Here Lai’s Our Truth: DNA Gateway

DNA. It seems simple, doesn’t it? Just A’s with T’s and C’s with G’s, right? Wrong. DNA is a complex combination of base pairs that gave me green eyes and gave you your hair (or lack of hair), but would you believe me if I told you it gives people an opportunity to improve their lives?

My prior posts have all touched upon different experiences within our community, especially people’s experience when coming to America. As I mentioned previously, there were laws passed that allowed Amerasian people to come over from Vietnam to America, but there are countless others still in Vietnam. These people are barely making ends meet because of employment discrimination and social prejudice. They are searching for a way to come to America, but without proof that their fathers were American soldiers, it’s a hard task.

The Amerasian community in Vietnam often reaches out to the community in America for aid. Recently, I have spoken to a great member of the community who helps people back in Vietnam. She got the opportunity to come to America when she was younger and now she has established herself here. In her free time, when she isn’t with her kids or in the office, she is raising money to buy DNA kits for people back in Vietnam. Yes, I’m talking about 23andMe kits, the kits that require you to spit for 20 minutes straight to get a report telling you that you’re 0.0006% whole milk. People usually take this test for fun, but I recently learned that these kits can provide an opportunity to connect families and give people opportunities to come over to America. In my next interview, I will be speaking in depth with someone who has experience with distributing DNA kits and how, in their opinion, these kits help the community.