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Video of Lee Wong Showing His U.S. Military Scars Viewed Over 2 Million Times



Video of an Asian American township official lifting up his shirt to show the scars he received from serving in the U.S. military while delivering an anti-racism message has gone viral.

Lee Wong, 69, surprised everyone during Tuesday’s meeting of the West Chester township in Cincinnati, Ohio, when he showed the tangible marks on his chest of his service to the U.S.

As he did so, he announced that he would not tolerate discrimination or racism.

Following the killing of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia and amid a spike in attacks on the Asian American community, Wong spoke of his own experiences of discrimination.

He described how he was “inhibited” because people looked at him strangely and questioned his loyalty to the country.

“I’m going to show you what patriotism, the questions about patriotism looks like,” he said as he unbuttoned his shirt.

Lee Wong, an elected official in West Chester, Ohio & @USArmy veteran with 20-years of service, took his shirt off during a town hall meeting on Wednesday and revealed scars he received during his service. “Is this patriot enough?” he asked #StopAsianHate

— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) March 26, 2021

“Here is my proof. This is sustained from my service in the U.S. military. Is this patriot enough? I’m not ashamed to walk around any more,” he added.

He described how when he was once in Chicago, he was beaten up because of his race and even took the case to court, but the attackers were not punished.

“For too long, we have—I have—put up with a lot of s*** in silence, excuse the language, too afraid to speak out, fearing more abuse and discrimination.”

A clip of his passionate address has been widely shared on social media, where it has been viewed more than two million times since it was posted on Wednesday.

‘I had to say something’

Wong later told The Cincinnati Enquirer that his speech had not been planned. “The timing was right in light of what’s happening in this country,” he said.

“In that moment, I don’t know what came over me. I just knew I had to say something,” Wong said, adding that he was so committed to the U.S. that he had joined the army “to learn about Americanism and democracy.”

The Atlanta murders have highlighted the vitriol that Asian Americans face.

Democratic lawmakers and Asian American leaders have linked the rise of attacks on the community to anti-Asian rhetoric from the Donald Trump administration. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, derogatory terms like the “China virus” and “kung flu” are also said to have added to a climate of racial tension.

Wong, who is a Republican although elections in his township are nonpartisan, said he was pleased with the response to his speech.

“People thank me for my service. People are glad I spoke,” Wong said, “West Chester is a diverse community.”

A sign during am “Asian Solidarity March” rally against anti-Asian hate is shown on March 18, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A township official in Ohio spoke of his experience with racism in a clip that went viral.
Kerem Yucel/Getty Images



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