If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs AB 2064 into law, lessons on the Vietnam War will be required to include the refugee experience of Southeast Asians — and the role the Hmong played to fight Communism.
If you have a chance, you should read this personal and thought-provoking piece by Connie Vang, a young Hmong woman who is a freshman at CSU Fresno. It was published today in New America Media.
Many young Hmong do not know about the Secret War. They do not know how their parents and elders ran through treacherous jungles and escaped Laos by crossing the Mekong River. They do not know that in Laos today, some Hmong are still hunted and tortured by the government.
A.B. 2064 could change that. It would require that all high school history textbooks in California include teaching what Southeast Asians provided to the Americans during the Vietnam War. In 2003, A.B. 78 was signed into law. It was similar to A.B. 2064, but it only encouraged history teachers to teach it, rather than requiring it.
You can read the whole article here.
What are Oakland students learning about the Vietnam War? Does the social studies curriculum touch on the history of Southeast Asian refugees? Do you agree with Ms. Vang that it’s vital to educate students about this aspect of history?
image of Hmong refugee from Refugees International Web site