All posts filed under: Culture

2018 Midterms: A breakdown of SEA state legislative candidates

The 2018 U.S. midterms saw the election of five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate to the Minnesota and the Ohioan state legislatures, respectively. More than 6,000 seats were up for reelection as 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections, according to Ballotpedia. Overall, five Hmong and two Laotian candidates made it onto the general election ballot across the country. All five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate are Democrats. About 23 percent of the state legislative candidates nationwide are Southeast Asian. Twenty-three percent of that group are Laotian or Hmong, which means that only 5.3 percent of state legislative candidates on general election ballots are Laotian or Hmong. In Minnesota, Democratic Farmer-Labor House District 59A incumbent Fue Lee won reelection, and DFL challengers Samantha Vang, Tou Xiong, Khaly Her, and Jay Xiong all emerged victorious on Nov. 6. The lone Laotian Republican candidate for a state legislative seat, Yele-Mis Yang, lost his bid for Minnesota House District 42B. After weeks of ballot processing, Democrat Tina Maharath was finally declared the …

What DNA testing gets wrong about Southeast Asian heritage

As everyone knows, genetic ancestry testing is extremely popular. These tests typically involve a cheek swab or saliva sample that you send back to a company for laboratory testing. These tests give you information about your genome, the genetic material containing DNA that dictates who you are, and includes your relationships with genomes around the world. From these relationships, these tests can make informed estimates about your ancestral origins. Genetic ancestry testing is definitely fascinating, but the commercialized process of genetic ancestry testing doesn’t seem to be perfected just yet. To understand some of the issues with genetic ancestry testing, you can read this 2017 study about the testing process and this 2018 article about a journalist’s experience with genetic ancestry testing. Different companies can get different results, companies lack quality assurances, companies have limited validation of results, and there are unevenly sized sample pulls. A 2018 BuzzFeed video about genetic ancestry testing inspired this article when a Lao American had his “mind blown” when he was told by an Ancestry.com representative that 79.8 percent …