Hmong cultural leader Gen. Vang Pao calls for men and women to respect each other at Wausau conference
Monday, July 13, 2009
The man who led a Hmong army in the fight against communism during the Vietnam War denounced domestic violence and the practice of Hmong men returning to Laos to take young or multiple wives.
Gen. Vang Pao, a revered cultural leader among many Hmong in America, gave the groundbreaking, hour-and-a-half long, speech today at a conference called “Hmong in the Past, Present and Future” held at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County. He was the keynote speaker at the event, which was designed to bring together Hmong leaders, law enforcement officials, and those battling domestic abuse to find ways to stop the violence.
“Hmong men going over to Laos, you must stop that,” Vang Pao said in the speech. “You are creating a disease. We have to cover that disease with cement.”
He said Hmong men and women must respect each other and vowed to “hear about the problems of domestic violence” in the future. Vang Pao said clan leaders and community leaders in cities and counties must work together to prevent future violence. “We need this to be done very shortly.”