Sunday, April 25, 2021

I get an angry private FB message from a ("woke") stranger for calling an Asian veteran's "stunt" in a town business meeting (merely) "bizarre"

 

Mount Vernon, Ohio, 2012 

There was an incident on Facebook recently with me, and I’ll sketch the background.

On March 23, 2021, a town board trustee Lee Wong, in West Chester township north of Cincinnati, Ohio made a bizarre self-demonstration while making ad-hoc remarks about hostility of some Americans to Asian-Americans, and indeed gave some examples where he and his son had encountered this in person.  He also indicated that he came to the UE at age 18, was beaten up but did not get justice, and then joined the US military, apparently at age 20 in 1971.  He served in the military 20 years.  He did not say which branch or when the battle scars shown to the public were incurred.  They might well have been incurred in Vietnam before the US left in 1975, but this is not certain from the text.  But one main point is that he believed the “validity” of his own service had been challenged by someone’s comments with regard to race.

West Chester Township Board of Trustees Regular Meeting - March 23, 2021 from West Chester on Vimeo.

NBCWashington has a story, which leads to a more detailed story from the Cincinnati paper and also from another from NBC News.

The best way to appreciate the event is to watch the entire Vimeo video, where he starts talking about this at 25 minutes and continues for about 6 minutes.

I happened to see the NBCWashington story March 28 immediately after it was published to Facebook.  Without spending much time on it, I wrote a one-word comment “bizarre”.

I got an angry Facebook message from a female with a name from India, which read “You thought it was bizarre that a man had to show his battle scars to show he is loyal to his country and doesn’t deserve to be discriminated against.  Seriously? You are a disgrace to the GWU. Pathetic.”   GWU refers to George Washington University, where I graduated in 1968.  It’s as if she thought I was a professor there and that she could get me fired???  The message was sent March 28 but I didn't open ut until this morning, April 25.  I don't generally open unsolicited messages from non-friends as many of them are silly and flirtatious. 

GWU Corcoran Hall, 2007


She also did not comment herself on the FB stream.  Perhaps the fact that my one word comment appeared first seemed like a deterrent to others.  One person did reply that I did not fear violence because I am white (I am, I guess that’s apparent from my FB picture).  One person commented further down that the thread that the speaker had acted like a “drama queen” and that drew similar negative replies.

The one-word comment was a first reaction.  Had I watched the entire video first I might have felt differently.  On balance, it is unusual to undress oneself in public to show ugly wounds, in a business meeting.  That’s a first reaction.  

Activism where involvement of my own body is expected (by implication) has always been a sensitive matter for me.  Look at the posts about "Ice Bucket Challenge" and "Be Brave and Shave" on Aug 26. 2014 and Nov. 8, 2009. So a sudden "stunt" like Mr. Wong's suggests that others should be willing to join in with some sort of visible personal sacrifice if the oppression of a group is strong enough.  It seems to demand it. If those "pharisees" visible from their "much speaking" online don't personally go along with this expectation, then by default (in the view of the Left) they are making themselves oppressors because they are indirectly implying they really don't care about what others do with their speech -- so the "critical theory" reasoning goes. 

There is an intrusiveness, however hypothetical, to this whole thing that I will cover soon on my DADTNotes blog.

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