HealthPartners and AT&T pull ads from KDWB after Hmong parody song

The other shoe is beginning to drop for KDWB.

HealthPartners and AT&T say they didn’t see the humor in the parody song “Thirty Hmongs in a House,” and are pulling their ads from the radio station in St. Louis Park .

“The song about the Hmong community was highly offensive and not consistent for what we stand for,” HealthPartners spokesman Jeff Shelman told me this morning. “We expect our business partners to have many of the same values we have as a company, and until KDWB is in sync with us, we don’t have plans to advertise with them.”

The Minnesota HMO was one of several KDWB advertisers contacted over the weekend by a group calling itself the Coalition Against Racism for Everyone, or CARE. Here’s an excerpt from a form letter the group has emailed to sponors:

Since [sponsor] is not a corporate sponsor of intolerance, I request that you make a statement publically reinforcing [sponsor's] commitment to diversity and peaceful coexistence, distance [sponsor] from the racist actions of KDWB, and immediately discontinue all advertising on KDWB. To do otherwise would communicate support for hate speech in the state of Minnesota.

It is my hope, the hope of the more than 70,000 Hmong Americans in this state, and the hope of a broad coalition of diverse allies that [sponsor] will take a position of leadership on this issue.

KDWB last week apologized to “anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent.”

The tune, performed by KDWB employee Steve-O on Dave Ryan’s morning show, pokes fun at overcrowded living situations and teen pregnancy in the Hmong-American commnity. It was part of a regular feature in which listeners submit song titles — titles that Steve-O then turns into a little ditties that are meant to be funny.

But the CARE coalition’s Dan Hess tells me the song is a symptom of the much larger problem of racial stereotyping.

“I’m not suggesting Steve-O is a race-hater,” Hess says. “But the fact that these images came spewing out of him is indicative of something widely shared in our society, that there are cultural biases we can’t escape.”

Hess directs counseling services at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s joined by Yee Chang, a well-known community activist whose wife is former state Sen. Mee Moua.

AT&T plans to release a statement later today that characterizes the song as “very demeaning to the Hmong. … We cannot financially support KDWB when it allows discrimination to be included in its broadcast.”

A Hmong friend of mine who tunes into the show regularly tells me that the listener who submitted the song title “Thirty Hmongs in a House” is apparently Hmong. That’s a detail that hasn’t been widely reported as part of this conversation.

Should that change how we view this incident, and whether it’s OK to laugh?

  • Tong Vang

    I think that whether the title was suggested by a Hmong person or not, it was the writer that created the lyrics. Steve-O could have taken this title and led another path for humor, instead he chose to take the dangerous route which led to such actions by the community. For future references, I hope that KDWB will make better judgment as to airing something similar to this again.

  • Steven Yang

    KDWB got exactly what they deserved. If they did it to African Americans, Mexican Americans, Muslim Americans, or any other ethnicity, they would faced more HELL than what they stirred up in the Hmong community.

    EDUCATION IS VITAL! ZERO TOLERANCE ON RACISIM/DISCRIMINATION! PUT AN END TO IT!

  • Dai Thao

    Dan and Yee… Awesome Job! Let’s keep at it!

  • Pa Vang

    Persoanlly, I thought it was funny (and yes I’m Hmong). And as much as some of us were offended, there are two things that many people overlook.

    1. It was a joke

    2. Umm sorry but let’s face it. How many Hmong do you know have more then one child, are married etc by 20? Let’s be realistic

  • http://hmongamerican.blogspot.com/ MK Chang

    Whether the song title was submitted by a Hmong or not, it’s still offensive to many and was aired publicly for others to hear. That only serves to perpetrate stereotypes even more–definitely not needed.

  • Noi Yang

    Last I checked we all had a choice to listen to this station or not. Instead of bitching about it, just listen to something else. I swear people are so sensitive. Everything is funny until it’s aimed at you huh?

  • Jay

    @Pa Vang, whether it was a joke or not, it is not acceptable to perpetuate stereotypes of any group of people.

  • Pa Vang

    @ Jay………Jay suck it up. It happens to all races and I’m not saying it’s right. But people are so overly sensitive now a days it’s pathetic. As Noi said then don’t listen to them if you’re going to cry about it

  • Jay

    @Noi Yang, you have to understand that KDWB is still free and public for anyone to listen to, therefore they still have a social responsibility to not put out songs that perpetuate stereotypes of any group of people. Kids on school buses listen to this in the morning. You have to look at the situation from a larger picture and how the song could negatively affect Hmong people.

  • refugee

    yes, it’s a joke…meant to be humorous. my question is WHY…at the expense of an entire ethnic group? there are some ‘dummies’ out there who heard this song and will engrave in their memory that ‘all hmongs are like this’ and take this ‘joke’ to heart and stereotype an entire ethnic group.

  • Noi Yang

    @Jay…….Yes I understand that but they are still free to do and say what they want (to an extent). And like Pa said (which of course people conveniently skipped over) and that is having children and marriage at 16-17 IS very common. Call it a stereotype or not but in many many cases it’s true. If we were to make every radio station not play songs that stereotyped people then half the artists they play wouldn’t be played on air. This only affects us as Hmong as much as we let it affect us.

  • Jay

    @Pa Vang, just because it happens to all races doesn’t make it right. If you said it yourself that it’s not right, then why are you supporting it so much? The issue is here is not whether people are overly sensitive, I think that is a very simple way of thinking. You shouldn’t tell people not to be offended when something offends them. You should ask them why they are offended and consider it, as oppose to just accusing them of being “too sensitive.”

