HomeHmong AmericanJill Biden visits Hmong community in Minnesota

Jill Biden visits Hmong community in Minnesota

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Dr. Jill Biden visited St. Paul’s Hmong American community Thursday as part of a campaign trip to Minnesota for her husband, presidential candidate Joe Biden, reports StarTribune.

Biden toured the Hmong Village Shopping Center, where she met with several local farmers and vendors.

Among those she spoke with were farmers Leng Xiong and Sue Lee, who opened a fruit and vegetable stand in the market in May. The couple raised concerns about the lack of business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I hope this pandemic goes away pretty soon, or else we’re all going to go out of business,” said Xiong.

Biden also spoke with members of Mai PAC, the first Hmong American political action community in the U.S., according to 3HmongTV News.

“The visit from Dr. Jill Biden to the Hmong American community is critical because it signifies that Hmong Americans have really become part of the fabric of American society,” said Thoj Mim Xyooj, co-founder and co-chair of Mai PAC.

“For all of our children, and for all of our parents and grandparents, this is part of our American dream, to be recognized as Americans in our new country.”

Board member Theresa Thao Yang also expressed hopes that Biden’s visit will spur political action among the Hmong American community and inspire Hmong American youth, in particular, to get involved and vote.

“If we do not get involved or take part in any of this political process then our voices are being left unheard, and so it’s really important that we become more involved, especially our youth,” Yang said. “I think right now is just a time for our youth to make a stand and make a difference.”

The co-founders of Mai PAC are optimistic about a Biden-Harris administration. Xyooj says she is particularly excited about the possibility of Kamala Harris, a biracial Asian and Black woman, being elected vice president.

“For our young people. . . they will always know a world where someone who looks like them is in a very powerful position, and that will allow them to aspire to be in the same powerful position,” she added. “We all have daughters, and we all have sons, and I think that’s the best thing we can hope for our children, is that they can dream about reaching the highest level of power in the United States.”

Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, was scheduled to visit alongside Biden but was forced to cancel after one of Harris’s aides tested positive for COVID-19.

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