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The Hmongs never needed legitimacy from any foreign country. We found legitimacy in the Mountains of Southwestern China until the Chinese came and enroached in our country. We once had soverignty, and we will again.
Recently, a quote from a 1972 book by McCoy was inserted into the article (along with many other useful, substantive edits). In fact, McCoy's assertions are somewhat controversial as documented in a recent exchanged in the Madison Isthmus: http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=6376. Dr. Gary Yia Lee (a reputable Hmong scholar) raises some problems with McCoy's scholarship. I think the language of the quote is also problematic since it consistently refers to Hmong people as "Meo," a non-native term that most find highly derogatory. With a better source it might be worth re-adding some of the content, but I would suggest that it should be kept in balance with the rest of the article. As Dr. Lee notes in his letter to the Isthmus, Hmong and other ethnic minorities in SE Asia grew opium as a cash crop as part of the complex colonial economy (a practice some continue to this day). It was legal at the time and rather non-notable (especially since the Hmong had no part in converting it into other drugs like heroin.) I don't disagree that Lyfoung might have been involved in the purchasing board, but I don't trust McCoy's source on whose idea it was to raise the tax and make it payable in opium (which did happen). Nposs 04:50, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I have re-inserted the section on Opium trade. I am using a quote from a well known source, with a reference and link. What is the reason for removing it? You may not like McCoy, but his sources include interviews with Touby Lyfoung. The use of the term 'Meo' is unfortunate from our current perspective, but the label was commonly used at the time. APB-CMX 05:02, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I tried to be very clear in my reasons. Did you not read the the article I linked? I don't disagree that the material could be worked into the article, but copying a paragraph wholesale from a controversial source (included inflammatory language) is not the best way. His involvement in the opium trade would be a very minor point in his life, yet as it stands, it makes up a large part of the encyclopedia entry. Seems rather out of balance. (Also, "authoritative" is rather POV when discussing a source that reputable scholars have criticized.) Nposs 05:12, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have read the Isthmus article. It makes no reference to Touby Lyfoung, and McCoy makes a convincing response to Gary Yia Lee's accusations. But I don't want to start an edit war. My intention was to add some substance to a stub that was short on details and long on romanticism. I think we are making progress; a few hours ago the article had no references and now it has got four. I agree it is important to mention the French influence, but I wouldn't like to see the balance shift too far in an apologist direction. However, if we keep the link to 'Politics of Opium' I will not be making further edits to this section. And thanks for the correction regarding Nong Het! APB-CMX 06:35, 23 April 2007 (UTC)