  • Jay

    @Noi Yang, having chidren at 16 is common but NOT ONLY to Hmong people. The issue was that it was made to look like only Hmong people had babies at 16, which is wrong. I don’t know what other radio station plays songs that stereotyped people? So that’s not true.

  • Xiong yang

    I don’t think this would have been an issue if race wasn’t such an issue in America. This will gve off the wrong impression to other people: if the Dave Ryan show approves of it and no one says anything, then it must be okay to think and say such things. If anything, since the show has so many listeners, these are the kinds of thing someone or people like Dave and Steve o Should be the leaders in setting an example. I am sure they are not trying to make itseem like racism is okay, but people who are will continue to think it is okay. Again, this is the issue in America.

  • Maya

    A big thanks to Health Partners and AT&T for standing up for the values of diversity! Even if it was suggested by a Hmong person, it’s not ok. I would still be offended if it was sung by a Hmong person. The lyrics are still very offensive. This is not only an attack on a whole community, but on those who are poor. Since I’ve moved to the east coast, I listen to the sister station of KDWB…same programming, but I have never heard any disrespect of anyone in this way. It’s just common sense that you can’t get away with this sort of bad decision making.

  • N Vang

    Thumbs up to HealthPartners and AT&T. I find the message offensive and very stereotyping.

  • Charlie Xiong

    We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. ~John F. Kennedy

    I support the ads being pulled out because it is the right thing to do but I also support freedom of speech. As everyone can see here, there are both sides who agree to disagree which makes this nation the super power of the world.

  • sharny

    Absolutely no point to argue about this title song was suggested by Hmong or not. The bottom line is, sending a racist sentiment across a public air wave to thousands of listeners about a particular group is completely irresponsible. Radio stations need to be hold accountable for their actions. Otherwise we would have created a society of fighting among our citizens. That’s not what America is about.

  • Saddened

    I found the song on Youtube and found it to be in painfully poor taste, regardless of whether or not a Hmong person wrote it. People crowd into houses and sleep on the floor because they’re in poverty. Is it right to ridicule people for that? The same goes for teenage girls getting having babies; well-off families are much less likely to follow such cultural traditions. Thus, this is again making light of people who are of very limited means.

    My Hmong high school students told me they felt angered and injured by this song; in fact, they brought it to my attention. How irresponsible of KDWB to perpetuate a stereotype and make fun of the conditions that nobody would choose to live in if they had a choice.

  • cheng

    this is sad, you are hmong and you let people diss on you wow

  • Karli

    It’s sad to see a community fight against one another over something someone else did to you all. I guess one thing that white people will never understand, is what it is to be a minority… not in population, but in power. White people can go anywhere in the world and automatically have more privilege than the people of that country; this is true, especially for Americans. Minorities don’t have this, and it’s horrible to see young minorities who blindly walk around believing that they have the same privileges as white people. They blindly walk around thinking that they can blend… that being “color blind” will allow them to be accepted as one of the majority. That if they laugh along with the majority, they won’t stand out as much. That their very own freedoms were free and they take it for granted.

    What KDWB did was not just a joke. It was not harmless fun. Whether intentional or not, it was an attempt to unravel all that the Hmong have worked for, bled for and died for.

    To the Hmong who thought that it was ONLY a joke… Remember that they were talking about YOU. You’re not an exception from it. Unfortunately, by NOT listening to it doesn’t make it not affect you.

  • k.w

    How do you prefer people speak there mind if it is the truth? By telling a joke or singing a song? Whatever way the truth always hurts and whether it was spoken by someone or not, the truth is the truth.

  • Choua Xiong

    It is great to see some action taken by businesses in the Twin Cities. I hope the AT&T and HealthPartners are commended for their choices to pull ads from KDWB.

  • Anthony

    Great job Health Partners and AT&T! Good to see people do recognize this as a problem and not slap the word parody to let it slide. It was in good faith that the radio show has better judgement as to what to air appropriate.

  • Bobby Vaj

    good for at&t and healthpartners, KDWB can go ahead and speak their minds. lets just hope more partnership is lost. :D

  • Teng

    My fellow hmong peers who think this joke is funny really needs a slap in the face.

  • OMG Yang

    Wow.. i TOTALLY agree with Pa and Noi. KDWB is AWESOME and i think people are taking this the WRONG way and TOOO sensitive about all this!! Everything that Steve-O said was true!!! It’s NOT A LIE!!! KDWB is NOT trying to hurt or have any intentions on that!! They used Hmoobs because.. da da daahh.. WE HAVE A HUGE POPULATION HERE IN THE TC!!!! The dam demographics, folks!!! It’s like going to a comedy club, watch the comedians and GET MAD at them because they made racists jokes… IT’S THEIR JOBS!!! You dont like it, CHANGE THE CHANNEL!! You dont like it, why go see comedians?? It’s ABSURD and RIDICULOUS!! Hmoob ppl REALLY need to stop being sensitive. Whites, Blacks, Latins and ”retarded” (mentally challenged) gets picked and teased and joked on all the time!! You dont hear them b*chin’ bout it!

    Ok, here’s the scenerio: I’m a Hmoob. And if Dave and the mornibg show had a ”SRERIOUS POLITICAL” conversation bout Hmoobs, and Steve-O SERIOUSLY said (something of this nature), ”Man, i dont kno why those dam Hmongs have so many ppl in their homes and why they have so many kids when they’re so young!!” .. THENNNN i would be offended. THENNNNN that is letting your audience kno that ”hey, it’s ok tease Hmoobs bc we DONT KNOW ANYTHing bout them!!” THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE FOLKS!!!

    Races are sooo sensitive these days, you cant even say Merry Christmas in SCHOOL NO MORE!! PUBLIC SCHOOL!! I’m 30 and what i remebered as my BEST MEMORIES of my childhood.. WAS CHRISTMAS!!!!!! GOOD GRACIOUS!!

