From when it first entered the news to now, Vincent Chin’s story has not been greatly publicized. Why? I am going to be blunt. Because it is a story about an Asian. But that does not make the story any less important. Once you read this, you will be outraged.
One evening in 1982, Chin was out at his bachelor party at a club in Detroit. Ronald Ebens, a plant superintendent of Chrysler, was later witnessed to have said, “It’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work.” During that time, Detroit had seen massive layoffs in the auto industry due to the increase in Japanese automakers. The fact was, however, Chin was not of Japanese descent and many of the auto companies were relocating outside of the U.S. to reduce labor costs.
Despite the fact, as Michael Nitz, Eben’s stepson, held Chin, Ebens repeatedly struck Chin with a bat. Days later while in the hospital, Chin died due to the injuries from the beatings.
Ebens and Nitz were later convicted of manslaughter, but after a plea bargain it was lowered to second-degree murder. What was worse was that neither served any jail time, but instead were given three years of probation and fined $3000.
Months after, Ebens and Nitz were charged with violating Chin’s civil rights and conspiracy. After many appeals, the men still served no jail time.
Although many have not heard this story, it was an important point which sparked the Asian American civil rights movement. People of all Asian descents were finally identifying themselves as a race: Asian American.
Some argue the meaning of the term Asian American, but what do you think?
And please be sure to check out the filmed titled “Vincent Who?” and check out their website at http://www.vincentwhofilm.com/ for more information.