APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton’s common council is at the center of a controversy after not passing an anti-Asian resolution and members of Appleton’s Hmong community are speaking out.
Ger Vang, a Hmong-American and Appletonian says, “It’s a constant reminder that not all of us have the same privilege. As my wife and I was walking on North Meade Street, a pick-up truck came out from nowhere, cut in front of us, have these two huge American flags flying, shouting at us pointing at us this gentleman in the car shouting yelling get out here, go home.”
Wednesday members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community recounted painful experiences of racism in Appleton in hopes of getting 6R21, an anti-Asian resolution passed.
Kou Vang, Hmong-American Board President says, “A lot of us have been told to go back to our own country go back to where you come from. You don’t belong here. A lot of these are harassment but they hurt us in the heart.”
Appleton Alderman Bill Siebers requested the resolution be referred back to the committee. “I don’t think we’re there today. I think there are some things that could probably be looked at and changed.”
Members of the Hmong community say some alders opted to change parts of the resolution that included the negative experiences of Asians in Appleton.
Vang says, “The Appleton’s Common Council’s decision to reexamine and change certain language in resolution 6R21 is disappointing because it minimizes our Asian-American narrative and experience.”
Katie Van Zeeland is the Common Council VP and co-sponsored 6R21 says, “I can’t believe that arguing the minutiae of the words is more important than the stories and the emotions of the people that asked us to act on their behalf and that came to speak with us.”
According to the Hmong who gave testimony, they are left wondering if words in a resolution are more important than the people.
Vang says, “They don’t know what it feels like to be Asian-American or to be discriminated. We can not wait on this resolution while others are still experiencing fear and racism in the community.”
Resolution 6R21 is scheduled to be presented to the Safety and Licensing committee next week.