“That the story would be heard and the Hmong deaths would be documented and recognized, that’s why he agreed to do the interview…That what we know has been questioned again and again is not a surprise to him or to me. I agreed to the interview for the same reason - that Radiolab was interested in the Hmong story…We can play the semantics game. We can. But I am not interested. My uncle is not interested. We have lost too much heart and too many people in the process.”
Very powerful segment from the Radiolab podcast “The Fact of the Matter,” broadcast on September 20, 2012. The segment titled “Yellow Rain” features an interview with Eng Yang, a survivor of the Hmong genocide and an official documenter of the Hmong experience for the Thai government, and his translator and niece Kao Kalia Yang, an award-winning author and activist. In the interview, the Yangs were interrogated about the scientific truth of the incident with little respect to their personal experience. The above quote is an excerpt from Kalai’s response after Robert Krulwich trivializes Eng’s experience with yellow rain as “hearsay.”
Kalia published a response to this podcast yesterday titled “The Science of Racism: Radiolab’s Treatment of the Hmong Experience.”
Robert Krulwich issued an apology statement the day after the podcast was published.