Professor Cindy L. Cheng
1934 Tydings-Mcduffle Act:
What: The 1934 Tydings-Mcduffle Act is the official Philippines Independence Act that established the process for the Philippines to become an independent country (was an American colony after takeover). The Philippines established common wealth where it granted independence in 10 years. Their status “U.S. Nationals” withdraws and the Filipinos are subjected to the Alien exclusion laws and are now considered as “aliens”. This act also established the limitation/exclude of Filipino immigration where they cut down to 50 per year.
Significance: Although the Philippines were granted their independence from colonialization, it was active exclusion and reveals the colonial context that the cost of independence follows and makes them subjected to exclusion. It changed their immigration legal status and reconvert them to the U.S. Nationals to Alien ineligible for citizenship. Their given right to freely travel is also taken away since they are forced to live under the new status as Aliens and follow the other exclusion laws. They were only able to be nationals if they were still considered a colony making them unable to come to the U.S. In order to exclude Filipinos independence. This shows that the U.S. was willingly to let go of their colony.
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Significance: A way for Filipinos to gamble and earn extra money transnational political activism:
Example: Ghadar Party was an example because they fought for their independence and racial equality due to British Colonialism. They saw these two issues and connected them together.
What: The best examples dealt with early South Asian immigration to the States. It emphasized to fight for independence against colonialization. They
connected the fight for racial equality in U.S. to the fight for India Independence.
Significance: This is significant because South Asians saw why they were looked down upon because they were colonial subjects of British imperialism and were marked lower that they felt it carried on over when going to Canada and the U.S. They saw their struggle here and over in India that it blamed the British for imposing this on them and so they wanted to get rid of this.
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of delayed offset?
Korean National Association:
Example: The Korean-American War, was a war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and fought the war against the northern peninsula of Korea. We also discuss several other topics like What is a segment of dna on a chromosome that contains instructions for an inherited trait called?
What: A conflict between 2 states where fighting occurs derivatively (or in another place)
Significance: War marked by confusion because confused on who the enemy is and what they are fighting for/against which leads it to not being successful. The U.S. weren’t exactly/ideologically fighting against communist yet, just starting to realize that they don’t want it for other countries and were afraid of going into WWIII. It is also revealed competing meanings of “communism”. Many Koreans embraced communism, fought against U.S. imperialism and creation of sovereign nation free of feudal vestiges. This made it seem like they were aligning themselves with the Soviet Union, but Soviet Union isn’t really at a good/stable point with their military. Korea wanted to avoid colonialism and have independence. For the U.S., they thought it was Soviet expansion and sought to stop Soviet expansion and closing of key trade markets for capitalist growth. This also created refugees, displacement, rebuilding, many children left as orphans, working mothers, poverty and destruction, a consequence from war. Because it is also fought on another soil, both nations didn’t want to fully invest to rebuild Korea even though they are the cause of it. So these displacements, we have to promote for help and reframe it as helping/humanitarian aid but really not taking responsibility for the cause. We also discuss several other topics like Who is the inventor of mark 1?
The War on Terror:
What: It was a watershed moment that was important and influential to a new period and changing the sense of immigration. On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 people turned 4 airplanes into weapons of mass destruction, killing numerous of people. These 19 young men were Arabs who were seeking this mission on the behalf of an organization, not a nation. They were to destroy what they thought was symbols of U.S. Imperialism, such as the world trade center and the Pentagon. However, it wasn’t a surprise attack, Bush administration and U.S. intelligence failed to act on vital information to prevent this attack because they didn’t take Bin Laden seriously and CIA and FBI did not work together to share information despite the tracking of these hijacker activities. After this attack, a surge of patriotism passed on independent investigation, identifying terrorism, and surveilling suspicious activities. And a war took place to bomb countries, mainly Afghanistan and Iraq. We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of growth and maintenance?
