Arthur Hu's Index of Diversity


@@Hmong: The Other Side of the Model Minority

WWW Hmong Homepage A good general Hmong resource. This spin on this page isn't terribly positive, it's based on US Census rankings, so I'll apologize upfront. Southeast Asian refugees from the Vietnam war. They lived in the hills of Laos and Vietnam but came from China long ago.

Emil Guillermo of Asian Week named them "our Beverly Hillbillies" as the backwards rural people of the range of Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders. USA Today says they are the most primitive immigrants to ever have hit our shores. If the Chinese, Indians and Japanese are at the top, these guys are at the very bottom of every census measure, just barely beating out Cambodians and Laotians. Any of these groups make African Americans look positively middle (well, maybe lower middle) class by comparison. The incorrect stereotype of blacks is that most are poor and on welfare. But this is actually true for most SE Asian refugee groups.

[stereotype warning!] They have a reputation for marrying daughters and getting them pregnant at age 13, kidnapping wives and high rates of poverty and illiteracy. Not many heard about the mother who strangled 6 of her kids after being abused by her ex-husband. They were recruited by the US to help fight the communists in SE Asia for $3 a day, but they became refugees when we pulled out and left them holding the bag. Their "primitive" culture is ill-suited to the "advanced" US culture.

On the bright side, their kids do very well in school, and they have healthier babies than other poor Amerians since they don't smoke, drink, get high or get fat. They don't show up much in stories about gangs or crime. A Disney special was done on a child who one the state spelling bee. They are revitalizing inner cities, and reviving farms that have been abandoned by whites who don't want to work as hard as it takes to make a living by farming near urban areas like Seattle. They also make really cool dazzling frog and lizard beanies.

Here's a nice summary of history from one fellow: ordosclan@china.com Oral traditions of mongol type people knew them as *the* proto- chinese. Matter of fact, hmongs were the original nomadic agricultural peoples. The hmongs were agricultural, non-warrior nomadic asians. The han probably spawed from hmong/korean/tungusic races.

There was a hmong kingdom at one time. But they wanted to turn the steppes into farmland. As a result, they were virtually wiped out in battle, close to 100 million hmongs were obliterated. The rest moved to the mountains to farm in fertile volcanic soil.


Hmong spectrum

Note most figures are worse than average, often 2 times worse than 
the black figures.

-2.20 1990 Median Income 
-2.23 Labor force participation 1990 (about 1/2 black)
-2.78 US citizen
-2.50 High School graduate 1990 (about 1/2 black)
-3.65 1990 unemployment  aunemp.htm
-4.39 4 year college 1990
-5.18 Unmarried birth rate (about = blacks)
-5.28 Birth rate
-6.68 1990 Family on Public Assistance  
-9.00 Family in poverty 1990

Good News

- Healthy babies: Said of the Hmong "They don't smoke, drink, or get
fat during pregnancy,"
- In 1994, 3 of 7 valedictorians in St Paul public schools
were Hmong chidren
- Reviving inner cities and working abandoned farmland

Bad News
- High levels of poverty
- Lowest levels of education, typically 1/2 black rates
- No written language until the 1950s
- 80% speak little or no engish, few have job skills
- girls married and pregnant by 13

- low rate of citizenship
\doc\95\12\asiark90.wk1 Citizen 1990 born or naturalized    
Group   Rate
US          95.3%   1.00 
Hmong       40.8%   -2.34 
Cambodia    34.4%   -2.77 
Laotian     34.3%   -2.78 

- lowest rate of labor force participation 1/2 blacks
Persons 16 years old and over, 1990 Labor force Participation
         Group                    Index
         United States     65.3      1.00
         Black             62.7     -1.04
         Hmong             29.3     -2.23

- lowest rate of college 1/2 black rate
1990 Census \doc\95\12\asiark90.txt
         4 or more years of college, over 25
         Group       Rate         Index White=1.00
         Indian        58.1     2.70  best
         Asian         37.7     1.75  Asian Average
         White         21.5     1.00
         Black         11.4    -1.89
         Hmong          4.9    -4.39  last 

- lowest rate of high school graduate 1/2 black
\doc\95\12\asiark90.wk1 - 1990 US Census 
 Adults over 25 Percent high school graduate or higher
 Race          Percent     Index   										
 White                77.9    1.00 										
 Black                63.1   -1.23   
 Hmong                31.1   -2.50 worst

- highest rate of poverty apoverty.htm
 Families in Poverty, 1990 Over 2X black rate
 Group                             Families in Poverty %
 White                                       7.0
 Black                                      26.3
 Hmong                                      61.8 last
 Legal Permanent  Residents Receiving
 Public Assistance Income
 Ethnicity                       Receiving Public Assistance
                                 Number   Percent
 Cambodian                        21,535     22.0 2nd last
 Hmong                            14,425     25.5 last
\doc\96\02\pubass.txt - Public Assistance by Race / Ethnicity
Ranked by Households with Public Assistance 
Source: 1990 Census Analysis
Ethnic     Percent		Index
 NHwhite    5.3%       -1.00
 Black     19.7%       -3.72
 Hmong     35.4%       -6.68 4th last before NatAm, Camb, Laotian


\priv\95\15\wasau2.txt 4/94 THE ORDEAL OF IMMIGRATION IN WAUSAU
Atlantic Magazine. Hmong have lower infant-mortality rates than
African-American natives because they have better access to social
services and their culture encourages positive prenatal behavior.
"They don't smoke, drink, or get fat during pregnancy," he says.

