Recently the Laotian community has been in a uproar over their exclusion in the Californian Senate Bill 895. The bill, created by senator Janet Nguyen, originally was about creating a Vietnamese refugee social science course for Californian K-12. Senator Nguyen added Cambodia and Hmong refugees to the bill after speaking with colleagues. After multiple inquires from the Lao community, senator Nguyen, has released a statement saying the final deadline for amendments has passed and any additions would have to wait till next year. While I understand the Laotian community’s issue with being left out. Covering multiple refugee communities around them and even within them, the Hmong refugees that come from Laos, while skipping over them is awkward. But most likely they will be added next year so it hopefully will be resolved. There is a bigger issue here with these courses that I would like to address.
Cultural and racial studies have been a big tool in leftist indoctrination. The social sciences have been a far left area of study for many decades. Liberal professors outnumbering conservative 12 to 1 in general and is even higher in the social sciences, reaching 17 to 1 in philosophy, history, and psychology and as high as 70 to 1 in religion. This creates a very strong echo chamber around these areas of study that limits the students to only one perspective.
They have not been subtle with this. Many degrees have been changed in the last few decades to require these cultural and racial courses over previously integral courses. According to Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, at UCLA, a Bachelors degree in English literature requires courses in gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, imperial transnational or post-colonial studies, but has no requirement for students to study Shakespeare, the most important English writer in history. This is a normal trend in the social sciences. A focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion while disregarding the core pillars of the subject and even going as far as to destroy the previous foundation. It is not surprising as in many colleges, professors are required to have activism on their resume to be hired or promoted. Professors are now activists and are training students to be activists rather than teaching them to be critical thinkers, speakers, and writers as they remove the substance courses and fill them with rhetoric based fluff where they get to complain, destroy, and supplant.
The focus in essentially everyone of these courses is the apparent corruption and tyrannical force of either American, white, imperialism, capitalism, or male supremacy. Ignoring any facts that contradict their narrative.
They accuse Shakespeare of being a racist that perpetuates white supremacy, elitism, stateism, or patriarchy for just being a successful white male, even though much of his writing actually attacked every one of those things. Othello was centered around a Moor General. The Merry Wives of Windsor focused on the lower and middle class. In Anthony and Cleopatra he talks about the interaction and integration of middle east with Europe. Yet Students and faculty argue he wasn’t diverse or inclusive enough, but it seems they haven’t read a single word of Shakespeare, which isn’t surprising for the students since they are removing him from their curriculum, but what is the excuse for the faculty. It seems they are conflating diversity within the literature with diversity of the writer to push their activism narrative. He absolutely was a herald of diversity and inclusiveness in his writing. But that doesn’t seem to matter to them. They just care he wasn’t a person of color and therefore not diverse or inclusive “enough” for their needs. Some go as far to label him a racist that promulgates hate and bigotry. Clearly putting their narrative above facts in their scholastic activism.
While I have issues with their methodology, logic, and dishonesty, I don’t necessarily have issues with the existence of these courses, students should learn from all perspectives even ridiculously bad ones and figure out what makes sense and why, but for the fact they put narrative over facts. This is clearly propaganda and indoctrination. On top of that they portray themselves as objective and progressive while simultaneously being dishonest and skirting facts.
Shakespeare, who wrote about diversity on racial, economical, and intellectual levels, but is somehow still a racist because he was a white male. So he must be replaced with their more diverse and inclusive courses.
Also the fact these courses are subsidized by taxpayers. If a private school that takes no tax dollars wants to teach students ridiculous false narratives, that is fine. I would like them to be honest about their bias perspective, and have ethical, intellectual, and moral standards, but if I’m not paying for it, they can do what they want. We can let the students and their parents decide if it is a worthwhile institution and the free market decide if they should exist with such low standards and essentially no educational value.
These narratives are present in many other fields of study. They teach that American settlers intentionally used smallpox blankets as biochemical weapons to kill natives. Which is absolutely untrue and you literally have to cut and edit historical fact to get that position. There are several other less than credible interpretations of history like Lincoln was a racist white supremacist, Columbus was a genocidal murderer, the gender pay gap is caused by the patriarchy, I even recall my political science professor laying a defense for Osama Bin Ladin and Sadam Hussien as a victims of American imperialism and implying that we were responsible for their creation and actions they would later commit, later teaching unequivocally that the only reason we were in the middle east was oil. Never mentioning the numerous terrorist attacks, presidential assassination attempts, or the human rights violations. 9/11 not even existing in their world. At the time I hadn’t realized how intellectually lazy and dishonest it was and just accepted it because they had some evidence and assuming since it was taught in college, it must have been vetted, extensively researched, and peer reviewed. The list of horribly bias narratives with minimum evidence and exclusion of any conflicting facts goes on.
The strongest evidence of this anti-American narrative is the fact that the Lao and Hmong children of communists survivors, some even spending their childhood in refugee camps, literally saved by America; are the ones that spit on it’s name. They sing along in the chorus of anti-American propaganda with no facts, just narrative. Their families persecuted, imprisoned, oppressed, and executed by the communists, yet they often defend the communists and attempt to bring that corruption in to this country. It is quite disgusting and the most extreme example of leftist anti-American indoctrination in the American school system I can find. If a school system can turn people saved by America against America, it has become a dangerous machine.