Significance: This is significant because it changed American views and the U.S. to take precautions and establish regulations/restrictions on immigration for the sake of national security. It changed people’s perspectives to generalize and criminalize all Arabs due to their looks. The aftermath is a lingering effect and even still apparent to today. It became a social construction of all Arabs and Muslims as “terrorists” and national security versus democratic freedom. If you want to learn more check out What is the difference between highly developed and less developed countries?
What: Colonialization is the extraction of people, goods, and services from colonialized country for benefit of colonizer’s country. Elite groups of colonialized countries (ex. Filipino Elites) often work with colonizers to maintain control. It creates an unequal relationship between colonizers and the colonized.
Significance: This is significant because it established U.S. on par with other European nations such as Germany, France, and Great Britain. It helped to affirm “superiority” of U.S. over other civilizations in fulfillment of Manifest Destiny. And it established U.S. as colonial power that “protected” the Philippines from other colonial powers and it also established immigration ties between the U.S. and Philippines.
Example: An example is the 1904 St. Louis World Fair where it celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana purchase of 1803, one year late compared to
other countries. The crowning jewel was the Philippine village. This is important because the U.S wanted to showcase their advancement in industries, technology, and try to bring culture together. However, it really showed off their nationality/nation and their colonies they had acquired.
What: 1912-1913, Indian Revolutionaries Har Dayal and Sohan Singh Bhakna founded the pacific coast Hindustan Ass. In San Francisco, CA. They were eventually renamed the Ghadar Party. This was a transnational political activism aimed for independence based on the U.S. They fought for Indian independence from Great Britain colonial rule, founded on communist and nationality ideologies (anti-capitalist), discrimination in the U.S. against them, and was the primary foundation of the Indian Independence movement.
Significance: It represented the politicization (the process of making them political/related to the public affairs of the U.S.) of Punjabi peasants whose experiences as immigrants had forged the common links of their Indian identity and created a sense of urgency in freeing India. This political strategy were central to India’s struggle for freedom from British imperialism. The transnational activism connects the U.S. to anti-colonial struggle of Indian diaspora.
Vietnamization of War:
What: Nixon Doctrine 1969 was a policy that withdraw American troops and replaced them with Vietnamese troops to fight the war while the U.S. provided economic aid. Due to the Viet Cong’s Tet Offensive, the policy referred to U.S. combat troops specifically in the ground combat role, but did not reject combat by U.S. air force.
Significance: This is significant because the U.S. government domestically loses a sense of credibility from U.S. citizens from the news release of U.S. soldiers’ massacre, invasion of Cambodia, and the leaking of Pentagon Papers. They used the term Vietnamization because it had the emphasis on the right issues. It fit in the policy because it no longer regarded its fundamental strategy to get rid of communism but make it a global issue. However, it was a failure due to the fall of Saigon and the subsequent merger of the north and the south.
What: There is two types of definitions, one being social and the other being legal. Refugees are unlike immigrants. The social definition of a refugee is that they are coming from a crisis (usually a death sentence), forced to leave
a home country, and don’t know where they are going/unplanned. They have limited time preparation, no country of destination often unknown, limited capital, and have a traumatic journey visually. The Legal definition is anyone fleeing from a communist rule during and especially the cold war period and even then mostly extends today.
Significance: Refugee are a socio-political marker of U.S. Foreign policy objectives and are a special type of “immigrant” regulated by government provisions. The term is also selective as not everyone running away from a crisis is considered a refuge based on political persecution. This all ties back into cold war politics. While many people want to prioritize any suffering, the Government only prioritize their needs during the Cold War who are fleeing from communism. For instance, while it didn’t take anybody suffering everywhere, it did take the Southeast Asians (Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotians, Cambodians, etc.) and provided government assistance. Keep in mind that not every immigrants gets government assistance because it benefits our foreign policy. Because it carries the foreign policy, as a refugee it will provide different levels of assistance due to the refugee structure.
Example: The Hmong from the secret war are consider refugees after fighting the war against Pathet Lao who were communists and sided with the U.S. They had to leave after the death sentence stated by the Pathet Lao and migrate through harsh conditions to Thailand. They spent many years at the camps and processing centers before being allowed to travel to the U.S. and other places.
