In early April, TakeAction Minnesota’s Hmong Organizing Program (HOP) took the lead in organizing around the racist parody produced by KDWB, 30 Hmongs in a House. This work engaged hundreds of community members and allies, including a 200 person rally outside of the KDWB headquarter office in St. Louis Park.
KDWB continuously tried to make this a “Hmong” issue, and only Hmong community members were invited to their private meetings. But this is about all Minnesotans, no matter their race, because it is about structural racism in our state. So during mid April, HOP and other community members decided to form a multiracial coalition to work specifically on this issue. The newly formed multiracial coalition was called Community Action Against Racism (CAAR), with TakeAction Minnesota’s HOP leaders at the core.
Community Action Against Racism
CAAR was originally founded in 1998 after 92 KQRS aired racist comments about the Hmong community following a report about a 13-year-old Wisconsin Hmong girl accused of killing and hiding the corpse of her newborn baby. CAAR is a multiracial and independent grassroots group led by Hmong and non-Hmong community leaders to work on this issue with KDWB.
On May 16, 2011, CAAR and the Hmong 18 Council met with KDWB’s leadership team and came to agreements. The agreements and next steps included:
The PSAs and the interview aired on all seven stations from May 26th through May 29th. In context of the then approaching Veteran’s Day, we produced two PSA messages to “celebrate the diverse backgrounds of ALL veterans [and honored] their sacrifices for freedom and equality [for all Americans]”. The recordings played 15 seconds and 30 seconds each. Below is a transcription of the 30 second recording. The show aired Sunday at 6:00 AM on KDWB (101.3), 7:00 AM on KFAN (1130), K102 and Cities 97, 9:00 AM on KFXN (690), 5:00 PM on KTLK (100.3), and 10:30 PM on KOOL 108. To listen to the Insight interview on Hmong veterans featuring TakeAction leaders Liz Xiong and Frank Brown, click here.
We will hold a community forum to discuss the overall campaign and agreements from our meeting with KDWB. The event time, location and date is TBD. At the community forum, we will inform the community about what has happened, thank them for their support, thank the advertisers who pulled out (and thereby recognized the issue as important) and honor the work that Hmong 18 and CAAR has done.