  • Tong Vang

    @ Pa

    You have to understand that these stereotypes don’t just apply particularly to the Hmong; it can be applied to any race, creed or ethnic background. To stereotype specifically an ethnic group, in this case the Hmong, they have crossed that line into racism. I understand that you may feel as you do, but by being so passive about such acts we are opening the doors for people to target other ethnic groups. So this subject does not only apply to the Hmong.

    @Noi

    Whatever I’ve said to Pa applies to you too. The last time I checked, it was Steve-O’s choice to write those lyrics and KDWB’s choice to air this song. There is no bitching and yelling here, but a call for racial justice and not just for our Hmong community.

  • Judy

    It’s sad to see other hmong in here who support the other side and think it’s okay because it was a joke or it’s okay because it is true. it’s people like you, we haven’t achieve anything in all of our history.

  • DXiong

    Pa, Noi and OMG Yang…it’s obvious you have no clue the kind of institutional racism that you are clearly helping to perpetuate. Here are some basic statistics, directly from KDWB’s own website:

    “800,000 listeners, The #1 station for reaching moms, kids, teens and young adults.”

    Futhermore, the owner of KDWB, Clear Channel, states on it’s website in a letter from Bill Feehan, Senior Vice President, Human Resources that:

    “At Clear Channel we value diversity as a cornerstone of our business – our people, and how we utilize our differences to embrace diversity as a business strategy.” and that “Our ZERO TOLERANCE policy that prohibits discrimination extends beyond our employees, into each and every market in which we conduct business.”

    KDWB and its supporters like you don’t need to live up to any standards the rest of us would like…just live up to your OWN standars you set for yourself!

    Shame on you!

  • Dxiong

    Pa, Noi and OMG Yang…it’s obvious you have no clue the kind of institutional racism that you are clearly helping to perpetuate. Here are some basic statistics, directly from KDWB’s own website:

    “800,000 listeners, The #1 station for reaching moms, kids, teens and young adults.”

    Futhermore, the owner of KDWB, Clear Channel, states on it’s website in a letter from Bill Feehan, Senior Vice President, Human Resources that:

    “At Clear Channel we value diversity as a cornerstone of our business – our people, and how we utilize our differences to embrace diversity as a business strategy.” and that “Our ZERO TOLERANCE policy that prohibits discrimination extends beyond our employees, into each and every market in which we conduct business.”

    KDWB and its supporters like you don’t need to live up to any standards the rest of us would like…just live up to your OWN standards you set for yourself!

    Shame on you!

  • Tong Vang

    @OMG Yang

    Your scenario makes no difference from what actually happened. And if so, are you saying that you’re okay with someone saying the exact same thing only if they’re joking?

    And what do you mean other races don’t get offended, have you not heard about Don Imus and his comment about a particular women’s basketball team AKA the “nappy headed hoes.” You should do your research before you state any misleading facts.

  • Linda Xiong

    Ok I think the person who suggested the song was stupid. Steve-O shouldn’t have said what he said. And now…. Let’s move on people. So sensitive these days.

  • Linda Xiong

    People make such a big deal about this. What I wanna know is why this but within our own community, the domestic abuse, telling the women to stay with their man when he treats her like shit doesn’t get this much publicity. Now that we’ve put so much energy into this, I dare you ALL who is offended to change our way of thinking when it comes to domestic abuse and all this other crap.

  • robert

    Do you want to know where all the poor people are go visit your nearby casino lol people spend more on gambling , drugs, alcohol, prostitutes and cigarettes than they do on a place to live. Thats why the poor are on the floor.

  • Paj Cua

    @ Linda Xiong

    The acceptance of domestic abuse and the many many years of trying to educate those that views domestic abuse as “not a big deal”…began similar to how this recent issue started. It’s individuals; much like yourself, that feels it’s not a “big deal” that allows such disgrace and inhuman treatment of other to continue. Think about it.

  • Twin City Hmong Citizen

    My thanks to Health Partners and AT&T for recognizing how deeply this has impacted our community.

  • Peter Xiong

    It was just a joke! OMG!

    (It aint a joke when the audience ain’t laughing.)

    Hmong people are too sensitive.

    (No, wrong, Hmong people are either too stupid or diverse to agree with one another! Why can’t some of you people see that they’re clearly talking shit about you?! It doesn’t matter if they make fun of other people too, that’s their problem. The fact here is that they’re talking shit about YOU! And you’re too stupid to take it lightly. If it was any other asian ethnicity, I’m sure they’d all stick together and not support idiots like these!)

    I came from a small family. I ain’t even married yet with kids. So how is this true?

    Even if it was true to the majority of Hmongs, how are you going to sit there and laugh when people mock your living conditions? So what if hmong people were too fucken poor growing up, that their parents had to work in factories to feed their kids and couldn’t afford a nice big house for their kids. So what if young teens make stupid decisions and got pregnant at a young age. At least the bastard who got them pregnant, MARRIED them. You wouldn’t see any other teen race willing to do that!

    And we live like sardines? Well at the end, we siblings still all love each other and our parents still help watch our kids! Unlike some other grandparent’s of other race only see’s their grandkids once or twice every year!

    The purpose of the song was to call us all DIRTY and DISGUSTING! But obviously, some other hmongs who thought it was funny was too stupid to see it.

  • Dan Llewellyn

    Not saying sterotypes should be defended but they don’t just come out of nowhere. If you were to look up the actual numbers for teenage pregnancies and number of residents in homes in hmong households you would find numbers that are statistically significant in deviation from the norm. Pretending differences don’t exist doesn’t make them go away. Instead, stop worry about what others think. They are just observations, without any attachments of good or bad to them.