What: An act issued from President Trump, it was an executive directive, new immigration policy and ban the travel of 6 Muslim countries and one latinx country into the U.S. and suspended refugees processing.
Significance: It first had its historical roots to 9/11. The lasting effects of 9/11 is still being carried on because it dealt with Muslim attackers with individual characteristics that made it seem like it came from one nation. However, we don’t see the individuals, we generalize this and believe it starts to stand with a nation/ religious group. Islam phobia was developed which led people to be still afraid and traumatize of this event happening even though we killed Osama Bin Laden and bombed Afghanistan. It’s
aftermath and the stereotype is what is leftover, a lingering effect and promoted a change in our culture due to these 19 young men and criminalize all Arabs over the world. It is a new period of immigration law- for the sake of national security. It is the first Major sweeping reform to alter the 1965 Immigration Act. A restatement of a national origins quota, reversing and starting to exclude once again.
Part II-Short Essay Questions:
1. Filipina/o laborers were critical to meeting the demands of seasonal labor and became a vital part of the West Coast migratory labor circuit. Discuss and detail this migratory labor circuit. [10 points]
The West Coast Migratory labor circuit made Filipina/os traveled as far north as Alaska for Salmon cannery work in the early summer and as far south as the Imperial valley in the early fall, with stops in Stockton, Salinas, and other agricultural centers in between. While they worked with hard agricultural, they were on the bottom of the labor market. Pay was little and resulted in their need for constant mobility in search for work. Filipinos traveled a lot. It began in late February with Asparagus and would harvest other vegetables. In June, they would migrate to Alaska to harvest salmon. In the early summer-Stockton and Salinas. And then there was a period of time where they had unemployment, very few work/harvests. This meant that Agricultural work was typically 10 months a year and provided a rhythm for the laborers to get used too. Most Filipinos were based on San Joaquin in the Valley and Stockton.
2. What was the most profitable crop of the San Joaquin Delta and how did Filipina/os established themselves as an indispensable laborer force of the Delta? [10 points]
San Joaquin Delta was known for being one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the world. The most profitable crop was the asparagus as they were seen as a multimillion-dollar industry. Americans developed a taste to asparagus and so farmers began planting it widely throughout Delta since all the canned asparagus were eaten before WWII. Filipinos became essential to processing the asparagus because of the increased demand and the farmers needed a
cheap labor force to do the backbreaking harvesting to increase their profit. Wages began to plummet and they decided to put up with it which gave them this docile, tractable, and easily exploited belief of Filipinos. Their skin color, size, and other racial qualities made Filipinos ideal to perform “stoop” labor. While they were seen as stoop labor, they proved to be indispensable by their speed, skill, efficiency, and willingness to work in large crews and in any weather condition. They were productive because of their kinship and would span their entire lives of workers.
3. Not all Filipina/os worked as stoop laborers as some became laborer contractors. What are some distinguishing features of these contractors and in what ways did contractors hurt Filipina/o workers and in what ways did they help these workers? [10 points]
Keeping in mind that Filipinos were considered racially inferior, they were treated badly. Filipino laborer contractors were able to recruit laborers, set wages, and work conditions to their desire. They then sold the workers’ services as a total package to growers. These laborer contractors were in charge of board, room, and payroll for the crew of workers. These contractors tended to be better educated, older, and more experienced than other Filipina/os workers. They benefitted the workers by raising the productivity and efficiency of crews because of the encloso system. The enclose system accepted piece, pound, and per box rates compared to hourly wages. With this system, instead of being paid 45 cents and lower, they made $2-$3 per day based on the pound.
While this system benefitted them, there was also problems like the farmers would only pay the contractor (usually towards the end of the harvest) and it would be the contractor’s responsibility to pay the crew their earnings. The farmers were not held liable for the wages owed to the workers. Even some Filipino contractors would take more money that was supposed to be given to the workers as their wages. They would take advantage and it was already an exploited workforce. Some contractors even left in secret with all of the money to avoid any persecution.
