Who: Coordinated by organizations such as Holt International, Friends of Children of Viet Nam, Catholic
Relief Service, Pear S Buck Foundation, International Social Services, etc.
• Announced by President Gerald Ford who allocated $2 million for 30 planned flights
When: April 1975
What: Children from orphanages would be evacuated via military and private airlifts. The first flight, C
5A Galaxy plane crashed due to mechanical failure and of the 330 on board, 176 lived and 154 died.
Volunteers service member and young children died. Not enough oxygen masks and landed into rice
paddy (difficult to help reach).
• Children of those with lost parents, were mixed race (US GI fathers and Vietnamese mothers)
sick and disabled
Significance: Controversial because of inaccurate paperwork/documentation and especially because not
all children were “orphans”. Some parents reclaimed children later.
As the result of the Vietnam War and the US supporting South Vietnam to prevent
the spread of communism, the US got heavily involved in the war overseas and as more
and more Hmong killed, US uses air tactics and drops more than 2 million tons of bombs on
Laos to destroy the Ho Chi Minh trail. This also led to Operation Babylift.
Prior to 1975, about 15,000 Vietnamese living in the US (exchange students, military
wives). The Vietnam war leads to migration cut out of Vietnam and with the Indochina
Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975, it paved the way for more Vietnamese
immigrants that came over. The first wave came in 1975 but were primarily people affiliated
with the war. The second wave came to be known as the Boat People, who endured
treacherous seas with pirates to neighboring countries with refugee camps. They lacked
resources of 1W, (rural areas less formal education, fewer US marketable job skills) and
encountered more obstacles to get to refugee camps, resettlement more difficult. This also
included ethnically chinese refugees
Refugees, do not leave country voluntarily unlike immigrants. Leave due to life-
threatening circumstances or are forcibly expelled, exiled political refugees. They had less
choice in settlement location. There were differences in preparation affecting adaptation and
survival (language abilities, capital, planning, contacts in new country, feelings of loss,
depression, survivor’s guilt). To try and accommodate, they formed ethnic enclaves and
formed little Saigon to make a community for these lost refugees.
Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 Federal government
reimbursed state government for cash assistance, medical, and social services for
refugees. Department of Health, Education and Welfare gave grants to agencies to provide
refugees with English training, employment, and health services. Basic needs were given
through government funds but direct settlement handled by local charity organizations.
Assistance reduced in early 1980s
Indochinese Parole Program, 1976-77, US AG authorized admission of limited
number of refugees 1978-80, and was a mass exodus of refugees, fled by boats (many
small and ill-equipped to handle number of occupants).
What resulted was then a drastic Vietnamese population increase. Linda Trinh Vo “the
Vietnamese American experience”
Boat people Who: The second wave of refugees from Vietnam
When: around 1975
What: They were generally poorer, less educated, less urbanized, more ethnically diverse, fewer
Catholics and more Buddhists and animists. They encountered more difficulties in escape (mostly
young males and some women and children) and for many were of ill health, inadequate
nutrition, psychological traumas by time reached camps
Significance: Refugees able to leave Vietnam after Saigon fell due to the Indochina Migration
and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975. Weren’t able to adapt and survive (language abilities,
capital, feeling of loss, survivals guilt, depression, etc).
This also relates to Robert Park’s Race relations cycle and when he talks about the 4 stagin
process of ethnic assimilation.
Model minority myth
Who: Chinese Americans
What: Started from articles published in US News and World Report Article in 1966 during the
height of Civil Rights Movement when groups were fighting for their rights. It singled out
Chinese Americans as a successful minority group based on characteristics such valuing
education, strict discipline, strict parental supervision, and minor crime and delinquencies.
Known as the “silent minority” due to mistrust in government and apprehension to accept
welfare, etc. after internment
Significance: Significant because it put minorities against each other and made Asian as the
“model minority” in Cold War context and/or “tokens”. People claiming that if Asians can
achieve so much with so little, other racial minorities could also succeed if they tried harder and
if they failed, it is their fault. It scolded local minorities and commends ability of Asians to
assimilate to larger, mainstream culture and generalizes Asian American population into one
group under the same stereotype, but all had very different experiences (Personal failure vs.
Other related terms: Also relevant is the brain drain, where an influx of highly educated
professionals in medical and scientific fields entered the US, especially in the STEM fields in the
early 1970’s. This historically grounds the “model minority” image.
Frank chin and Maxine hong Kingston
Maxine Hong Kingston was a Chinese American author born in 1940 in Stockton, CA.
Attended UC Berkeley and wrote “The Woman Warrior” which was one of the best known works
of Asian American literature. It won the national book critics circle award for best book of
nonfiction published in 1976. Chinese americans critique its authenticity, autobiographical
status, representations of chinese culture, and thus her integrity as an author. It pushes
boundaries of traditional genres and serves as a autobiography and memoir. Known as
empowerment through “talk-story” where the mother tells daughter empowering folklore stories
of female heroine and silence as a form of punishment. Hyper Masculinity During the Asian American Movement was evident through Frank
Chin, also born in 1940 went to UC Berkeley as well was considered to some as a pioneer
Asian American writer and involved with theater and also activist. Published in 1974, he wrote
“Aiieee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers”. It was claimed to be an anthology insisted on
“authentic” expressions of traditional Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, experiences versus Asian
American works that were accepted by mainstream culture. He was very critical of writers like
Kingston and said that the reaction to Asian American pieces that have been accepted by white
mainstream cutlure was not real Chinese culture. In contrast to Kingston, he was concerned
with “authentic” or “real” chinese writing and Confucian traditions. Frank Chin’s characteristics
are said to be hyper masculine, non-effeminate, manhood, sexist, patriarchal, homophobic. He
assertes a particular vision of Asian American identity (not just Asian or American) that is critical
of white influence, critical of asian americans who marry outside their race, and heavily critiques
other Asian American writers for reasserting stereotypes, telling folklore or traditional stories
inauthenticaly, and writing mother daughter memoirs. Chin is criticized in many waysas well
from saying he is unfair to kingston, fair, and that it is overall complicated situation.
San Francisco state student strike (on strike doc as example)
Longest student strike in history, 5 months long from Nov 1968March 1969. Led by the Third
World Liberation Front (group of minority campus groups) that made demands for more ethnic studies
classes to be offered and redefinition of education system.
SFSU president S.I. Hayakawa, a Asian Canadian, was against the student strike and demands.
The students, rooted in resistance, drew their inspiration from international 3rd world leaders and
revolutions and raised demand thru mass mobilization and militant/direct action.
Part of the “bad” phase of 1960s movements that “degenerated” into violence, as seen in the On
Strike documentary. Redefined AsAms by showing that as ordinary people (not just elites) can be active
participants in making history and promote political change/consciousness. Resulted in the development
of ethnic studies, educational policy changes.
Most important to not is that this San Francisco strike and Asian American movement was part of
larger, global social movements inspired by third world movements.
Not focused only seeking legitimacy and representation within US society but liberation at large,
oppression and power. Using slogans such as “that's how we make changes, we unite” and in the 1960’s
and 1970’s the generation slogans were similar, with things such as Malcom x “by any means necessary”
or Mao’s “serve the people”.
Hmong were generally people without a homeland/country of own and who have an oral history