Another historical election

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A few months ago while in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I noticed quite a few stares in my direction as I exited a restaurant alongside my friend and his father. They're black. I'm biracial — Korean and white. I jokingly asked my friend if people in Louisiana don't like Asian people or something. He laughed and replied, "No, Kim. This is the South."

That day came to mind when this headline splashed across media outlets: "A New Orleans East attorney becomes the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress."

And while U.S. Rep.-Elect Joseph Cao is still celebrating what shaped up to be a major political upset, members of the Vietnamese community are upbeat about the historical feat achieved in New Orleans, a place many thought would not let the old guard die.

"People look at us as backwards people," said the Rev. Vien Nguyen of Mary Queen of Viet Nam Church. "Even my friends from California who came to help after Hurricane Katrina. I called them last night and said, 'Na na, boo boo, look at us now!'"

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