Boarding/rooming were expensive and were charge a day depending on the contractor and could only eat certain things to keep it cheap. But if you had a Filipino contractor who had familial ties, they were responsible and loyal. They ensured fair wages and working conditions
for their workers. These contractors were essential to the survival of many Filipino families.
1. What is benevolent assimilation and what is significant about this policy? [10 points]
The acquired territories happening really posed a challenge for American’s beliefs in democracy and self-government. To make it not seem like there were conquests, they tried to state and justify their reasons to extend their authority in another country. Benevolent assimilation is a U.S. policy of colonial governance over the Philippines. The significance of this policy was to justify the U.S. take over and promote a “selfless” look. It was the foundation of war and gave the U.S. their rights and duty of good people to uplift the Filipinos and teach them our ways. In short, to civilize them because they “needed” us and can’t help themselves. It was also a belief of manifest destiny, for the U.S. to expand. However, it created more hierarchies. Because of this, the U.S. had to create a new legal status for the Filipinos known as “U.S. National”. It was a limited status that did not make Filipinos subjected to exclusion/alien laws but they didn’t particularly have full citizen rights either. They most important thing for them was being able to travel freely under this legal status.
2. White Americans sought to deny the “American-ness” of Filipinos by ascribing those attributes derived from racial representations and depicted them sexually aggressive. Discuss and detail how this racial stereotype gets played out in the taxi dancehalls of rural California and fueled the drive for Filipino exclusion. [10 points]
White Americans sought to deny the “American-ness” of Filipinos by combining the characteristics of African Americans and the Orient and their sexual representation. Because the White Americans found it odd to see Filipinos be so “American”, and the blend of culture were so new, they had to pinpoint something morally wrong and that was their sex drive. This led to see the Filipinos as “backwards” and a “savage” or “primitive” like characteristics that are often associated with African Americans. The Filipinos were also mistaken as blacks too. So to separate the Filipinos from being American they focused on how Filipinos fancied white women in these taxi dancehalls. They would say it was ridiculous how Filipinos would dress up and seek these types of entertainment of a 10-minute dance and then sexualized leisure. However, these taxi dance halls were catered to any racial group but
was seen as a moral ruin of young females. In rural town California, Polish-Americans and other European women were the ones who typically worked in these taxi dance halls and were tied to the Filipinos problem of sexual menace to society. Generally, they saw Filipinos oversexed and was linked to their primitive like quality and was even shared amongst higher authority noting this sexual promiscuity. Again, they lacked women in the ratio of Filipinos so it was assumed they didn’t know family value or any moral in sex. Also the lack of masculinity was apparent too in the Filipinos, further making the less American and threatened social order. They were too “feminine” and succumb easily to women. All of this led the push for Filipino exclusion because of xenophobia/race-mixing. Racial violence begun in Watsonville where many Whites attacked the Filipinos in numerous ways. The White Americans believed in their superiority and wanted to ignore the policy of benevolent assimilation. The ideas of gender, sexuality, class, and colonialism of the racial identity was reclassified into a combination of racial representations of African Americans and Orientals. All of this stripped the Filipinos of their American-ness and invalidate the benevolent assimilation policy that led them to demand wage and social equality.
3. What is repatriation and how did it work to resolve the contradiction of benevolent assimilation? [10 points]
Repatriation is the return of people to their country and consists of volunteers. However, it wasn’t entirely volunteers going back to the Philippines. Aside from volunteers, there was convicts, ill-people, and deportees along with the few volunteers traveling back. The repatriation was expressed as benevolent intentions to assist Filipinos who had become jobless and homeless, but it was just an excuse to solve the riddance of Filipinos. Not many Filipinos took this opportunity, only a few. Those few were already well off and took advantage of this. To encourage Filipinos, the U.S. promised to pay the passage if they volunteer to go back. Again, this was another aspect to exclude Filipinos and move them back to the Philippines. Many did not want to go back due the unsureness of their lives will be if they get there and they didn’t want to show up poor or empty-handed. It contradicted their benevolent assimilation because the Americans didn’t want them there regardless how American they were, and it wouldn’t allow them to re-enter the U.S. if they were repatriated. If the U.S. goal was to make them more modern and civilian like, why they need for exclusion?
