Hmore Hmong? Polygamous Hmong?
March 02, 2004, 04:00 AM
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[Peter Brimelow writes: Current VDARE.COM record holder for angry email is Joe Guzzardi's 8-01-03 "Hmong Wrong For America. America Wrong For Hmong."  We mean Hmundreds—the Hmong don't seem big on democratic debate. We keep asking Joe for a sequel, but you know how shy he is. Here Brenda Walker fills in for him.]

[Recently by Brenda Walker: Save The Sierra Club From The Treason Lobby—Act Now! and The Sierra Staff Strikes Back, With Some Help From The SPLC]

Is it possible to have family values in excess?

Hmong tribesmen from Laos, members of the mountain tribe recruited by the CIA in the 1960s to fight a guerilla war against the Communists, now refugees here in the U.S., believe that having several wives is a boon to creating the large families and clan structures that they value.

However this cultural norm clashes noticeably with the traditional American view of what constitutes a basic family unit—particularly now when defining marriage is central to the national debate.

The Hmong social norm of polygamy is simply an irreconcilable cultural difference with American values, particularly when a veritable village wants to decamp lock, stock and wives to Minnesota.

Seems the Mayor of St. Paul, Randy Kelly wanted to make nice to the thousands of Hmong who already live in Minnesota, and agreed to facilitate the mass transfer to the United States of more than 14,000 Hmong who currently reside in Thailand refugee camps. St. Paul would take most of them.

However, when talks began in Bangkok recently between the Mayor and local officials, a glitch developed when Kelly stated that polygamy would present a problem. [Polygamy hinders Hmong entry to U.S. Agence France-Presse Mar 2, 2003]

"The U.S. said they will only allow men to bring one wife for each family, which is impossible," complained Thai General Pallop Pinmanee. "Many Hmongs have several wives. How can we separate family members?" (Hmong family values include multiple wives, though not husbands.)

Perhaps the general knows the dirty little secret that thousands of Hmong living in the U.S. do indeed have polygamous arrangements. A University of Minnesota doctoral student investigated the prevalence of polygamy a few years ago and estimated that "between 270 and 450 men are practicing polygamy in Minnesota, each with an average of two wives and 14 children. That would mean that as many as 7,600 men, women and children are living in polygamous families."

When the publication Future Hmong brought the subject out of the shadows, hundreds of Hmong males wrote to defend polygamy as a lifestyle choice—despite the detail that it is a felony in Minnesota.

One reader, a 24-year-old man, believed that his ethnic status should be respected:

"When you make polygamy illegal, you take away people's rights ... People who choose a polygamist lifestyle should not be ashamed, it is your right."

Many Hmong women appear not to care for being one of multiple wives, but women have little standing in traditional Hmong society. In fact, the kidnapping of girls for marriage—also called bride theft and marriage by capture—is one kind of courtship and the chosen bride has little choice in the matter. It's not unusual for girls as young as 13 to be taken in marriage.

Many American pundits dismiss the idea that the current gay marriage controversy will lead to demands for legalized polygamy. However, it is not at all unimaginable that groups who favor polygamy—immigrant Hmong and Muslims and homegrown Mormons—will use the occasion to begin suggesting that polygamy is an acceptable lifestyle choice for our increasingly multicultural nation.

After all, having multiple wives is an arrangement that has been historically widespread. It occurs in the Old Testament without reproach.

But in practice, polygamy often is a form of child abuse and slavery, in which very young girls are sold to older men.

After the first media stories on multi-wifing appeared, the response from the Mayor was to clam up and defer to others "at a much higher level" who would presumably make the final decision. But Anthony Newman of the International Organisation for Migration, a key component of the Refugee Industry's "iron triangle," was not nearly so shy, He said that in practice the issue (i.e. American law) was negotiable.

"On paper, they can have one wife only. But in reality they can all move together to the United States and stay together as a family group," he said. US officials visit Hmong refugees, BBC, March 2, 2004

Is it not curious that when the American airwaves are ablaze with controversy over the definition of marriage that this case has gotten zero attention?

Whatever you think of homosexual couples getting hitched, it's obvious that traditional marriage is far more damaged by the stealth introduction of polygamy, an institution which is based on the abuse of women and girls.
 

If the St. Paul polygamy dust-up were not bad enough, another mess in the controversy is that residents of the Thai refugee camp are being screened with tests to prove they are healthy and are not addicted to drugs—presumably the opiates for which Southeast Asia is famous.

"The drug tests will be one of the biggest hurdles," remarked the visiting delegation's spokeswoman, Laura Mortensen.

So will thousands of drug-addicted polygamists be welcomed into America in another escalation of multiculturalism against American values?

Or will the Mayor of St. Paul actually speak up against importing into the United States would-be refugees who are already breaking U.S. laws in two major instances?

Curious VDARE.COM readers can contact Mayor Randy Kelly at 651-266-8510 or use the city email form to contact the City of St. Paul.

Brenda Walker [email her] lives in Northern California and publishes LimitsToGrowth and ImmigrationsHumanCost.