Analysis of a news story about a cultural group

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In The Sacramento Bee I read a story about a Hmong man being elected to his local school board.

The article takes the approach of presenting the man, Steve Ly, as a Hmong immigrant who came to America at a young age not knowing anything about the culture or language.

Ly's history is presented, saying that his father fought in the Vietnam War against the communists taking over Laos. Somehow the author was trying to create a connection between Ly's father's fierce fighting in the war and Ly's fighting in the election. I'm not sure if it works because if felt as though the Hmong were being presented in a savage manner.

The author also says that Ly had an "army" of 250 volunteers on his campaign which only reinforced the notion of savagery and brings back more images of the Vietnam War. I understand the segue between talking about the war and then using the word "army", I just think it could be misconstrued.

After this, the author doesn't seems to make anymore missteps and emphasizes the importance of Ly's win for the Hmong community. We also find out that Ly wants there to be more education about the Vietnam War in school which makes the previous references to the war more understandable.

Ly also mentions that his inspiration to run for office came from his father's fighting during the Vietnam war which, once again, makes the reference to his father's army days less random.

The article then goes into Ly's history of his life in Thailand and his first experiences as an immigrant in America. These details really make Ly seem more human and add more human interest to the story overall.

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This page contains a single entry by campb856 published on November 18, 2012 8:28 PM.

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