A Sad Dichotomy In News Around WI Residents Of Asian Descent

In one article today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes the xenophobia and discrimination that Wisconsin residents of Hmong and other Asian backgrounds are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Association in Appleton, which focuses on issues related to the Hmong and Southeast Asian community, condemned racist incidents along with 15 leaders of other organizations in an April 15 statement.

“Racist actions such as racial slurs, xenophobic indifference in public settings, and property damage have continued to increase in Wisconsin, and in these uncertain times, it is critical that everyone feels safe and supported, so we can collectively overcome the challenges and tragedies of COVID-19,” the statement read.

Lo Neng Kiatoukaysy, executive director of the Hmong American Friendship Association in Milwaukee, said there has “quite a bit” of racism targeted at the Hmong and Asian community.

“It’s not pleasant,” Kiatoukaysy said. “Our people … they always turn the other cheek.”

“Some people, when they make stupid remarks at our people, they don’t say it to your face,” Kiatoukaysy said. “But they say it in a way that you hear it and walk away.”

Meanwhile, on the front page is a story about Wisconsin National Guard troops who are helping with the expanded coronavirus testing by making calls to Wisconsin residents with their test results. At least two of the Guards mentioned seem to be of Hmong ancestry.

So on the one hand Wisconsin wants to vilify residents because of who they are…while on the other hand accepting their help as heroes in time of crisis.

Sometimes I can’t believe what a flocked up place this state and nation can be.


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