Mud Ducks, Murder & Chai Soua Vang
Like many people across the country, I've been following the Chai Vang murder case. Vang was convicted today of killing 6 hunters in northern Wisconsin last year. Vang trespassed on their property, was confronted about it and ended up killing them (most of the hunters were unarmed and shot in the back).
Vang's (who is Hmong) defense was that the hunters made racist comments to him and he felt threatened and therefore the murders were in self defense. To prove this, Vang's lawyers tried to claim that the term "mud duck" was a racist phrase meaning someone who wasn't white. One of the victims who lived through the attack claims that this is simply a phrase used to refer to people from Minnesota.
Major media outlets reported this as if it was an actual question. Larry Oakes, from the reliably liberal Minneapolis Star Tribune even writes:
the prosecution’s own witnesses will say Vang, a Hmong American, was called a “tree rat,” a “mud duck” and other, obscene names.
"Mud duck" is an obscene name? Really? Since when? As a Wisconsinite, I know damn well that a mud duck simply refers to those folks unfortunate enough to live in Minnesota. Just as I know that a FIB is nothing more than a native of Illinois.
In the media's defense, "mud duck" isn't used nearly as often as "FIB". And, it's not even used in all of Wisconsin. James, for example, an eastern Wisconsinite, had never heard of it before. I'm from central Wisconsin, however, and I grew up with the term.
But it does aggravate me that the media reports on the case mention the debate on the meaning of the phrase but don't cite any evidence that "mud duck" is, indeed, simply a term for 'Sotans. Maybe reporters are simply too lazy to do a few Google searches. If they did, they'd quickly discover that Wisconsinites, Iowans and North Dakotans have referred to their neighbors as "mud ducks" for years. Heck, even Minnesotans are in on it. Witness the Twin City baseball powerhouse, Al's Mud Ducks.
I think the national media was determined to make this case about racism in the heartland and the tragedy that, as Vang's mom said, "could have been prevented if we could only learn to respect one another." Unfortunately, not all the facts in this case support that conclusion. But, as we've learned over the past few years, why let the facts stand in the way of a good story?
Posted by at September 17, 2005 12:33 AM
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|# March 8th, 2007 5:03 PM Violet|
|how do you feel about the meaning of "mud ducks" now? who gives a damn right?... someone else is now dead and i wonder if the person that killed cha feels good about it and can sleep at night with himself for doing something like that. what an idiot. you know what's sad most of all about the murders in wisconsin, all of them. how is it that general vang pao has to apoligize for the whole hmong race on behalf of chai vang's doing. well i didn't commit the crime, i believe it didn't need to happen and i also believe that i shouldn't have to apologize for something i didn't do or get punished for it. so to the neighbor that slashed my tire and threatened to bomb it if i parked in front of their house, just so you know the street is government property and if you're gonna be rascist towards hmong people DON'T LIVE IN THE CITIES! |