  • Hermoine

    Bet you all be laughing if it were a different race they sang about right? Exactly!

  • Christy

    Thanks HealthPartners!

    Thanks AT&T!

    Thanks Coalition Against Racism for Everyone!

    I think one can be funny and make a joke without bringing in race or discriminating stereotypes.

  • h0mng00

    Come on Hmong People, we have been in this country for over 30 years. Step out of our little box and stand up for ourselves once. Stand together and protect our name! We should not let anyone stereotypes our women and our culture like this. Special thanks goes out to Health Partners and AT&T

  • DXiong

    KDWB has done this before, compare the following 2 “apologies.”

    2006: “KDWB does not condone making light of Islam and Muslims. We regret that listeners found the ‘Muslim Jeopardy!’ comedy skit of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive.”

    2011: “While we’ve received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent.”

  • G.Xiong

    Steve-O should be fired! I am glad that Health Partners and AT&T have pulled their ads from KDWB. I personally believe that Steve-O is a racist. I hear him on the radio and he always talks about people on government assistance, WIC, and you can tell he does not like minorities. Sorry Steve-O, not everyone grew up middle class or rich. Grow up because your immature attitude on the radio is simply annoying.

  • Le xiong

    wth! Some people need to grow some humor or borrow some. They said it was not suppose to be offensive. So there it is. Its like one of those things if your black and you say “Wussup nigger” to your Black friends your cool. If your not black and you say “wussup nigger”. youll get ur a$$ hand it to you.

  • Anonomus

    There are 3 types of people in life; those that don’t care, those that can only say harsh words and those that take action and become leaders.

    Which one are you?

  • Indifferent

    I’m Hmong and I didn’t find it funny or offensive. Mainly because most of it weren’t true and doesn’t apply or relate to me so it shouldn’t affect me. If it’s true then what’s so wrong about some white guy who sings about our culture and lifestyle? He’s not making it up or is saying something absolutely untrue or awful about our culture. I don’t see any harm in this song because there is no hidden racist message behind it that says we are the minority who can’t do anything.

  • True Dat

    If you think this is a joke and that people are being too serious then you are a twinkie. Jokes have truth to them. And the truth is, that’s how they really feel about you. It’s like when people get drunk, they start speaking how they really feel. Joke is the same. Their truth disguised. First, it will be a joke, and if you think it’s okay, they’ll take it one step further, into action because you they got you laughing with them. Next, you’ll be the victim but they’ll say, well you laughed the first time, why not laugh again? But this time it ain’t no joke.

  • Charlie Xiong

    Who here actually is active in the Hmong community? I’ve attended Hmong Association meetings and have never seen anyone younger than 40yrs old. If you really care about the Hmong community put more effort into core issues such as underage marriage, poverty, and higher education. Most of you seem to be more upset over your own lives than us as a people.

  • Chang Lee

    Lapse in judgement by the host(s) to allow racism to prevail! Heads will need to roll in order to make things right!

  • Mike Summers

    Regardless of whether the material was submitted by a Hmong, the hosts should have made a better decision! I’m white, I have a lot of Hmong friends and I don’t believe what these DJ’s did was right at all!

  • Chris Jackson

    I’m African American and the shit these radio jockies did wouldn’t have gone down with my kind! Hopefully Hmong in MN won’t tolerate it as well!

  • Jeff

    If Steve-O had made fun of the Jews in Minnesota, you can kiss his entire career Goodbye for a long long time! And Dave Ryan too, and Rob Morris too, and up the chain…to the big boss man at Clear Channel.

  • XTCNPX

    Just a concerned fellow Hmong who feels that aside from getting a cheap laugh at the expense of a relatively unrepresented community, people like Dave Ryan don’t really know (or perhaps care much) about who we really are: mostly hard working Americans who sacrificed everything—as Allies of the United States during the Vietnam War—and continue to strive to make a better life for ourselves and our families in this new country we now call home. Frog Town got turned around and revitalized in large part due to the backs of hard-working Hmong tax paying businesses, consumers, tax-payers, home owners and concerned citizens. The stereotypes speak nothing of this.

    My major concern is not really about me or your average Hmong person who can speak up for ourself and laugh off such ignorant rants as facetious, baseless and not worth one’s time of the day. What agitates me is that undeniable visceral feeling about the “little guy” who cannot—like our parents who cannot speak or understand one word of English or our kids who get laughed at . . . and worst yet bullied because, “Hey—big deal—it’s ok to laugh at Hmong people. Come on! Who cares. Get over it . . . it’s just a joke!”

    Thank you Health Partners and AT&T; the back-lash is coming! And . . . the really funny thing is . . . now it’s no longer funny to people like Dave Ryan/KDWB; they just don’t get it (the punch line—that is). Perhaps, now . . . they’re the victim. Oh no . . . not so funny when the table gets turned.

  • Sam Grey

    Nothing good came out of this parody. One step forward, two steps backward.

  • Yvette

    Go Kari! Its not that it was JUST A JOKE. The stupid few Hmong people on here that thought it was just a joke, they’re talking about YOU. They’re talking about your MAMA and your PAPA. Have some respect for yourself and your origin. And especially your parents. They did not risk their lives so that you could forget who you are and where you’re from. It is people like you that let racism live. Have some respect for yourself, and others will also. The people that are on here defending against stereotypes and racism have respect for who they are and the Hmong history. Personally I did not get worked up over this; I just thought KDWB pulled a really stupid and careless move. What’s bothersome is that the poor kids of any race who gets picked on is getting picked on more, because the stupid few Hmong people on here allow it.

