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The View from the Ground: George Floyd Protests

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, May 28, 2020.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Yes agree it is gray and a very unusual situation. That noone was hurt I've heard it referred to as "The Real Minneapolis Miracle"
     
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  2. generalthade_03

    generalthade_03 Contributing Member

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    Did you ever follow up and ask them why they said such things from their point of view?
     
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  3. jcf

    jcf Member
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    I'm a little concerned that the funeral being in Houston may increase the chances of problems here. I hope the agitators stay away and the funeral and any protests can be peaceful.
     
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  4. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I can tell you that here in Minneapolis that since Saturday there has been very little looting or property damage. The protesters themselves have been restraining people trying to cause trouble. Floyd's younger brother spoke out yesterday against the rioting and called on all of the protesters to change things. Neighborhoods have organized to patrol their own neighbors. I'm sure Houston can do those things too.
     
  5. jcf

    jcf Member
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    That is great news, and I have seen the reports of protesters helping stop agitators.
     
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  6. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    Probably using the same red felt pen they draw their maga hats with...
     
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  7. AleksandarN

    AleksandarN Member

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    What point of view of race you think is acceptable?
     
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  8. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly Member
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    WOW!

    You want public capital punishment?

    Are you really trying to give a case for people to be shot for stealing?

    I can't even.
     
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I don't want to start a new thread so am putting this piece here.

    Hmong Americans are far and away the largest group of Asians in Minnesota. They now find themselves in a very difficult place regarding these protests with one of their own LEO Thao involved in the killing of George Floyd and having many of their businesses burned. Unlike many other Asians that came here following Civil Rights the Hmong weren't a self-selected group of educated and ambitious people like my family. They came here as refugees who had been subsistence farmers in the mountains of IndoChina. I've heard stories of how many of them hadn't seen indoor plumbing until they got here and how they would wash their clothes in project swimming pools. As refugees many were settled into public housing where they weren't welcomed by black residents who were living there. The recent events have dredged up a lot of bad memories for this community.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/...3qidETMSXFWuF5RKxD2lWq7xB56cFfvFMMEkGOA-d4Xig

    They Fled Asia as Refugees. Now They Are Caught in the Middle of Minneapolis.
    Thousands of Hmong-Americans settled in the Twin Cities area after the Vietnam War. They became business owners, teachers and police officers.

    They came as refugees from the jungles of Laos, an ethnic minority allied with American forces during the war in Vietnam. Beginning in the winter of 1975, thousands settled in frigid central Minnesota, and eventually became business owners, teachers and police officers —their versions of the American dream.

    They are Hmong-Americans, and in the week since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, they have found themselves in the middle of a national conflagration over race that was bigger than many have seen in their lifetimes as Americans.

    One of the police officers who stood by as Mr. Floyd was pressed to the ground was Hmong-American. So was the wife of Derek Chauvin, the officer who put his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, who last week filed for a divorce. A number of the businesses burned in the looting belonged to Hmong-Americans. The result has been a fraught descent into the nation’s battles over race and equality and a sense that, whether they want to or not, they have been drawn into the conflict.

    “We came to this country with nothing,” said Gloria Wong, 50, whose building on University Avenue in St. Paul was badly damaged. “I have been working my whole life for my building. Now it just takes one or two persons to trash it. I feel very down right now. My heart is just aching all over.”

    Ms. Wong said she had a fondness for police officers: Her uncle was one of the first Hmong-Americans to become one in the 1980s. But when she saw the video, she thought that Tou Thao, the officer who stood by during Mr. Floyd’s death, had acted wrongly.

    “I thought he had neglected what he went to law enforcement school for,” Ms. Wong said. Still, she understood why he had attended. His family, she said, was also striving.

    “They were trying to work hard and rise up and have the American dream too,” she said.


    Hmong-Americans do not fit cleanly into the country’s broad racial categories. Because so many came as impoverished refugees, they are more likely to be poor than many other Asian immigrants from places like China and India who often have specialized degrees.

    An ethnic minority in Laos, they were recruited by the United States to help disrupt supply lines and fight against communists in Southeast Asia. After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, they settled around the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Fresno, Calif., starting out with very little as they tried to establish roots.

    Chy Nou Lee, a deputy sheriff in the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, said he grew up in public housing. Inspector Lee said his father had fought alongside Americans, a role he was proud of, so the career choice of police officer seemed natural.

    Becoming a police officer “kind of extends from the older community back in Laos,” said Inspector Lee, the highest-ranking Hmong-American officer in Minnesota. “If you work for the military or government, you have huge stature. That mentality is built into the culture.”

    It was something more too, he said: A way to feel less like an outsider looking in.

    “It’s starting to say, ‘Hey, we have a voice in this society,’” he said.

    Inspector Lee, who is 37, said he did not know Mr. Thao, the Hmong officer who stood by during Mr. Floyd’s death, and did not want to debate his actions.

    But he added: “I want to see justice brought for Mr. Floyd.”

    Inspector Lee was born in the United States. For newer immigrants, the week’s events were even more bewildering.

