos. This class has opened my eyes to many conflicting stories about history that I have never heard about including Thomas Jefferson’s comments on slaves and Native American, the history of loans and the housing market and now this quiet war. It makes me wonder about what else I don’t know about and how history curriculum should include much more about America and what has been swept under the rug

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One thought on “Chapters 9 and 10

  1. I thought it was really interesting how you connected the book to the implicit biases in the “White Like Me” video. People made assumptions about the Hmongs sacrificial traditions, just as Tim Wise made assumptions about African American pilots. Such implicit biases can cause detrimental effects to certain groups. As we have mentioned in class, people start to internalize stereotypes and implicit biases.

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