Saturday in Whitewater will be cloudy with scattered rain or snow showers and a high of 42. Sunrise is 7:02 AM and sunset 4:23 PM for 9h 20m 32s of daytime. The moon is in its third quarter with 49.4% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1903, Green Bay Packer Johnny Blood is born:
On this date Johnny Blood (aka John McNally) was born in New Richmond. Blood was an early NFL halfback playing for Green Bay from 1929 to 1933 and 1935 to 1936. He also played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Duluth Eskimos, Pottsville Maroons, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. An elusive runner and gifted pass receiver, he played a major role in the Packers’ drive to the first three championships in 1929, 1930 and 1931. Johnny Blood died on November 28, 1985, at the age of 82. Titletown Brewing Co. in Green Bay named their brew Johnny “Blood” Red Ale after the famed halfback.
Vincent Her is a cultural anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse who teaches a class on refugees and transnational communities. He was a refugee himself 40 years ago, when his family fled their home in southeast Asia in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and came to America.
During a panel hosted by UW-La Crosse earlier this month, Her said he sees similarities between his family’s experience and that of the nearly 65,000 people who were evacuated during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Nearly 13,000 of those Afghans were brought to Fort McCoy, about 38 miles northwest of La Crosse, while they waited to be resettled, and thousands are still currently living on base.
Her said one of the best ways to support new arrivals is by immediately accepting them as fellow Americans instead of outsiders.
“We should not see them as refugees, we should not continue to refer to them as refugees. In the case of Hmong Americans, we have been here for 46 years and many continue to refer to us as Hmong refugees or Hmong,” Her said. “I prefer the term Hmong Americans because I basically grew up here. I raised my whole family here and we are as American as any other family. We eat turkey for Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. Those are a part of our new food culture.”
But Her said accepting new Americans into a community doesn’t mean expecting them to discard their culture for the food and practices of white Americans.
He said when Hmong people from Southeast Asia started arriving in the U.S. after the Vietnam War, the federal government thought the best way to get people to assimilate quickly was by settling Hmong families in different communities.
“The hope is that if you keep them far apart, then they will quickly adapt, they will quickly become immersed in the community and you will never hear from them again,” Her said. “Rather than opening up to the community, they isolate themselves and they keep to themselves. Neighbors will say, ‘How come these people are so quiet? They’re not like Americans.’ Or if the family does things differently, then they say, ‘Well, these people don’t behave like Americans.'”
He said it wasn’t until these families reunited in communities around Wisconsin that they could regain their identities as Hmong and start to form a new identity as Hmong Americans.