1. The exclusion of South Asians from North America began in Canada and spread to the U.S. What took place in Canada to spur on South Asian exclusion? [13 points]
Canada was affiliated with Great Britain where they employed Sikhs from the Punjabi region because they were cheap laborers to build the railroads. It was a continuous journey degree that led to exclusionary laws with the influx of laborers who then migrated to the U.S.
2. How did the exclusion of South Asians in Canada affect U.S. immigration policies for South Asians? [12 points]
1914 Komagata Maru incident introduced 1917 immigration act where it barred Asiatic Zone. Southeast Asians not eligible for citizenship. It became the U.S. and South Canada ruling.
3. Why did the British government get involved in the immigration restriction of South Asians from North America? [5 points]
The British Government got involved in the immigration restriction of South Asians because of the Indian independence occurring in the U.S. British colonial rule was ruling over India at the time and wanted to uphold their power. They wanted to track revolutionaries because they were anti-British. They were really focused on the Ghadar party because they were seen as radicals.
1. What are three facets of the Global Cold War and why is it important to understand that there was more than one facet of the Cold War? [15 points]
The three facets were Anti-colonial third world, rebuilding after WWII, and communism vs capitalism. It is important to understand that there was more than one facet of the Cold War because a lot of people usually only look at one side, but there is many different roles and affected/involved countries. It decentered Eurocentric view of Cold War “cold war” fallacy (mistake). Due to this, there was a lot of proxy wars and there’s no way without understanding that without cold war politics. And reframes a lot of what’s happening in the proxy wars and anti-colonial struggle.
2. What major event shifted U.S. foreign policy and Cold War objectives away from Europe and towards Asia? [5 points] The communist takeover in Oct. 1949 in China where it “fell” to communist rule. The U.S. was worried about the other Asian countries falling to the same. It wasn’t just Europe in the communist rule.
3. What does it mean that the war turned “hot” in Asia? [10 points]
It means that the proxy wars, the diplomatic relationships, and ideological shifts from an economic/political conflict/stance to a much more military conflict/stance centered in Asia. Also, it was a geographical shift from Europe to Asia. They couldn’t rely on talking it out and instead relied on military intervention. Anti-colonial became apparent too in many countries, they demanded independence and was the pivotal point of communism versus capitalism.
1. Three immigration acts showcased America’s shift away from immigration restriction and towards the liberalization of immigration policies. What are these three acts and what is significant about each act? (10 points for each act). [ 10 points each act]
Three immigration acts that showcased America’s shift away from immigration restriction and towards the liberalization of immigration policies are the 1943 Magnuson Act, 1952 McCarren act, and 1965 Immigration act.
In the 1943 Magnuson Act had three important parts. It repealed all the Chinese exclusion laws and established quota of 105 and gave Chinese rights to naturalization for the first time to any Asian group ever. The significance of this was to secure China alliance and shift our ways towards repealing exclusion to a more equitable way. Due to the Japanese propaganda where it targeted the U.S. contradictions, they needed to pass and recede the exclusion. It was the first major act to begin the age of repeal and Asians were allowed to become an American citizen regardless the limited quota. However it was more of a token, it didn’t fully acknowledge or change fundamentally but could become citizens. This also started to restore the U.S. credibility of American Democracy. America was not Nazi Germany and was the “good guy”, more beneficial, did not force people, etc. But due to this, the U.S. had to surveil/regulate political beliefs. While this was a great social change, it led to political depression.
