The Growing Poverty Crisis That Everyone Is Ignoring

Sameth Mell’s family at High Point Housing in Seattle circa 1990




Conventional wisdom says Asian Americans are prospering economically, but that’s not the whole story.


Sameth is infuriated to see little to no U.S. recognition of these struggles or the resilience and resistance of his people. Especially since it was America’s secret bombing of Cambodia under the Nixon administration during the Vietnam War that lead to the rise of the Khmer Rouge which executed his mother’s family, Sameth believes the government owes the refugee community that resulted. “You got some shit that you did to our country and you have the audacity to act like you can’t give us resources? You kidding me?” he said. “You bombed my country. You devastated our countryside. You fucked up our politics…You did all this so when we’re over here, you’re still treating us like shit. Give us the resources so that we can actually rebuild our pride in ourselves and our community.”


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