  • LXyooj

    Where’s the professionalism in this? They all are adults and professionals, knowing that thousands of people listen to their radio station, and they make racist jokes, laughing and giggling? KDWB, you are a disappointment! Even if an idiot hmong person submitted the title, YOU should have made better choices. Clearly, it was YOUR choice to do it or not. Shame, shame on you! I will not look at you the same way again, knowing that you allowed this to happen….

  • Thinker

    @ Indifferent:

    Who says that being married at the age of 16, living in a house like a bunch of sardines, having 7 kids by 23 and being “over the hill” by 30 is part of our culture? It’s honestly not part of our culture if you truly look deep enough into your own cultural Hmong roots. It’s due to economic statuses and personal choices, the word culture should not even be addressed in your statement.

    @ Pa Vang

    How many Hmongs do you know who are not married by the age of 20? Now, now, you be realistic as well.

  • Ryan

    I’m Hmong and I didn’t find it funny or offensive. Mainly because most of it weren’t true and doesn’t apply or relate to me so it shouldn’t affect me. If it’s true then what’s so wrong about some white guy who sings about our culture and lifestyle? He’s not making it up or is saying something absolutely untrue or awful about our culture. I don’t see any harm in this song because there is no hidden racist message behind it that says we are the minority who can’t do anything.

    @ Indifferent

    People seem to be impressionable. Those that don’t even know what Hmong are could just listen to these words and assume that this must be how life is for Hmong. Sure you may not feel affected by it. You may not feel it relates to you. When will you feel affected by it? When it finally hits home? Like when you can’t sell a house because your Hmong or your kids are being bullied at school by the majority? Remember don’t blame parodies. That is just bad parenting than right?

  • Mina Vue

    Racism period, is not okay. Whether if it is true or not. They have right to make such public announcement. Such thing like this should not be tolerated.

  • SURINA L.

    I AM SO GLAD TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE WITH STRONG INTEGRITY AND MORALS TO STAND UP AGAINST KDWB.

    THE RADIO STATION CREW IS NOT PROFESSIONAL WHATSOEVER. THEY NEED TO FIRE THE MANAGER(S) AND THE REST OF THE GANG AND HIRE NEW EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BETTER STANDARDS.

  • Mee Vang

    Good job, AT&T, HealthPartners, and CARE. You are exemplary in securing the power to be Hmong and I only hope this opportunity will open up a dialogue for many more Hmong generations to learn about what it is to be culturally-aware. Reading the blogs on here, it is clear that although folks are Hmong, or we may have learned about race and culture in our schools, some still cannot recognize discrimination in our daily lives. Sadly, some choose to ignore it because it may dig into their vulnerabilities. Let’s continue to embrace unity through education.

  • Peb Hmoob

    For the Hmong friends who didn’t find anything wrong with this joke, please take a hard at yourself in the mirror. Unless your skin is white and your hair is blonde, you are no exception. You may put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

    KDWB, I hope you have learned a small lesson here. Keep your hatred to yourself and don’t bring it to your workplace. But I guess it must be hard to do since some your staff are from Western Wisconsin. Lena Sverson is from my hometown. I guess some of your staff are friends with victims from the Chai Vang incident? Whatever, please STOP attacking the Hmong people, especially the Vang clan. The Vang clan have a history of dragging other people to HELL with them. Don’t believe me? My Hmong people may be poor, but have they gotten a single penny from you? Zero! Have you done anything to benefit the community? None! People like you don’t get it until it hits your pocket book. ATT and Healhpartners and CARE, THANKS for making my day!

  • JZ Vaaj

    This is the reason why I stopped listening to KDWB 15 years ago. Sophomoric jokes and giggling only entertain middle schoolers and freshmens.

    Kudos to Health Partners and AT&T for pulling their ads, but maybe we shouldn’t just rely on big businesses to boycott KDWB, but we must also boycott them. The only way these stations will understand the hurt they’ve caused is not from words in this forum, or a protest, or even classes on cultural differences, but it’s the pocket book.

  • CARE IS BAD

    Peb Hmoob as a fan of KDWB they have more Hmong people as guest on their show and have shown them more respect then any other media outlet. They do charity events for Hmong listeners and now groups like care have shown that they’re more interested in “getting press”. Groups like care don’t want to bring people together, they want to tear people apart.

    I doubt a radio show that’s been on the air for years without problems would just suddenly start acting racist. No, its group like CARE who are looking for something to be offended about.

  • TJ

    If you are Hmong and did not get offended by these comments, you have no backbones. Wake up to your community dudes. Don’t let any silly people rip you apart. Gather people and have a protest around the radio station. This is a good opportunity to teach racial tolerance.

    I am not Hmong.

  • TJ

    Fire Dave Ryan and SteveO.

    This is the only way to save the station.

  • Amay

    I just want to state that obviously this is a bigger issue than people think it really is. If this issue wasn’t as big, why would HealthPartners and AT&T pull ads from the station? NAACP also wrote a letter stating that this song was tasteless.

  • hmong

    I agree it was a joke, but racist n stereotypical topics can’t just be humored by everyone. Why cant a white person make a nigger joke on radio? Its just for fun and show right?? I would love to see them try. Bottom line is that this is how racism starts, and If hmong people just let this one go, then they will witness more racist songs, its a foot in the door technique, if the radio man was hmong, maybe that might have slided but were not that stupid to ruin our name and embrace stereotype to thousands of people on air. we will not tolerate it from others

  • CARE IS GOOD: Doug

    CARE IS BAD: CARE cares like Kare 11 cares about you. That’s just how ridiculous you sound. You claims are baseless and as croward as your name is. Step your game up homeboy!