    Kongsue Xiong, 46, a Hmong business owner in St. Paul whose building was damaged last week, said the burning reminded him of his childhood in Laos. He said he hid in the jungle as a child and saw people dying, and communist forces burning villages. He came to the United States in 1992 alone. His father had been killed in the violence and his mother, who had survived, had remarried and did not want to immigrate.

    “What happened to George Floyd is not right,” he said. “But burning businesses is not related to the death. Two things are going on at the same time and you are just confused.”

    He said the past week has made him “as scared of Black Lives Matter as of the police.”


    Hmong-Americans are the single largest group of Asians in Minnesota, with a population of up to 90,000. In St. Paul, Asians make up about 12 percent of the population, slightly less of than African-Americans, at about 13 percent.

    The community is divided on how it sees the week’s events, people said. Younger people tend to view it from the perspective of Black Lives Matter, saying that the outrage over police violence that had driven protesters into the streets was understandable. Older immigrants seemed more likely to emphasize the loss of property and the pain of watching a cherished small business destroyed.

    In St. Paul, a lot of the damage was concentrated on University Avenue, the center of Hmong business life, an area that had been transformed since the 1970s into a bustling shopping district.

    Mai Kou Vang, 42, a liquor store owner who lost all her merchandise to looting, said she felt like she had to choose a side — the protesters or immigrant business owners.

    “But either side we choose,” she said, “it hurts us.”


    The events come after several months in which Asians had experienced acts of bigotry related to the coronavirus. In May, an African-American youth kicked a Hmong woman who was sitting at a commuter rail station in St. Paul in the face, while another recorded with his phone and then posted on social media.

    Ms. Wong said her son, who had just graduated from high school and was working delivering groceries, had been harassed by customers because he was Asian.

    Hmong-Americans have also been victims of police violence. In 2006, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Fong Lee, 19. A jury later exonerated the officer.

    On Sunday, Mr. Lee’s mother appeared at a protest in Minneapolis to encourage the Hmong community to stand with their black neighbors.


    But the past week has also caused pain for some Hmong-Americans that is likely to linger.

    Rob Yang, 44, said Thursday was by far the strangest day of his life in the United States, since he came when he was 3. He stood watching in the afternoon sun as dozens of people walked into his shoe store and helped themselves to every last scrap of his merchandise. A black woman who tried to stop them was ignored. A white woman who tried was punched in the face.

    He said he had felt angry at the death of Mr. Floyd. He had posted about it on Facebook. But on Thursday he stood there, numb, unable to move away.

    “You know how people say, when you are about to die, things flash in front of your eyes?” he said. “I was thinking how hard I worked to get the store open and just how much work it was to live the American dream you know?”
     
  10. generalthade_03

    generalthade_03 Contributing Member

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    Gran Torino is a great movie and it shows you some Hmong people in America too.
     
  11. ArtV

    ArtV Contributing Member

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  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Gran Torino was written by a person from St. Paul and the several of the Hmong actors are from St. Paul and the original story was set there. It's unfortunate the production company couldn't shoot it here in Minnesota.
     
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  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I went by the George Floyd Memorial two days ago and noticed there were a couple of black men with AR-15's who definitely weren't LE and weren't in private security uniforms. They appeared to be working security and were mounting barricades in streets leading to the memorial area.
     
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  14. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Remember the “re-open” protests? All the PUBG cosplay and armed men entering Michigan capital building and all that; the police did not try to violently suppress them, the governors did not use language to inflame them. And they petered out.
     
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  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    They've largely won.. States are reopening and judging by all of the people out at protests and other events remember George Floyd there is little to no social distance and many aren't wearing masks. Neither Right or Left right now is seriously following rules to fight COVID-19 even as we're still getting hundreds of deaths a day.
     
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  16. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

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  17. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Good point. Though at least in Southern California the re-opening on the business front is still very gradual. How are things in other locations? Are people going out to shops and restaurants at the same rate as before even where they are permitted to open?

    As for the police brutality protests, all I can hope is the spike that this leads to won’t overwhelm hospital capacity.
     
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  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    It's a gradual reopening here in MN but that is pretty much meaningless given how many people are out protesting, helping with clean up in addition to those people who are just going back to doing what they were doing before regardless of what the policy says..

    When Gov. Walz was asked about this he said it was concerning but we have triage the immediate issue of the aftermath of the killing of Floyd.
     
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  19. bobrek

    bobrek Not a liberal, regardless of my posts
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    Florida is moving forward. We went to one of our favorite restaurants the other night. It was "full" but at 50% capacity. Tables were nicely spaced out.

    Haven't been to a mall yet. Beaches have been opened with no social distance requirements but it is suggested.

    Went to Catholic Mass Sunday for the first time in weeks. Perhaps 40 people in a church that seats 400.
     
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  20. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    There's been some studies that indicate that being outdoors instead of indoors provide some degree of protection-- and that the most dangerous setting involve indoor gathering of large groups who stay in the same space with the same people for more than an hour. I hope that being outdoors at least helps lesson (though it won't eliminate) the degree of spread of COVID19 in these crowds.
     
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