This is from an opinion piece originally published on NBC Asian America.
When I heard it, I couldn’t believe it.
This past week, at a debate in Illinois between the two candidates for the U.S. Senate, Representative Tammy Duckworth — whose mother is Thai and late father was American — mentioned that her family had served in the American military since the Revolutionary War. Tammy carried on that tradition; she became a pilot for the U.S. Army, was deployed to Iraq, and lost both her legs when insurgents shot down her helicopter.
The correct answer to Congresswoman Duckworth’s comment about her family’s military service is, “Wow. That’s amazing. Thank you, and thanks to your family.”
Instead, her opponent, Senator Mark Kirk, said, “I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”
In other words: you can’t have Thai heritage and trace your American…
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