Nathan Schultz Blue Collar and Buddha

This documentary is a piece focused on the integration of asian refugees into a midwestern town and the strife that they encountered. The film is focused around a buddist temple in the midwestern conserative town that has been a target for domestic teorrism such as multiple pipe bomb attacks. The documentary is mainly told from the perspective of the people of the town being interviewed “in the wild ” on opinions on the Laos people living there. The focus is on the large amount of racism that exists for the older residents of the town. There is even a portion where they interview younger folks and they seem not to care. While on the other hand the people at a bar are vehemently against the refugees. 

The film also focuses on the religion of the people who are mostly Buddhist and who have a different view of religion than the Christians of the community they live in. They have a more pluralist perspective of religion and culture than any others, the example of this is seen in how they talk about they are both a Christian and a Buddhist at the same time. While others are evangelizing people to become full-blown Christians. This film was interesting in the after-effects of refugees from the Vietnam war and surrounding conflicts to see what it was really like for these refugees.

2 thoughts on “Nathan Schultz Blue Collar and Buddha

  1. While I agree with your post overall, I think I might have some disagreements in terms of the purported demographics of the town. I don’t think it was ever stated by the documentary that Rockford was a majority-conservative town. Also, as we can see throughout the video, far from just the elderly members of this town had issues with the influx of Laotian refugees coming into the community. While the bias against them may have been more strident in older folks, plenty of young people made ignorant comments, too. This, in my opinion, is one of the things that makes this documentary so powerful: the fact that it wasn’t some conservative, old, minority. In proving this fact, I think the documentary does an excellent job of showing just what the average American town thought about immigration not so long ago. There was once a time when it was a “hot take” to say you didn’t think immigrants were “all that bad.”

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