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THE ONG DYNASTYGROWING UP CHINESE-AMERICAN

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Her family's heritage may be one of the oldest in the city, but were her son to run for office "he would still be judged as representing all Asians," Ong-Sakata says. "We won't lose that until we are accepted as equals, and we haven't come that far."

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"My dad always said you have to know your culture to be a better man," recalls Fred Ong.

"A lot of Chinese Americans don't know how to play the game, but my father did, and he played it."

Profits from their grocery store were counted in pennies, and their first child was born in the back room.

"My children are completely American. That's how they see themselves. But others look at them and still see `Chinese.'"

"When the client learned her last name, they called her boss and asked, `Is she Oriental? We don't work with Orientals here, send someone else.'"

"We wear the label `successful,' but what does that really mean?

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Kathleen Stanton