by Christopher Cheung
For Wes Jang, the fights started in the late-1960s when he was eight years old. It usually began when two or three of the other kids called him a “chink.” Jang would push back or call his antagonists a name in return. Before he knew it, Jang would be in the middle of a circle, and fists would fly.
He often got punched in the face before the schoolyard supervisors hauled everyone to the principal’s office. They’d all get the strap for fighting. The teachers didn’t think anything of it. “Kids being kids,” explained Jang.
This was a normal experience for Jang, even though his family had deep roots in Canada. His parents, and even one grandmother, were Canadian-born. His dad helped build aircraft during the war and one grandfather worked for the government.