Anti-Asian rhetoric, fueled by Trump and others, were an influence on the shootings that took place in Atlanta, that is clear. But it's been part of our history for a very long time. A local official in Ohio used his platform this week to fight the bigotry. His remarks were shared widely on social media and the video has been viewed millions of times.
During a trustee meeting in West Chester, trustee Lee Wong lifted up his shirt and bared his chest, saying he was sick of Anti-Asian rhetoric that he was seeing in America.
The 69-year-old trustee has been in America for 51 years now. And in that time, he, "put up with a lot of s*** in silence, excuse the language, too afraid to speak out, fearing more abuse and discrimination," Wong said during the Tuesday meeting.
None of it was planned, Wong told the Enquirer on Thursday, while wearing a U.S. Army shirt with his name on it.
"The timing was right in light of what's happening in this country," Wong said.
Unprompted and unplanned, Wong lifted his shirt and showed a series of scars across his chest, announcing he won't tolerate discrimination or racism. Even his fellow trustee members were unaware that he was going to speak.
He said it was more than the shootings that took place in Atlanta killing eight people, including six Asian women. The past year has been particularly difficult for Asian Americans due to things like the coronavirus being called the "China Virus" as well as the election season.
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 https://t.co/3nCwTlVGxD pic.twitter.com/0R1TX3MTtp
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) March 26, 2021