Korean-American Harvard Student Joseph Choe Calls Out Donald Trump

Joseph Choe struck again, calling out Donald Trump for criticizing the United State’s military support in South Korea.

On October 12, Joseph Choe, 20, a Harvard student, questioned Donald Trump at the No Labels Problem Solver Convention in New Hampshire.

“Basically, you said that South Korea takes advantage of the United States in terms of the defense spending on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “I just want to get the facts straight.”

However, Trump interrupted him and asked him if he was from South Korea.

“I’m not,” Choe said. “I was born in Texas, raised in Colorado.” His response prompted a few snickers from the audience, although others cheered.

“No matter where I am from, I would like to get the facts straight. And I want to tell you that that is not true. South Korea paid $861 million.”

Yet Trump cut him off and stated the money in repayment was miniscule in the large scheme, before moving on.

“People tend to believe that what influential people like Trump say even if they make wrong claims, is true,” Choe said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency. “I just wanted to make it known that [Trump’s claims] are wrong.”

Jennifer Lee, a sociology professor at the University of California, Irvine, believes that Trump’s question was problematic.

“It seems like this innocuous question, like people are just asking your identity,” Lee said, “but they’re really challenging this idea of who is American, which is, at the core, an offensive question. It’s this persistent perception that Asian-Americans are not American, that they are perpetual foreigners.”

Meanwhile, Choe had already been the center of attention after calling out Abe, Japan’s prime minister, for failing to acknowledge Japan’s war crimes against comfort women.

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