Oyce (oyceter) wrote,

Kao Kalia Yang on her experience with Radiolab

I think I've recommended Radiolab, a sciencey podcast, to people before. However, they recently published a piece on Yellow Rain and the Hmong experience. I haven't been able to listen to the piece itself; I had to turn it off after the introduction of the segment, in which a CIA agent talks about being posted in the backwaters of Southeast Asia.

Despite Radiolab's many edits of the podcast, they have yet to acknowledge what Eng Yang, a documenter of the Hmong experience for the Thai government, said during the interview or the additional facts he and his niece, author Kao Kalia Yang, provided.

Kao Kalia Yang finally gets a space for her story: (ETA: content warning for racism and discussion of miscarriage)

The aired story goes something like this: Hmong people say they were exposed to Yellow Rain, one Harvard scientist and ex-CIA American man believe that’s hogwash; Ronald Reagan used Yellow Rain and Hmong testimony to blame the Soviets for chemical warfare and thus justified America's own production of chemical warfare. Uncle Eng and I were featured as the Hmong people who were unwilling to accept the “Truth.” My cry at the end was interpreted by Robert as an effort to “monopolize” the story.

I'd say stuff about the privileging of white Western points of view and voices, but Yang says it better herself.

ETA: [personal profile] sasha_feather has text of the full article, since Hyphen's servers seem to be overloaded.

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Tags: race/ethnicity/culture, race/ethnicity/culture: asian-ness

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