HomeChinese AmericanChin Am veteran shows scars to “prove his patriotism”
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Chin Am veteran shows scars to “prove his patriotism”

From Twitter

U.S. Army veteran Lee Wong, 69, lifted his shirt during an unexpected speech on the increase of anti-AAPI sentiment at a local trustee meeting, revealing the scars of his service to the nation, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“Is this patriotic enough?” Wong asked.

Wong told the Enquirer that neither his speech nor the revelation of his scar was planned. “The timing was right in light of what’s happening in this country,” he said.

In his speech, Wong spoke about his experiences with racism throughout the U.S.: people who have told him that he isn’t “patriotic enough,” a father and son who pulled at the corners of their eyes when they saw Wong at a grocery store and being beaten up on the streets of Chicago, Ill. because of his race and the lack of justice when he took his attackers to court and they walked free.

“I’m not ashamed to walk around anymore,” Wong said as he held his shirt up so his scar could be visible. “Before I felt inhibited. People looked at me strange and dared to question my loyalty to this country. I don’t look American enough.”

Wong served in the military for 20 years, but many people still called him “unpatriotic,” questioning his citizenship in America. “In that moment, I don’t know what came over me. I just knew I had to say something,” Wong told the Enquirer.

Many have been inspired by Wong’s words and story, as well as impassioned on his behalf, angry and disappointed at the need for Wong to “prove” his American-ness.

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