He died 40 years ago because of racism
Japanese cars are quite popular in the United States. They were gaining prominence among the American public forty years ago. They were generally smaller and more fuel efficient than the larger American cars. It caused some racism and hate among certain segments of the population, especially autoworkers in Detroit.
A young Chinese American man named Vincent Chin was beaten and killed by American autoworkers because he was of Asian descent. They must have thought he was Japanese.
Asian American and civil rights communities are holding events which are called: Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance and Rededication.
Some major events are being held in Detroit near where Chin was murdered forty years ago. The Detroit Institute of Arts will be the location of film screenings, panel discussions, public art, and performances to remember Vincent Chin.
Vincent Chin 40th Commemorative Film Series showing documentaries
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - Friday, June 17, 2022, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. ET
National Conversation on Asian Americans, America, and Democracy Live Program
Saturday, June 18, 2022m 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
Asian American Arts, Community & Culture Live Program of Entertainment
Saturday, June 18, 2022, 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. ET
Community Dialogues: Remembrance and Rededication Panel Discussions
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET
Interfaith Remembrance Ceremony
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (location TBD)
Vincent Chin was born on May 18, 1955, in China. He was living in an orphanage when he was adopted in 1961 by a Chinese couple living in America, Chin graduated from high school in 1973 and studied at Control Data Institute. He became employed as a draftsman at an automotive supplier company and worked weekends as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant.
He was engaged to be married and was having a bachelor party with some of his friends on the night of June 19, 1982. Also present at the club were two white men, a foreman at Chrysler and his stepson. The younger man had lost his job at Chrysler.
The two white men apparently assumed that Chin and his friends were of Japanese heritage although they were Chinese Americans. They were angry at the Japanese for their problems. They blamed Chin and his friends for causing the loss of work.
There was a confrontation, and the men were all thrown out of the club. They parted ways with Chin and his friends ending up at a McDonald's. The white men drove around looking for them. They beat Chin severely with a baseball bat. Chin was taken to the hospital and died four days later.
It was obviously hate and racism which caused Chin's death. The two men who committed the murder were given a $3,000 fine but no prison time. The murder at the time did not make national news, but Asian Americans were outraged. They men admitted they were guilty, and there were witnesses to the beating.
With the recent racism toward Americans of Asian descent because of certain politicians and their rhetoric about China and COVID, hate crimes have become a current matter for concern. Many Asian Americans have suffered from racism and racist rants since COVID.
It is hoped that these events which are held to remember Vincent Chin will bring renewed attention to the problems of racism and hate in the United States.
Asian Americans remember the injustice and the savage killing of Vincent Chin. They want to remember the young man who was the victim of racism and a miscarriage of justice.
[More information on the story of Vincent Chin and these events to commemorate his life may be obtained here: https://www.ocanational.org/]