A True American Hero – Maj. Kurt Chew-Een Lee, the first Asian-American U.S. Marine Corps officer Dies at 88
What was it like to be a Chinese Man serving in the US Marine Corps, fighting against the Communist Chinese troops during the Korean War? I can only imagine the challenges Major Lee confronted among his own people. Back in the 1940’s we as Americans were perhaps not as culturally sensitive, nor did everyone place diversity–the strength of our nation–as something as important as we do today.
Inside his unit, Lee faced racial slurs like “Chinese laundry” or “The Chinaman.” But the source of his discrimination proved to be crucial in saving the lives of his fellow Marines.
I wonder how I would handle not just the racial slurs, but the distrust and perhaps even suspicion of my colleagues in life and death situations as war. Could the fraternity of his fellow Marines overcome the bigotry of certain individuals with whom he served?