  • Xiong

    Yes, I am Hmong and I am offended. But even if they were making fun of any other group, I would still not approve of it. We should not allow any kind of discrimination to occur in our society. The more we let discrimination slide, the more people will do them. Just because some people are fine with this kind of humor does not make it acceptable.

  • Xiong

    @ the Hmongs that think this is a funny joke

    Remember that when people are laughing at this joke, they’re laughing at you, your daughters, your sisters, your parents, your grandparents, all your cousins, and everyone you know that is Hmong. Now do you still want to laugh with KDWB?

  • Vong Yang

    As it had not been intentional, regardless, it sent a clear message to the Hmong Community publicly sterotyping and discriminating. As Amay had previous wrote, had this not been a significant problem as some of you have argued, why did CARE retaliate? Their existance is to prevent situations such as this from happening.

    Why did AT&T and HealthPartners publicly confirm, not just on the internet but on the News to drop the support and Ads within KDWB? Can someone opposing elaborate on that or is it simply because the facts are presented in front of you yet your ignorance and stubborness keeps you from seeing the just side?

    In this level of professionalism (AT&T and HealthPartners) are you idioticly still trying to prove you’re right when you say, “It was just a parody for laughs and giggles and it’s not offensive.”

    For the Hmong’s whom continue to defend KDWB, open up your eyes a little. Have you such little knowledge about what exists in our society to this day? How does racism and discrimination go about living to this day? It’s because of individuals like you that pretend to be so “open-minded” and disconcern these problematic situations to shrug it off your shoulders without notice.

  • Jack

    I’m Hmong I heard the song…thought it was funny myself, didn’t offend me or anything since it’s true. I don’t see why so many people are mad or making a big deal out of a stupid song…look at yourself and ask yourself have you ever said anything related to or semi related to something about another persons race ethnicity, culture, sexual preference or whatever. I bet none of you can say u haven’t….

  • The Real Racist

    Now if you guys wanna do something for a change, go after this racist guy, Mr. KQRS92 Tom Bernard. This dude’s been after any and all non white ever since his fat face got on the radio. Remember the days when we, the voting Hmongs now are just kids? This dude was all over us and still is but the only difference is most Hmongs listen to KDWB so no one hears anything about this racist guy!!! Listen to him once and you might wanna save a deer and kill a Tom!!!!

  • New Life

    This is true? Some of you Hmong people find this true? You’re so open-minded that you’re actually closed-minded.

    It’s true that teenage Hmong girls do get pregnant at 16? Pshh. Last I checked I saw it in different races around my block, and yes, including WHITE people.

    “30 Hmongs sleeping on the floor’? You haven’t been in other people’s house of different ethnicity, how do you know it’s true for only the Hmong people? A few months ago these black people were kicked out of their duplex because there were over 40 people living in there.

    If you’re saying this parody that was wrought up and aired live by KDWB did no harm and had no racism written all over it, you need to wash your eyeballs out with bleach.

    Allowing something of this demeanor to past is simply allowing the door for more hordes of racist remarks, each harsher than the last.

  • New Life

    This is true? Some of you Hmong people find this true? You’re so open-minded that you’re actually closed-minded.

    It’s true that teenage Hmong girls do get pregnant at 16? Pshh. Last I checked I saw it in different races around my block, and yes, including WHITE people.

    “30 Hmongs sleeping on the floor’? You haven’t been in other people’s house of different ethnicity, how do you know it’s true for only the Hmong people? A few months ago these black people were kicked out of their duplex because there were over 40 people living in there.

    If you’re saying this parody that was wrought up and aired live by KDWB did no harm and had no racism written all over it, you need to wash your eyeballs out with bleach.

    Allowing something of this demeanor to past is simply allowing the door for more hordes of racist remarks, each harsher than the last.

  • nicole

    Just wanted to remind everyone that KDWB also regularly plays a song called “He’s Extra White.” A song joking about how lame us white folks can be sometimes.

    I think Steve-O is awesome. Love the show.

  • WOW

    Quit being so sensitive and move on. Life don’t revolve around this specific issue. There’s bigger problems to be dealt with. If YOU have a problem, DO something about it. Don’t just sit behind your computer complaining about it thinking that “complaining” will get somewhere. IT WON’T! If you don’t have what it takes to literally do something about this issue, than move along with life.

  • Nav Lor

    Saying why people are so sensitive? Racism is a seriously issue. Racial discrimination, hate crimes are all serious issues. It’s not a joke. It’s not humorous. To say that why are people/Hmong so sensitive and that the song itself was just a joke, hearing some of these comments coming from my fellow Hmong people themselves just show me how sad some Hmong people see the world (minority living in a dominated white country) and to see the false consciousness they have about race and society just made me realize how can we progress and defend ourselves?

    Anti-Semitic, racial discrimination against African Americans, Hispanic, Asian Americans and religious groups such as Muslims and Sikh or any other cultures are unacceptable.

    By supporting KDWB, it’s like saying it’s okay to joke about other cultures. Stop allowing the media to perpetuate stereotypes.

  • peace

    nobody is perfect!!! In the world what do you people want when it has been done already move on with your life it is okay. It’s not like we haven’t done it. We do and this will go on and on forever. Don’t get mad because someone said something you don’t like be the better one we all are adults. I’m not saying this to the whites to the hmong I am in nobodys team.. understand…..

  • DK

    To joke about a race is okay, AS LONG AS you dont joke negatively about them. THAT IS THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE. Example—Tou Ger Xiong, a Hmong comedian, jokes about Hmong people too. I remember he talked about how a lot of Hmong men don’t like to hold their women’s hands and always walk ahead of them, while other ethnics are lovey dovey and show affection in public. THESE kinds of jokes are tolerable. But to joke—Oh yea Hmong people eat dogs so much their ears start drooping like dogs—is intolerable. Every Comedian MUST know their boundaries when joking.

