In 1998, the original founding of CAAR occurred after 92 KQRS spewed hateful and racist comments about the Hmong community. When reporting about how a 13-year-old Hmong girl from Wisconsin gave birth and then hid the corpse, KQ morning show host, Tom Barnard, stated that Hmong should “assimilate or hit the goddamn road.” When he reported that the teen mother could face a $10,000 fine for trying to hide the newborn baby’s body, Barnard said, “That’s a lot of eggrolls!” A grassroots group of community members and organizations that valued diversity and saw a vision to end racism came together. After four months of protesting, pressuring advertisers to pull ads from KQ and standing firm on their demands from KQ, CAAR and ABC/Disney – which owns KQ – agreed to the following: KQ issued and published an apology; KQ removed the racist character “Tak” from the show; KQ published its nondiscrimination policy; and KQ aired a segment about Hmong history and Hmong contributions to the U.S. front during the Vietnam War.
On March 22, 2011, Clear Channel owned radio station 101.3 KDWB aired a racist parody called “30 Hmongs in a House.” It was a blatantly offensive, inaccurate and racist song about Hmong families, women and teenagers. CAAR and its partner, the Hmong 18 Council, worked for two months to broker a meeting with KDWB about the incident and find a way to address and correct the airing.
CAAR wants to make clear to media entities that it is wrong to use the public airwaves to spread negative ethnic and racial stereotypes. We want to see real policy change from stations that includes prohibiting the airing of racist or offensive ethnic or cultural messages. It is our hope that as a united and multiracial front representing people of all backgrounds, we can end hate speech on the U.S. airwaves.