They calculated that 35 percent were pregnant or already had children.
That, of course, didn't include the Hmong mothers who had dropped out
of school. Few kids marry without having children immediately, and the
Hmong culture of arranged marriages ensures that pregnant girls get
married to somebody. Single-parent families--are
virtually nonexistent among the Hmong.

- Highest Asian rate of unwed births, about = to blacks
\doc\96\09\nmbirth.wk1 Births to Never Married Young Women US
Children Ever Born April 1990
US Census CP4-1-194 September 1996
Women 15-24 Native Born, Never Married
Group     Births per Index White=1.00
Black          429   -5.96
Hmong          373   -5.18
White           72    1.00

- highest birth rates
"Making babies" Asian Week Nov 8, 1996 F011497-1 Asians have varying
fertility rates. Established groups have low rates, new refugees are
Number of children ever born per woman 15 years and older for
selected races: 1990
White           1.8    1.00
Hmong           9.5   -5.28 (highest)

Nov 8, 1996 "Making babies" Hmong figure from: "Early marriages of
Hmong continue" San Jose Mercury May 24, 1993 3B (Los Angeles Times)

see abirths.htm#hmong


%%Child Abuse

\clip\96\03\hmonmols.txt Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 01:48:59 -0400
Sentence in Molestation Case Upsets Victims By DIANNA BISSWURM
Associated Press Writer LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- A Southeast Asian
immigrant who molested his young stepdaughters was sentenced to
English lessons instead of prison, shocking the girls' relatives and
members of the community. they expressed outrage at the suggestion
from Sia Ye Vang's lawyer that sex with girls is accepted in Vietnam,
where the Hmong immigrant came from.


\clip\97\14\hmong.txt US News 05/22/1997 23:55 EST Immigrant is
Convicted of Murder WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A Hmong immigrant who
boycotted much of his murder trial because he had no faith in the
U.S. justice system was convicted Thursday of killing his estranged
wife and another woman.


Hmong farmers add color to Snoqualmie
z45\clipim\2000\10\09\drexel\drexel.efx Eastside Journal Oct 9, 2000
A3 Hmong farmers are leasing land to grow crops, sell in local
farmers markets.


\priv\95\15\wasau2.txt - Atlantic 4/94 THE ORDEAL OF IMMIGRATION IN
WAUSAU (part 2) Total public assistance (AFDC, food stamps, Medicaid,
and housing and energy subsidies) for a Hmong family can be worth
more than $20,000 a year, according to local officials.

z40\clipim\2000\04\10\hmong.efx Laotians Teach U.S. How Not to
Resettle Refugees Wall Street Journal April 4, 2000 Dipersed to
Various States, Hmong Clans Didn't Thrive Until Reunion in Minnesota

\clip\98\14\hmong.txt USA Today search Promised land yields bitter
fruit for some By Daniela Deane Wed., Oct. 7, 1998 FINAL EDITION
Section: NEWS Page 10A "Promised land yields bitter fruit for some"
USA Today Oct 7, 1998 p.  10A Hmong Immigrants from Laos wrestle with
great difficulties, assimilating to life, laws in U.S.  1/3 live in
Minnesoata. Most are still on welfare, 80% speak little or no engish,
few have job skills Khoua Her, 24 strangled her six chidren age 5 to
11. They are "the most primitive group ever to immigrate here". "an
ancient hill tribe who lived an isolated, simple life mostly in the
mountains between Laos and Vietnam" No written language until the
1950s 3 dozen young healthy laotians died in sleep in 80s.  Routinely
deny treatment to epileptic children because they are revered as
healers. Most have never seen cars telephones, televisions or water
faucets. 10 children common.  CIA recruited them to fight communists

Girls married off in early teens. Her was married and 
pregnant by 13. 13 yr olds are getting married in
middle school. Help has kept them dependent, backfired.

In 1994, 3 of 7 valedictorians in St Paul public schools
were Hmong chidren

"CIA recruited Hmong" Starting in 1961, 40,000 Hmong were recuited to
1974, paid rice and $3 per month. 30,000 soldiers and civilians were
killed before 1974

Congress Hears Hmong Vets Plea The Associated Press, June 26, 1997 By

\clip\97\16\hmong.txt From: msk@us.net (Mark Krikorian) Subject: Easy
naturalization for the Hmong?  [For CISNEWS subscribers: Though the
AP story below doesn't mention it, I was the wet blanket at this
hearing, pointing out the potentially harmful implications of bending
the rules for a specific ethnic group, no matter how sympathetic. My
testimony follows the AP story. -- Mark Krikorian] " Hmong immigrants
have rehabilitated a decaying area of St. Paul and become political
leaders, lawyers, doctors and teachers in the city; their children
are some of its best students, she said."