  • Sarah Thao

    It’s even MORE idiotic that it was, in fact, a Hmong person who initiated the title. Ridiculous. Not only do other ethnicities need to be educated about the Hmong people and their history, but the generation and future generations as well. I am angered that this radio station made a “joke” of the Hmong and their lifestyle that way, but it’s even more disappointing when the Hmong people themselves do not know about their own history. The ENTIRE society needs to get schooled, including the Hmong!!

  • Yong

    You know it’s not even Steve O’s song that I find disturbing, it’s the Hmong people who don’t find it offensive that I find confusing. We came here because of war, we educated ourselves, tried to provide a better life for the future generations, and people suffered, working with low wages, living in cramped environments at times, and all to better their children’s lives. You’re basically laughing at people who worked hard to give you a better life. If you really think people are so intelligent as not to believe these types are songs are truth, you need to travel to areas that don’t have diversity to see that racism is alive and well in this country. Go read some comments that basically say Hmong people should go back to their own country, because some of them don’t find this funny. Does that say you’re an American or that you’re just some immigrant that needs to go back to your own country? Have some of you been so brain washed that you can’t see when you’re still considered an outsider and being laughed at?

  • Jenny

    Just because listeners submitted titles to the station doesn’t necessarily mean that this title was sent by a Hmong person, people!

  • peace

    Did you people really think i’m white no i’m hmong but do you all know how to be adults it was just a joke big deal you know why people hate us so much because we can’t even talk a joke so what if they talk about us. what is wrong we go around making jokes too let me show some racism jokes that hmong people made about other racis too okay.

  • peace
  • Choua

    well before created this song, they got to realized that not every hmong people/families is like that, living in a house full of people. Not every hmong girls are pregnant at the young age. In every race there are those kind of people not just hmong. yes, we do have some who are pregnant at the young age but at least they are married and have husband to take responsibilities. Look at the American people, they pregnant at the young age too but they living under their parent’s roof, and they’re unmarried and their parent have to take care of them and their baby. we are not worse to the point where we have a TV show called, ” 16th and pregnant.” Im 19th and are attending college, i live in a home no more than 13 people, none of those thing related to me or half of the hmong people out there. Some of you young hmong people out there think that this is a joke, what kind of joke is this? dont you guys realized that first is a joke, then later on it aint no joke but something against us hmong people in the U.S. We don’t know how to love and respect our own kind that’s why others careless about what they have to said about us either in a joke, song or anything else. But some of you guys still think its funny.

  • Ntsej Fam yaj

    I first heard from my wife the other day that Hmong people in the Midwest were going ballastic over a radio song that was “racist” (I live in the Pacific Northwest). The radio station should have taken time to review and ensure the material that went out didn’t piss off the listeners, the community, or advertisers (for obvious reasons). Hmong people have a right to be upset, but that applies to just about anything. Everyone has a right to be upset about anything. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech, right?

    So after finally seeing the lyrics in writing on this article (still haven’t heard the song), I have to openly disagree that I don’t feel it’s racist at all. The song was just poking humor at the Hmong situation. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you are in serious denial and need help. For the most part, what the song says is actually true for a majority of first/second generation Hmong. While it may not be true for younger/middle class Hmong (and those that it don’t apply to aren’t likely to care anyway, since they’ve been “whitewashed”* and are too Americanized to care about the drama going on in the Hmong community), it is still true. If it happens, it’s true, right? Does a tree make a sound if it falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it? So?!

    I can personally say that every single word in the song was true at some point in the last 30 years and is still true for many Hmong families.

    - I currently know a local Hmong family with at least 10 kids living together in a small house, and child welfare (CPS) recently took the youngest ones away until they moved out into a bigger home. 10 is usually the most I’ve seen, although there are extended families totaling 15+ for short term living situations. My wife is helping facilitate a move to a new, bigger home or apartment.

    - My own in-laws were in this situation for the last decade or so. They had well over 10-15+ people in the household at any given period up until the last few years. Lots of cars parked outside. LOTS!

    - Hmong girls DO get pregnant early, for the most part, because they are too dumb to wait. Blame it on social pressure, the desire to “keep” a man, one night stands, the want for welfare and foodstamps (do they even exist anymore? I kept one as a relic from my childhood years, but lost it 10 years ago), or sometimes it’s just “accepted”. I know of families out there where multiple daughters are under 18 and are pregnant and they’re living off welfare, in Fresno and Sacramento, for example, living with mommy and daddy until a sugar daddy takes them away. Keep in mind, this mostly happens to families that are dysfunctional, which is probably at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the Hmong population.

    - Packed like sardines? I use this comment myself to describe Hmong wanna gangsters, like the ones from Gran Torino, who pack into Civics, Integras, Corollas, Sentras, etc. and seriously wonder why they don’t just get a minivan. Being a “thug” and packing into a tiny compact car is not cool or macho. It reminds people of sardines in a can. You don’t even have room to operate your illegal firearms for your poor aimed drive bys (St. Paul, Sacramento, Fresno, Stockton). They pack into sardines every year at the soccer tournaments in St. Paul to pick fights, and they show up at the Fresno New Year every winter to do it again. Sardines don’t fight. They are eaten. My dad packed us into a GMC Midas touring van when we were kids, all 10 of us! Never a Civic. Corolla. Sentra.