In the 1952 McCarren Act it permitted immigration from the “Asian Pacific Triangle” and limited Asian immigration to a quota of about 100 persons a year. Allowed entry of Japanese, Koreans, and Filipinos wives of GI, as non-quota immigration. It also granted all Asians the rights to naturalization. Allowed family formations and women in the U.S. The Significance of this is that it was the harshest measures to limit rights of those engaged in “subversive activities”. There was two
different views as immigration and political views of limiting rights even with the relaxation of exclusion polices repealed.
In the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act it abolished the “national origins” as the basis of Immigration. Instead, it replaced it with an annual admission of 170,000 immigrants from Eastern hemispheres, 120,000 from Western hemispheres. 20,000 immigrants per country. It was also known as the trinity of the civil rights measurement. This also set up preferential categories in immigration. The most important was the family unification and demands for high skill laborers compared to cheap laborers. We can see this when the Chinese realized family was the most hardest to live without. This was the final act of shift from exclusion, more equitable on regulation. The significance of this is that it divided the world into hemispheres versus favoritism which got rid of national origins all together. This was all very radical. This immigration policy transforms into a foreign policy, a creation of cold war internationalism and established immigration control without anti immigrant sentiment. It also became equal depending on countries populations and allowed the reunion of families.
1. Why did the American-Korean Foundation make the plight of Korea’s children its number one priority? [10 points] In the context of cold war, it changed the narrative of the Korean War by seeing it as Humanitarian aid. It showed how life under the U.S. is better and will help out if you became poor. Another idea was to input the stray away from communism and was just as stable like anyone else.
2. The most popular image depicted through the “photograph of Kang” before the American public were introduced to the Korean Choristers. Discuss and detail the purpose and significance of this image. [10 points]
This photograph depicted/represented a skinny and hungry child with no parents and is all alone. Projected this image of starving kids in Korea and loneliness in a child to raise money and Korea can modernize/change and grow and accept.
3. What are some key differences and what was significance about the continual depiction of Korean Children in the absence of Korean adults due to the famous and popular photo of Kang? [10 points]
Didn’t always mean they were orphans. Still had living parent(s) or relatives, but could not provide for them. An increase in U.S. paternalism and believed all children were orphans, destitute, etc.
1. Why did the Hmong join forces with the U.S. during the secret war in Laos? [5 points]
Hmong believed that by assisting the U.S., it would lead to political sovereignty in Laos’s creation of Hmong state in Laos
2. What where the three main missions of the Hmong Secret army? [15 points]
Three main missions of the Hmong Secret Army was to fight Pathet Lao, maintain convert U.S. military presence without breaking neutrality, and defend critical American installations. Fighting Pathet Lao showed that they sided with the U.S. and did not support communist views. In doing so, if they carried this out, they would get what the U.S. (CIA) promised them for fighting with them. The second one is about how Laos is a neutral country, so with that in mind, they had to be careful even though they clearly chose a side, to remain neutral. They weren’t aren’t allowed to support in a disagreement war. Lastly, defending American installations were important otherwise they would lose their defense or area to the enemies.
3. How did the secret war shape Hmong immigration to the U.S.? [10 points]
Because it was a secret war, the U.S. and U.S. citizens were unaware what the Hmong did, why where they involved, and how they helped/aided the U.S. army. It created confusion and lots of people thought they were just more immigrants. They did not get any warm welcomes or thanks for their contribution and were treated just like any other Asian immigrant.
1. The Hmong army was not the only secret kept from the U.S. public. The U.S. also intervened in the affairs of Cambodia. Discuss the military intervention of the U.S. in Cambodia and its impact on the rise of the Khmer Rouge [10 points] U.S. Military intervention in Cambodia dropped lots of bombs that was occupied by communist forces. They wanted to block the Ho Chi Minh trail to stop military forces/ weapon transportation of the Vietnamese. However, it caused lots of displacement and instability on civilian villages, disruption, destruction, that gave rise to a government that was unpopular, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer rouge’s response was stating how the U.S. was causing damage…
2. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodian society underwent a radical restructuring. Discuss two major changes
and how they led to the massive exile of the Cambodian people. [10 points]
The Khmer Rouge went through an “ethnic cleansing”, whoever did not agreed with the values of Khmer Rouge or were not pure Cambodian. They would kill them off, for example, they wanted to get rid of Buddhism with a mass genocide whoever they deemed and it created more exile and displacement than before. They also did not like people who were educated because they voiced and would go against Khmer Rouge. Because of this persecution, people needed to leave for survival, to seek for refugee. Two major changes was the whole economic system which was a large society, and it forced people to till the soil. They were often forced to work in camp labors, land reform, had no choice in living, and there was reading restrictions in freedoms that push people to leave.
