Have you ever heard of Vincent Chin? Many students of this generation are not familiar with the name Vincent Chin. As Asian Americans growing up in the United States we were not taught the history of our people in school. We did not learn about Asian Americans or how they contributed to the shaping of our nation. What we were taught was American history through the eyes of a majority white nation. This generation of Asian Americans do not realize the oppression our parents faced trying to make the American dream a reality. The dream for Asians was never on the same footing as what we know as the “American Dream.” We fail to realize or question that the country that is now our home was capable of such unfairness and hate. So who was Vincent Chin?
Vincent Chin was an Asian American hanging out at a local bar in Detroit. That night on June 23, 1982 was his bachelor party. Vincent Chin was murdered that night. That night rallied Asian-Americans together across the country. Vincent Chin was murdered for looking “Asian”. He was not Japanese but because of the color of his skin and the way he looked, the two men at the bar hunted him down, hit his head with a baseball bat until he lay dead on the pavement. They blamed him for Japan’s increasing success and America’s decline in the auto industry. They blamed him for losing their jobs at. Vincent Chin was a victim of a hate crime. These two men convicted of Vincent’s death did face any jail time.
Before we can say that hate crimes no longer impact our lives, we must come to realize the success of those who advocated for our rights. In the documentary, “Vincent Who?” we see that these two white Detroit men were cleared of all charges. This causes a first ever pan-Asian American civil rights movement. In this documentary we can see the reactions from Vincent’s family and those involved in the case. The outrage and cries was a wake-up call for protest for Asian- American justice. This event should not focus on the crime of these two murderers but the major turning point Asian American History. This movement affected all Asian Americans no matter how diverse and opened up the rights for all humans in America. This really motivated and developed the way for a Diverse America.