The presentation for class that day was pretty cool. I really liked the article about the donut shops. I didn’t know that there was a Cambodian millionaire that inspired many other Cambodian people to have donut shops. I don’t believe it as a stereotype however because I guess I’ve been to a lot more Vietnamese donut/bakeries than Cambodian ones. I kind of became uninterested when Jason talked mostly about himself and the wall of text on the powerpoint was really distracting and hard to read. It really gave me a new insight about Cambodian people and interested more about Ted Ngov. Ted inspires many people to be successful even people who aren’t Cambodian and he even got to meet many famous people like Forrest Gump. It is definitely tragic that he lost all his earnings. He had a family and a great business even though it was stressful and always had to manage it every day and fell into a gambling problem. I wonder if it would be worth it to find and see Ted and maybe interview him.
Our presentation on inter-conflict was okay in my opinion. I felt it was a little disorganized and repeated a lot of the information. I admit that we worked on the powerpoint the night before and planned who was going to talk which part late at night. The article was great in my opinion too even though it’s a little outdated and didn’t really have southeast asian conflict with other southeast Asians. I knew that back then, there was harsh racism to Vietnamese people but I didn’t know that it was also wrong for Vietnamese people to be ignored of services, bullied and the staff of schools do not support their argument and other things. It reminded me of how my father was picked on by black thugs when he came to America and stole his bicycle and how when he tried to go to college, other students threw paper balls at him and picked on him and the army even denied my father because he was too skinny to join and other stories that my parents have told me about the past. I think the bullying still goes on today as people still do not know who Southeast Asian people are and continue to believe that Asian is the same as Southeast Asian and therefore, Southeast Asians must also be the model minority when they are actually considered to be one of the most recent immigrants to the U.S. I thought the article was a pretty easy read and easy to understand and relate to and the discussions were really good because I think everyone really wanted to say something and share their experience and we have so limited time. Also, I kind of wished we didn’t take too long on our presentation and discussion because Professor Valverde had a plan that day and I think we took too much of the class time to present.
The topic of having a “safe” space really interested me as I did not realize that being in a club does cause segregation. I think I recognized it when I was in VSA for a long time and noticed that there were cliques and the club acted like a clique that had member only stuff. Same goes for SAFE where even though SAFE is open to everyone of all ethnicities and races, others think of it as a Southeast Asian only group and I also knew that some clubs hate other clubs too. So I guess it would be safe for just being connected to a certain community but it does not protect someone from all communities such as white or black or police. It’s a very controversial issue and I guess there is no real good answer except hoping that every community accepts each other and not hate another race but it’s just that want of power by putting down others that causes people to be mean and racist to others. I think we did a great job presenting though and hoped it brought some insight about inter conflict with Southeast Asians.
-Tri-Thien Nguyen Lam