"Hmong Hold War Recognition in Washington" Asian Week May 23, 1997 p.
9 The Hmong were used by US CIA in a secret war as proxy fighters
against communist forces. A bill is being sponsored which would waive
some citizenship requirements for the Hmong and restore some lost
benefits. F060497

Hmong Resources
Page A postive introduction to the Hmong People.

Culture Alive" Seattle Times May 8, 1997 p. B3 F052997 Article tells
about Hmong who settled in rural Carnation WA, and keep some customs
like agriculture and teen arranged marriages.

\clip\96\04\lasthmon.txt Date: Sun, 15 Sep 1996 13:02:04 -0400 From:
NewsHound@sjmercury.com (NewsHound) Last of America's Forgotten Hmong
Allies Head for U.S.  By JIRAPORN WONGPAITHOON Associated Press
Writer The family is joining in a new flow of Hmong to the United
States that is intended to close out an unfinished chapter from the
war in Indochina -- settling the fate of the primitive hill tribesmen
who fought for the CIA in Laos.

\priv\96b\01\hmonquil.txt Quilt tells how Hmong used to live in China
but fled drive to wipe out their language into se asia.  Date: Tue,
18 Jun 1996 16:05:55 -0400 From: NewsHound@sjmercury.com (NewsHound)
Ancient Craft Tells of Hmong Journey to U.S. ARTISTS Logo By JEAN H.

>>\priv\96\01\hmongwed.doc Death Focuses Attention on Young Brides
Asian Week Dec 1, 1995 A8 Hmong youth may have committed suicide
because the state does not allow marriages of 12 - 15 yr olds under
minimum age of 18. There are stories of forced child weddings and

\priv\95\16\actbetry.doc 24 NATIONAL REVIEW / OCTOBER 23, 1995 ON THE
Scene Acts of Betrayal MICHAEL JOHNS MENOMONIE, WISC. The Hmong made
tremendous sacrifices for Americans, and are now being turned away by
the American government.

\priv\95\15\wasau1-4.txt - Atlantic Magazine Article, generally
negative 4/94 THE ORDEAL OF IMMIGRATION IN WAUSAU (part 1) Since 1970
the majority of population growth in the United States has come from
immigrants and their descendants. Demographers predict that this
trend will intensify in the new century if federal laws remain
unchanged. For a look at a possible American future, consider the
fate of a small midwestern city by Roy Beck       Seventy percent
of the immigrants and their descendants are receiving public assistance,
because the local labor market has not been able to accommodate them.
Religious and other private agencies--which, through federal agreements,
create most of the refugee streams into American communities--are pledged to
care for the newcomers for only thirty days.


Gary Yia Lee Ethnic Minorities and National Building in Laos: The Hmong in the Lao
State (School of Behavioural Sciences, Macquarie University, North
Ryde, Australia. Published in: Peninsule , No.11/12, 1985/86,


         Asian 1980 census by Rank
         Median household (dollars)
         $17,680   White           1.10  1.00
         $10,943   Black          -1.47 -1.61
          $5,277   Laotian        -3.05 2nd last
          $4,977   Hmong          -3.24 Last 

         Median income, 1989 dollars
         Group       Income      Index    (1980)
         White NonH    $31,672      1.01
         Black         $19,758     -1.59  (-1.47)
         Hmong         $14,276     -2.20 Last


\priv\95\14\hmonmarr.txt - complete article text
"Early marriages of Hmong continue" San Jose Mercury May 24, 1993 3B
(Los Angeles Times)

125,000 Hmong are in the United States
Over 62% rely on public assistance, highest rate of any group
The rates are higher in Fresno and Merced areas, where 45,000 Hmong live (36%)
30 % to 50% of hmong girls marry before age 17 according to clan elders
Up to 70% of hmong girls marry by 17 according to some girls
Hmong fertility is 9.5 children per woman
Roughly 3 Hmong male high school graduates per female


\priv\95\15\wasau2.txt - Atlantic 4/94 THE ORDEAL OF IMMIGRATION IN
WAUSAU (part 2) Total public assistance (AFDC, food stamps, Medicaid,
and housing and energy subsidies) for a Hmong family can be worth
more than $20,000 a year, according to local officials. (The Hmong
are not unusual in this regard. A 1991 U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services study indicated that nationwide about two thirds of
all Southeast Asian refugees who have arrived since 1986 remain on
public assistance.) In June of 1980 the paper reported that 80 percent
of the city's refugees became self-supporting within about three


\doc\96\03\usunem.wk1 US Unemployment
1990 Census "We The Asian Americans" US Census Bureau                                                          Asian
Ethnic      Percent
Group       Unemployed Index
White              5.2    1.00
Black             12.9   -2.48
Hmong             19.0   -3.65 Last


z47\clip\2000\12\hmonviol.txt Hmong Leaders Try To Curb Violence
Hmong American Partnership: http://www.hmong.org/ ST. PAUL, Minn.
(AP) -- Hmong leaders are looking for ways to curb domestic violence
after a rash of shootings that have killed several Hmong adults and
left more than two dozen children without one or both parents.  Lao
Family Community of Minnesota: http://www.laofamily.org/