Louisiana, Saint Malo, Pacific Grove Museum Of National discussed on Asian American History 101

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These archeological digs helped establish the Chinese American history that had gone hidden for a long time before the dig. Now there's an exhibit at the Pacific grove museum of national history on the Chinese fishing village. There are also signposts installed by the cities of Pacific grove and Monterey on the coastal recreation trail to commemorate the Chinese fishing history. Let's move on to the shrimping industry, so we're going to focus on the shrimping practices in Louisiana today. And again, we go more in depth on the Filipino American settlers in Louisiana in season one episode 5, but let's go over a brief history, way back in 1763, Filipino sailors and indentured servants escaped Spanish galleons and made their way to Louisiana. The documentation of the all Filipino settlement at saint malo is dated to around 1883. In a few small villages and most notably the permanent settlement of saint malo, Filipino Fischer set up shrimping practices that became widely used, especially the Louisiana shrimp drying industry. These first Filipino Americans pioneered the dried shrimp industry. Now let's talk about the Vietnamese and Vietnamese American fishermen in southeast Louisiana. Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese refugees were coming to America and settling where they could. And one place that became fairly common was New Orleans. Refugees started to find work in the Louisiana commercial fishing industry, and many refugees had previous fishing experience in Vietnam, so it was an easier transition in some ways. As we covered in past episodes, Vietnamese refugees face racism and mistrust in a lot of areas they settled in. And Louisiana was no exception. Due to language barriers, many Vietnamese fishers didn't trust banks and insurance companies, or they just didn't have access to either. Along with that, societally, there was a lot of hate. And in the mid 1980s, it was common for Vietnamese fishermen to face harassment from white fishermen. These white fishermen generally felt that the Vietnamese refugees were stealing jobs from locals. As we covered in episode 41 on the seadrift conflict, Ku Klux Klan chapters even became involved across the Gulf of Mexico. Now, the shrimping industry itself was a bit cutthroat during the 1980s, each boat and crew were trying to make the highest yields and find the best area to catch shrimp in. They were also focused on processing their catch quickly and getting back out onto open water as fast as possible to continue catching shrimp. The Gulf of Mexico became pretty crowded and Vietnamese fishermen trying to make a living were seen as competition and a threat to American values. Even with all of the adversity, eventually things calmed down and Vietnamese American shrimpers and Fisher's found some stability. It was after Hurricane Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the BP deepwater horizon oil spill in 2010 that it became obvious politicians and policymakers were ignoring and sometimes openly rejecting the Vietnamese American community. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina and then Rita, officials ended up creating racist and classist policies that negatively affected people of color's communities. The road home program made it difficult to secure housing and there were zoning laws that cut off basic infrastructure and clean water for thousands of POC in Louisiana. Many Vietnamese American fishers were displaced and weren't given help. And policymakers stated reasons like the Vietnamese community, being resilient and experienced with disaster. I know. You know what? They've come from a war torn area. And barely survived. Right, but coming over here. Look at, look at how well you're doing now. Yes. You're able to rebuild so fast that we don't need to help you. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps. Yeah. Another big thing was when mayor C ray nagin mandated the opening of the chef mentor landfill, which is just two miles from village de l'est Vietnamese where many Fisher's resided..

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