Hmulticultural Textbook Hmongers
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California legislators, like those in Washington, enjoy passing bills that cost the taxpayers money for useless projects but make the lawmakers feel virtuous in a liberal sort of way. One such is Assembly Bill 2064 which requires schools to teach material about the Vietnam War including the "role of Southeast Asians in that war, and the refugee/immigrant/new American experience."

Keep in mind that California was the home of the self-esteem movement, promoted by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos as the answer to social problems.

The college student writing the article linked here recounts her angst-riddled search for identity (a normal part of growing up as I recall) and believes that cultural studies of her tribe foisted upon American classrooms will make Hmong students happier. When the debunked idea of self-esteemism was married up with tribal multiculturalism, an increased desire for cultural propaganda has resulted. [Textbook Update Could Give Hmong Youth Cultural Pride, by Connie Vang, New America Media, August 28, 2008]

But, if Governor Schwarzenegger signs Assembly Bill 2064 into law this month, it could change that and increase the cultural knowledge of many high school students in California. A.B. 2064 would require that the war and refugee history of Southeast Asians be included in the next textbook curriculum update. [...]

In school, I did not learn anything about my Hmong culture, so it made me think that being Hmong was not important. I tried my best to separate myself from Hmong people.

I didn't go to cultural events. I refused to speak Hmong. I even said I would never date or marry a Hmong person. I succeeded in separating myself from Hmong culture, but from sixth through ninth grade, my self-esteem lowered drastically.

It grew worse each year, along with my grades. I started fighting with my parents, about my grades and social life.

But then the author reconnected with the culture of her ancestors and life became wonderful and fulfilled: "When we know our cultural history, we can feel proud about who we are."

Redemption! Ain't multiculturalism grand?

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