TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Video surfaced on Monday (Oct. 18) showing two Chinese men storm out of a restaurant in California after they were angered by Chinese-Americans singing the U.S. national anthem.
In surveillance camera footage of the incident, two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing black masks can be seen entering a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.
About 20 minutes later, cameras inside the restaurant's banquet hall show four or five tables packed with customers, including elected officials and community representatives from cities in southern California. The event was a fundraising dinner held for Mike Fong's (方樹強) campaign for California's 49th Assembly District, reported World Journal.
As is standard protocol at such events, prior to the start of the proceedings, everyone stood up as a woman stood next to an American flag and lead the group in singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner." At that same moment, a camera inside the kitchen pointed toward the cashier counter shows one of the men seen earlier gesturing to his friend to get up and leave.
He then asks a waitress for the check, and she quickly hands it to him. He glances at the bill, starts to open his wallet, but suddenly shuts it, points in the direction where the national anthem is being sung, and quickly walks out of the restaurant.
According to the waitress, both men could be heard speaking Mandarin with a north Chinese accent. As the man was starting to pay the bill, he changed his mind and bitterly complained, "Chinese people singing the American national anthem is so infuriating, we won't pay this bill," before leaving the scene.
The restaurant's owner said the men had ordered about US$100 (NT$2,788) worth of food. In addition to frustration over the monetary loss, he said that he found the men's behavior incomprehensible.
He said he doubted they were trying to get away with a free meal since they barely ate a bite. The owner surmised that the men truly were angered by the patriotic customers.
"These Chinese are all American citizens who were naturalized in the United States. If they can't sing the American national anthem, what can they sing?" asked the owner. He then questioned if the men hate the U.S. so much, why they had come all that way just to "endure hardships and look for anger."