33 Years after Vincent Chin’s Death, Our Common Cause Must be Racial Justice For All

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A screen-capture from the movie “Who Killed Vincent Chin?”

33 years ago today, Vincent Chin died at the age of 27.

Chin had been in a coma for four days after being attacked by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. The two Chrysler factory workers reportedly said to Chin, “it’s because of you little motherfuckers that we’re out of work” — a reference to competition between American and Japanese auto workers, although Chin was Chinese American — moments before the father-and-son team fatally bludgeoned Chin with a baseball bat.

Justice was never found in the hate crime murder of Vincent Chin. Ebens and Nitz paid a $3000 fine for killing Chin. Neither man ever served a day in jail. (To learn more about Vincent Chin’s murder, check out Who Killed Vincent Chin?)

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Remember 32 years of Vincent Chin with #IAmVincentChin! Help trend it!

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32 years ago, Chinese American Vincent Chin was celebrating his bachelor party in Detroit on June 19, 1982. That’s when he got into a fight and was fatally beaten by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz with a baseball bat. The two men — both White — hurled racial slurs like “jap” and “chink” at Chin, blaming him for the loss of Detroit auto industry jobs to overseas Japanese manufacturers.

Vincent Chin died in hospital on June 23rd, 1982, four days before he was scheduled to marry his fiancee.

Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz received a bare slap on the wrist for the crime. The cost for the murder of an Asian American man: 3 years of probation and $3000 in court fees.

Vincent Chin’s case was a watershed moment for the  Asian American community. Chin’s death terrified because it was proof that racism swept all of us with the same brush, and that we could no longer hide behind the walls of ethnic factionalism. The Vincent Chin tragedy was about all of us.

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