Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Who deserves to be an American?

My father's gravestone is lined on three sides with Chinese characters, most of which I, as an ABC (American-born Chinese), cannot read. The words I can make out say that Wilbur Kuotung Woo was born in Guangdong province in a village called Ngow Mo Leng, or Cow's Hair Ridge.

I wish I knew what inspired such a rustic name; I should have asked him years ago on a trip to the Woo ancestral village. But I did take note of a water buffalo wading in a rice paddy a hundred feet from the mud-floor house in which Dad was born. "There, but for the grace of God ...," I thought, sweat dripping from my every pore as I

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