All posts filed under: Culture

Deportation and Lao America: It’s Time to Wake Up

For a number of years now, our Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as some of our own people, including ethnic groups residing in Laos, have been battling deportation. We have, as a group, largely ignored this. We seem to think that if we keep our heads down, it won’t and can’t happen to us. But it already has and, it will hit us hard very soon. None of these are good enough excuses for how uninvolved we’ve been. If your personal reasons for staying out of the fray are any of the below, please read further to find out why it’s no longer good enough to stay silent. 1) I consider myself American/Lao American and that’s not my problem. Most of the deported also viewed themselves as such. Still, because of at least one mistake, they, and their entire family will pay for this pretty heavily. Have you forgotten why most of us came here and how we arrived? Regardless, one mistake shouldn’t dictate where we feel at home. The tenure of a person’s time …

Ambassador to Laos, The Honorable Rena Bitter visits the PacNW and Discusses Building Bridges

Former President, Barack Obama’s presidency was full of historical firsts. Everyone knows about the larger scale accomplishments, but only a small country like Laos, and its people around the world, would even care enough to know about the smaller stuff. I’m talking, of course, about the historical visits to Laos from Secretary Hillary Clinton to said President himself, a couple of years ago. While the homeland can only view it positively – the Lao diaspora ran the gamut of emotions. Not unexpected, considering it’s been a little over 40 years since the diaspora began. While some of us have made it back home for a visit, the disappearance of Sombath Somphone raises the dormant alarms we never quite forgot. It’s as if we were lulled into a semi-safe space by a lethargic dance-off only to have the Bogeyman reappear after we washed our makeup off. Regardless, with 40 years of time passing, the doors to some kind of positive relationship appear to at least be open. I couldn’t say if that is an insanely long …