If you look up the word, “Hmong” on The Advance-Titan, only one article from each year pops up, usually highlighting Asian Heritage Month. Once you hit 2018, however, things get pretty interesting.
Racist rhetoric from a UW Oshkosh student targeting Hmong students received more coverage than any other Hmong topic of the past three years combined.
As a Hmong student here at Oshkosh, I thought the immense support for us that came after this incident would lead to more representation on campus, and The Advance-Titan to show that we, as Hmong students, belong here.
But, when I saw that the lack of coverage resumed right after I thought this message was pertinent to share.
We are people with achievements and lives worth mentioning. Highlighting our struggles without giving us representation does nothing but make us feel like we are a story only worth writing about if there is adversity involved.
It gets tiring seeing our struggles as a community being highlighted as if our contributions to this campus are only newsworthy when someone attacks our existence. Let us talk about our achievements and experiences. Interview us about our journeys and showcase our talents.
Writing articles about racist incidents and demanding justice while still not giving Hmong students a platform to speak feels like a missed opportunity.
It’s like we are being listened to but not truly heard. It’s like we are being seen but not truly supported.
There are over 300 Hmong students attending UW Oshkosh today but not one article that truly represents the individuality of them.
In order to keep the momentum of the support going, you must be willing to share our lives and our stories so others can see that we are meant to be here and that we are worthy of being heard.