1. What is the “Vietnam Syndrome”? [6 points]
2. To defeat the Vietnam Syndrome and turn the Vietnam War into a good war, how does mainstream journalists strategically shaped how the public viewed U.S. soldiers? [12 points]
3. Discuss and detail two storytelling strategies that mainstream journalist used to shape the image of Vietnamese refugees. [12 points]
1. For Kao Kalia Yang, the question “where does the Hmong come from?” is a complicated one. She answers by describing three places. What are the three places and what is significant about each place?
The first origin place she describes is the sky/clouds. This is significant because it is an alternative origin story culturally and spiritually and traces the Hmong’s historical folklore. It was their own decision to come down as said in the origin story which reclaim agency, a sense of empowerment that they weren’t kicked out of Heaven, it was all by choice. This helps connect to their constant movement by force. A second place is the camps and processing centers. This is significant because they spent a large amount of time/life period in these camps and learned how to live during the war that was going on. While they aren’t being tied to nation, they are located and held contained in between countries but also a part of many countries. This separation marginalizes them from society. The third place are the technical origins, such as China, Laos, Thailand, and finally the U.S. This is
significant because it highlights the displacement and how they are on the constant move because no one wants/allows/accepts them in these nations. This help tracks their movement by force.
2. What does Yang mean by “the Latehomecomer”
Yang is referring to her Grandmother. When she dies in the memoir, it is her chance to return to her origins and go back to Laos similar to the origin story of how they are able to choose to come down from the sky/clouds. It is important to highlight that when she dies, it is unlike men’s death. She survived so long unlike other elders that her return is going to be long. It is due to the war torn identities, settling countries/places they have been, that returning home makes her a latehomecomer due to the many transitions. It is also about the Hmong people in general, returning to their origins, an idea of returning to the clouds to travel back. She’s late because of all these transitions, she has to go through and considering the distance, how far away it is.
1. Discuss and detail two examples that highlight patriarchal practices of the Hmong culture as discussed by Kao Kalia Yang.
One example of the patriarchal practices is when Kao Kalia Yang’s mother could not give birth to a son. The father’s family was worried because they needed to have a son so that when death comes upon the father and the mother, the son would be able to bring back their spirits to their home. Only sons/men could do that, not women. Another example of a patriarchal practice is when the mother and the father married, she had to leave her family during the war/escape to Thailand. There was a bride price, and she could no longer interact with her family (due to distance and war) but in general, the wife is the father’s mother in law daughter now and has to take care of him and his family.
2. How does Yang attempt to challenge Hmong Patriarchy by making women the central characters of her memoir and in particular, her grandmother?
Yang challenges the Hmong Patriarchy by making women the central characters of her memoir, especially her Grandmother because her memoir is dedicated to her grandmother and is named after her. Her Grandmother was a leader, she was a shaman which was well respected and allowed her to go where she needed in the camps. She was also the reason why she kept the family together during the escape years and even in America. She was the strongest and survived when generally most elders died in the pursuit of escape. Her mother
was vital because she was strong (even though she didn’t realize at the time) to leave her own family behind. She preserved when her husband had to separate and she fought for Dawb’s life to survive. How she wouldn’t take a break when she was pregnant with the son, Xue. She would always make sure her daughters’ needs were attended to. She also talked about Dawb and her will to learn English and get an education and her balanced with duties.