    - Over the hill at 30? I’m 31 and already feeling over the hill, although people say I look 25. My son was born when I was 27. I was responsible enough to get married, hold a job and maintain a career, and have a child I can support and provide for. I have two kids. My wife is a full time college student. And NO, she’s not 15. She’s 29. But there are many, many Hmong people I know (including relatives) who are well under 30 with two, three, four kids already. If the partial truth is a stereotype, then the world is full of “true” stereotypes. Including my own brother-in-law.

    I believe Hmong people resent the lyrics from this song, because it’s the truth. Many Hmong blame their situations on their economic and social situations, their refugee status, etc. etc. But 30 years later, the excuses are still being repeated. It’s total B.S. I was born in a refugee camp. Came here as a refugee baby. Grow up in the ghetto’s of St. Paul. I was in the same situation living in the projects. I chose to make a better life for myself. Many Hmong people do. Those who deserve it choose to better their lives, either by working hard or going to school, or both. Those who choose to fail do so intentionally. So stop making excuses. I am Hmong and I am ashamed of YOU who sit there and play the victim.

    So yes, this song is funny, if only because it’s true. Many Hmong artists sing/rap about the Hmong situation and no one starts a sh*t storm when they do. Why is it that the radio station is being targeted? If anything, it has brought awareness to the Hmong situation, so for that I’m thankful.

    And yes, it is FUNNY.

    * Whitewashed is a term Hmong people use for THEMSELVES to describe someone who has forsaken his/her Hmongness.

  • k.vang

    I can’t believe all the consequences that kdwb got for making suck a rediculous rascist remark towards hmong people is this (at&t and health partners pulls ads from kdwb) and besides a rediculous apology on facebook that wasn’t intended to apologize. We’ve to sue this station until it discontinued!! I mean this wasn’t the first stereotype/rascist attempt that they (kdwb) directly targeting unfortunate minorities. It is unacceptable!!!

    Oh and to those (hmong) of you that didn’t feel offended by this, we forgot you are not hmong!!! Until you know your history and accepted who you are, don’t even think about posting your opinion. Shame on you!!!

  • Tou Lee Xiong

    I understand it was intentionally a joke by KDWB, but if it was truly a joke to laugh at and a proper one, then many people would have seen it as a joke and therefore not have taken any actions against it.

  • Maiv Lis Yaj

    It’s the whole idea of GENERALIZING the entire Hmong people that offended me!! I won’t be so pissed off if he only referred to some Hmong families. He left listeners with the message that ALL Hmong girls get married at 16 and have 7 kids by 23, etc.

    I’m very disappointed to those who think this is funny. They made fun of your family and here you are thinking it’s a good joke! So pathetic and sad!

  • james

    some no brainers, pa vang, actually think it’s acceptable for other ppl to make fun of us. what a disgrace creature u r. usually ppl who r hmong and always put hmong down r ppl who arent self-sufficient and low on education. ppl who r well-educated and capable of being who they r will never put their own ppl down.

  • Xue Her

    People who don’t find that parody song offensive is racist or do not care much about others. The message they have sent out especially on the radio is effecting kids and teenagers which are still young and learning, from their point of view KDWB is teaching them that it’s okay to stereotype, it’s okay to make fun of people for something that is not entirely true, just because one person in that group is a drug addict does not make everyone in his family, race, drug addicts. Please do not hide, lets come together as one and let them know who we really are.

  • Vue

    The lyrics in itself is not offensive, and it’s true about the Hmong community. The only thing that KDWB did wrong was let a white person sing that song. If it was sang by a Hmong comedian then it is acceptable. It’s double standards and racial politics, which sadly the white folks don’t understand and got themselves into this rut.

    I personally feel that the lyrics to the song are speaking about the living standards of the Hmong community and how we need to focus on bettering our community. The song was sent by a Hmong person to parody the social issues of the community.

    It’s not attacking us, it’s trying to tell us to fix the issues plaguing our community.

    Also, white people should never sang that song…should have let a Hmong person do it.

  • yeng

    Well said OMG Yang..

    Would it offend any one if it was sang by a hmong guy?

    Because we all know what he said is true so what now?

    Is it racist if he was a hmong guy?

    I do make fun of hmong too and I am hmong.

  • Suzy

    I’m glad they pulled out on KDWB. That song was a reminder of how much America has not moved forward in accepting all groups of race regardless of how they live in their community. It’s never okay to sing, joke, or perpetuate stereotypes given that it only leads to negative results. Throughout American history, stereotypes of every group have lead to violence and anger. It also stirs alot of hate.

  • Kristy

    I can’t believe how many people do not have a sense of humor. It’s a parody – it’s funny, learn to laugh! Life is too short to be so up tight! KDWB is hilarious and if you are not able to take a joke don’t listen to their station!

  • SV

    It’s not about humor, it’s about morals. this song cross that boundary regardless of who wrote it. KDWB should have done their research before airing such nonsense. I’m glad the health compaines pulled out of this radio station. @ Vue who stated that if a Hmong comedian had sang this it would be okay. Newsflash no way would that be in our Hmong Community.

    Please don’t generalize about who the Hmong people are because the lyrics on this song is untrue.

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    I will come back to see what else you have to say and what the reaction of other people on your blog is. Keep up the good work.

  • Disgrace

    I just have to revive this thread. All the hmong people here who say this is okay you are a disgrace. You don’t know how long your parents, uncle, aunts, etc have fought racism, discrimination, and stereotyping towards our race. Believe me it affects you too. All you young people on here who have no clue. Imagine walking down the street or going to school and having a label on your fore head “I have 6 kids and I’m 18″ “I live with 30 people in a shitty house and I smell like I haven’t taken a shower for a year” Yea it doesn’t affect 90 percent of you but does that matter? Its exactly how your going to be seen.

    Enough said. Be more educated. You’re in america for a reason.

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