All posts tagged: Lao

White Parasols and White Supremacy

This is part of a series on racism, imperialism, colonialism and white supremacy and its history and impact on the Lao community.  In the Lao tradition white elephants and white parasols signified supreme power of royal families. These days, Laos doesn’t typically come up in conversations on modern white supremacy despite our occupation by the French during the Indochina era (1887-1954). Might our history consciously and subconsciously affect our approach to  social justice and civic engagement? Many may feel our opinions  and experience are unimportant. Few ask how we will either resist or support the rise of white supremacy, especially the 230,000 of us in the US. Considering there are at least 917 hate groups in the US in 2017 according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, with many operating in states with some of the highest concentrations of Laotian refugees, this should be an issue. Laos has an interesting connection with one of the leaders of white supremacy. In 1971, a young David Duke came to Vientiane in the summer to help his father’s …