3. How is Yang attempting to carry forward the legacy left by her grandmother?
Yang carries forward the legacy by realizing how long she has been silent and so she hopes to give proper text of the meaning and history of the Hmong where she learned all her stages of life. She also becomes the storyteller instead of the listener. By that, she used to ask and listen to stories of life back in Lao before and during the war told by her families and so she carries on the role of the storyteller like her grandmother did.
1. A key theme is the Latehomecomer is “silence”. Provide and discuss the significance of two examples that Yang develops in her memoir to address the issue of “silence”.
One example is generational silences where she did not want to talk about her struggles in the U.S./Hmong community unfair and make her seem selfish and ungrateful the older generation made so many sacrifices and everything they had to come to the U.S. They think it’s easier for the younger children. How lucky she was and never had to experience what the older generation did. In her heart, she felt it was not that easy. Being Hmong, different, Hmong-American was difficult. It wasn’t easy to tell her parents, she felt it would make her seem unappreciative towards them, so it creates emotional distance and for her to be silent. Another example is at the parent-teacher conference, the teacher diagnose that she was silent. However, to Yang’s defense she didn’t know what to say or how to answer questions. She didn’t know how to explain who she is and where she is from, it was complex. There was also the fact that people didn’t know there was a war that involved the U.S. with the help of the Hmong.
2. How does Yang attempt to combat being silenced? Yang combats being silenced by her gift of writing and this memoir. She is able to answer those questions she couldn’t answer when she was younger. And in this case, is able to depict who she is, where she is from, and who are the Hmong people. She talks about the folklore,
and the historical circumstances that inserted Hmong into U.S. consciousness, and the marginalization in society which is everywhere. She challenges and switches the question asking why don’t they know who the Hmong are? And it all leads to being silent through a war without a name, a war without being known. She breaks gender roles by focusing on women figures that are important to her since histories are usually about men. She speaks what other people can’t voice and feel the same silence like she once did in hopes that they will find comfort in her memoir.
1. After 9/11 the individual identities of the 19 culprits involved in the World Trade Center attack became an afterthought. Why is the forgetting of the individual identities of the 19 culprits significant?
Because we stop thinking of individualistic traits and the individuals themselves and thus leads to generalizations. It becomes easier to racialize and say that all Arabs are trying to take down the U.S. It represents a shift in the American way of thinking. Particular in Muslims/Arabs and young men. They become generalized, an idea, and is applied to all Muslims/Arabs who are young men. It capitalized on this fear on Muslims and becomes the foundations of Islamic Phobia. We don’t look at the individuals of these 19 young men.
2. Discuss and detail the two fronts of the war on terror. The two fronts of the War on Terror is one that is abroad and the other at the U.S. The Abroad front, the U.S. invaded multiple countries in the Middle East, predominately Afghanistan and Iraq. We bombed different nations and engage in intelligence gathering in search to tear and destroy the terrorism and put the U.S. situation to rest. The second front is at home in the U.S. where they passed the Patriotic Act where they were allowed to run intelligence which citizens lost all privacy rights. This act infringed the rights of a nation and increased surveillance. Another is the department of Homeland security where immigration got absorbed into. The U.S. government saw it purely as a national security to regulate and targeted people for search and seize.
3. Explain why the “Good Muslim, Bad Muslim” dichotomy is a misleading distinction
It suggests ideals of what a good Muslim looks like and is very false binary. A good Muslim is seemed as downplay, hidden, and private about their faith and hide what it means to be Muslim. A bad Muslim is seemed to freely express your faith and not apologetic about their
faith, are very open about their identity. This is misleading because either way, no one can’t tell who is a “Good Muslim” or a “Bad Muslim”. Race is seen as skin color, so whoever looks like Arab, the people don’t want them anyways good or bad. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what you do. They can try all they want but it won’t change at all because they will be subjected to this stereotype. It puts a burden on identifying terrorists onto the Muslim Community and self surveillance to prove that they are good citizens.