Back to Bill 895. I am not against them teaching the refugee experiences of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laos or any other group. My issue is they will use this class to continue anti-American falsehoods in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion, while ignoring facts. These courses just become propaganda and indoctrination paid by tax payers and a waste of time for students. They come out with negative perspectives based on false narratives and just learn to regurgitate over simplistic rhetoric, not knowing what anything means.
A common belief within the Lao and Hmong community is that America started the war in Laos and used them as puppets. The Secret War being proof that Southeast Asia was another chapter of American imperialism. Laotians and Hmong were some how victims of America. This is a pervasive belief among young Lao and Hmong Americans. I have no doubt that in these new refugee social studies course this false narrative will be a underlying theme if not the main point. This is absolutely untrue. America did not use Laotians and Hmong, they did not start the conflict or civil unrest, and Southeast Asia was not a example of American imperialism.
This may have been America’s secret war, but it was always first and foremost Laos’ civil war. The war originates more than 10 years before it turned into America’s secret war. In 1950 the Lao communist party, the Pathet Lao, was created with the help of the Vietnamese communist party to fight off the French colonialists, who recruited Lao soldiers to help them keep control. This french supported army would later become the Royal Lao Army. They also had Hmong and Thai help to fight off the communists so they could retain control of Laos. Hmong soldier, Vang pao, who would later become the general for the “secret” CIA army, fought in this war with the french, RLA, and Thai.
The communists eventually win the French Indochina War and force out the french from Laos as well as the rest of Southeast Asia. In the Geneva Accords of 1954 Laos is split between the communists, Pathet Lao, and the Royal Lao Army, where the Pathet Lao would have north Laos and the Royal Lao Army would retain the rest. After this the Pathet Lao grows in power and eventually take over the capital city, Vientiane, in 1960, with the help of the Vietnamese communists. The Royal Lao Army organized a defensive in reaction to fight the communists. The war started without America and would have happened no matter what.
In 1961 the CIA created a paramilitary using the Hmong ethic group of Laos. Some believe this act directly forced Hmong into the war, but that is also untrue. The more than 60 thousand Hmong soldiers enlisted by the CIA came from the Royal Lao Army. Who were allied with the French and fought against the communists during the French Indochina War. So the Hmong had already fought against the communists in the French Indochina War, and were currently apart of the Royal Lao army fighting the communists again. So Hmong were already directly involved in this war. According to General Vang Pao, the leader of the secret Hmong Army, the reason he agreed to fight with the CIA was he was expecting persecution for helping the French and Royal Lao Army in the previous civil war. Which seeing how decades after the war the communists are still punishing the Hmong for their role, was a safe assumption they were going to be persecuted no matter what choice they made.
During this time America dropped more bombs than in any other conflict, making Laos the most bombed land per capita in history. Which again is blamed on America, but it was admittedly demanded by Vang Pao, So even the biggest complaint Lao and Hmong American’s have against America, was done by request in war. America has been giving millions a year in aid since the 1960s through the World bank and International Monetary Fund, then directly giving additional millions in aid and bomb removal since 2001. Obama recently gave an additional 90 million on top of that in 2016.
After the war, America’s involvement gave the Royal Lao sympathizers and Hmong a way to escape the communist oppression and persecution. The communists imprisoned 40k within the first few years after the war. They continued to imprison more war refugees, even having thousands forcefully repatriated for decades from thailand up until as recently as 2010, so they could put them in political reeducation prison camps. Nearly 50 years after the war ended they continue to persecute political enemies. With vicious regimes that hold even the families accountable 50 years after later, How many more would of died if America had not got involved. Easily hundreds of thousands more would of died in this war if not for the American support, and even more after, upward of 300,000 refugees left after the war, though not all were successful.
America didn’t create a war in the east. The war started before them and would of continued with or without them. The only difference would have been how many would of died during and after the war. Once the Pathet Lao defeated the Royal Lao Army and the secret Hmong army in 1976, they promised peace and prosperity. Showing propaganda films and singing songs ensuring forgiveness. As we saw 40 thousand were throw into prison camps immediately, thousands executed. Many of these camps exist today and they continue to persecute political enemies from a war nearly 50 years old now.
So America didn’t use Lao and Hmong people, they had a mutual political goal and in the process helped them in a landslide war, then gave them asylum afterwards. A much different and factual perspective from the imperialism and war mongering one social sciences always push. We can include the bad events as well, but it must be done when relevant, remain objective, and stay factual. Once you put narrative above facts you are no longer teaching, you are indoctrinating.
The last thing we need is more false narratives, lies, and propaganda. The school system is full of it. Even though including these cultural studies would be nice spotlight for my ethnic group, I can’t back it because of the damage it will do to students, the school system, society, culture, and America, which includes Lao Americans, unless they prove the curriculum is objective, fair, and factual before hand, I cannot support it.
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