Activitists petition NPR over Radiolab's "complete lack of racial sensitivity"

cover illustration by Brian Stauffer
This week's cover story, "The Yellow Rain Makers," opens with the backlash against the popular show Radiolab, following an episode that, as locally-based author Kao Kalia Yang describes it, "dismissed the Hmong experience" and discounted contrasting accounts.

The episode immediately sparked an outpouring of debate on Radiolab's website. Now, the Asian American activism group 18 Million Rising is trying to channel some of that conversation to spark change.

See Also: Behind Laos's yellow rain and tears [COVER]

More »

McDonald's advertises to St. Paul's Hmong speakers, but misses on the translation

Categories: Hmong
Keller Grayson Communications
Hmong speakers say this slogan doesn't quite translate.
- Blong Xiong, Hmong congressional candidate in California, campaigns for cash in St. Paul
- KDWB Hmong parody song brings protesters to station's front door
- Among Bboys: A Taste of Hmong Culture

McDonald's has two new billboards in St. Paul that are targeting a specific customer: Hmong speakers. For the first time in the U.S., the fast food giant is pitching the community directly in Hmong, with a tagline that translates to, "Coffee gets you up, breakfast gets you going."

Or at least, that's what the ads are supposed to say. Hmong speakers report that the slogan is stilted, and tough to read because of missing spaces between the words.

More »

Forced repatriation of ethnic Hmong raises state senator's ire

mee moua wikimedia.jpg
Photo: Calebrw/Wikimedia Commons
News of the forced repatriation of 4,000 ethnic Hmong from Thailand to their native Laos on Monday sent shockwaves throughout the Hmong community and prompted a stern, last-minute denouncement from Minnesota state Sen. Mee Moua, who spent three years of her childhood in a similar camp before moving to the U.S. with her parents.

"International law could not be clearer that the involuntary return of persons entitled to protection is inconsistent with precedents and international agreements established in the wake of World War II," she said in a statement. "This long-established principle states that refugees and asylum-seekers cannot be forcibly returned to countries where they could face persecution and death."

DFLer Moua, of St. Paul, was first elected to the state Senate in 2002, and is the highest-ranking elected official of Hmong background in the United States. She told Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine that her father was a medic in the Vietnam War, and fled with her family to a refugee camp in Thailand when she was five years old. In 1978 her family, along with other Hmong refugees, moved to the United States. In St. Paul, she's part of one of the largest concentrations of Hmong Americans in the country.

More »


Mee Moua

Gran Torino is racist and insensitive, says Hmong writer

Categories: Hmong


A New York writer of Hmong heritage who has been published by Minnesota Historical Society Press is alleging that local screenwriter Nick Shenk got the portrayal of the Hmong wrong in the new mega-buzzed-about Clint Eastwood drama, Gran Torino

More »