Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “CAPAC Marks the 30th Anniversary of Vincent Chin’s MurderG” from our friends at CAPAC (Facebook, Twitter).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2012
Contact: Dan Lindner, 202.225.5464
Washington, DC – Saturday, June 23rd, marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. Chin, a Chinese American, was the victim of a hate crime during a period of strong anti-Japanese sentiment in Detroit, Michigan. While celebrating his upcoming wedding, Chin was assaulted and beaten to death with a baseball bat by two autoworkers who blamed Chin for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. Neither attacker served a day in jail for their crimes, prompting outrage from the community that helped spark the emergence of a pan-ethnic Asian Pacific American identity and movement.
To mark this somber anniversary, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), introduced a House Resolution (H.Res 698) recognizing the significance of the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death. Members of the caucus also released the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chair: “Thirty years ago, the murder of Vincent Chin and the denial of justice for his family brought together a diverse coalition of people who chose to stand against hate. Vincent’s death became the catalyst that helped forge the Asian Pacific American movement we have today, and it ultimately led to the creation of much needed entities like our Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The House resolution I introduced on the significance of Vincent’s death expresses how profoundly this incident impacted our community and our country. We must never forget Vincent’s story or the need to vigilantly combat xenophobia, scapegoating, and prejudice. Thirty years later, many of these challenges remain, but we now have a much stronger voice to speak out against these injustices and reaffirm the values that our nation stands for.”
Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), CAPAC Civil Rights Chair: “The tragic death of Vincent Chin thirty years ago was a catalyst for people from all communities to rally and fight against racially motivated hatred. On the 30th anniversary of Vincent’s death, we should recognize how far we have come and how far we still have to go.”
Congressman John Conyers (MI-14): “In the years after the senseless death of Vincent Chin, the federal government continues to take decisive steps to protect its residents from hate violence. Even so our communities are still plagued by divisions which can yield tragic incidents. I hope that the memory of Vincent Chin will inspire us to overcome prejudice by working toward our nation’s promise of justice and equality.”
Congressman Hansen Clarke (MI-13): “Thirty years ago, Vincent Chin was murdered as a result of anti-Asian sentiment. Unfortunately, xenophobia and hate crimes continue to be part of our daily lives in the U.S. Yet given the crises of unemployment and poverty that exist in metro Detroit and across the country, we must work together to build a more resilient economy and a stronger nation rather than letting ourselves be divided by fear and hate. This anniversary is a reminder to all of us of the dangers of racial prejudice and fear-mongering. It must also serve as a call to action to work towards real solutions for our nation and unite against xenophobia and prejudice.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “Vincent Chin’s death and the eventual acquittal of his attackers was a watershed moment for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Regardless of ethnic and socioeconomic background, AAPIs came together with a heightened awareness of the shared experience of racism and discrimination. 30 years after his fatal attack, Vincent Chin remains a contemporary martyr and rallying point for the AAPI Movement, and his memory inspires us to combat post-September 11 profiling, discrimination, hate crimes, and cultural and linguistic barriers faced in schools, hospitals, and voting booths. Vincent Chin’s memory unites us in a common and tireless mission to forge a more perfect union.”
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), CAPAC Whip: “It may be comforting to believe that in the 30 years since Vincent Chin’s death, we have overcome the hatred and intolerance that have sometimes infected our communities, and that those who commit these acts face certain justice. Sadly, it is not so. There are still too many in our nation who use race, religion, or sexual orientation as excuses for verbal or physical violence, and others who defend imposing their pernicious views through force, threats, and intimidation. America has long stood as a symbol of justice and tolerance. This anniversary should remind us that those are distinctions that demand constant renewal, and that tolerance and justice do not happen of their own accord; they require our vigilance and our commitment.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09), CAPAC Health Taskforce Chair: “It has been 30 years since the tragic murder of Vincent Chin. His death was based on ignorance and hate and the utter failure of the judicial system to hold his killers accountable, made a great tragedy even worse. But his death also spurred a political awakening of the Asian American Pacific Islander communities across the country and the anniversary of his death is an important opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and how far we have to go.”
Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AS): “The murder of Vincent Chin will always signify the extreme racism and violence that robbed a young American man of his life and the lack of justice carried out against his murderers. On this 30th anniversary of Vincent’s death, let us be vigilant against racism and bullying which stand against the true spirit of our diverse Nation.”
Text of House Resolution H. RES. 698
Recognizing the significance of the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 21, 2012
Ms. CHU (for herself, Mr. HONDA, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Ms. LEE of California, Mr. CLARKE of Michigan, Mr. FILNER, Mr. SABLAN, Ms. HANABUSA, Mr. BECERRA, Ms. RICHARDSON, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Ms. MCCOLLUM, and Mr. CONYERS) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Recognizing the significance of the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death.
Whereas June 23, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Vincent Jen Chin;
Whereas Chin, a United States citizen of Chinese descent, lived in Michigan during an economic recession when factories were being closed and workers were being laid off, leading some to blame Japanese imports for the challenges facing the United States automobile industry;
Whereas the economic challenges in Detroit resulted in strong anti-Japanese sentiments, including acts of vandalism against Japanese cars, threats against Japanese car owners, disparaging signs, and attempts to burn the Japanese flag in protest;
Whereas Chin, who was celebrating his upcoming wedding with friends in the Detroit area, was chased down and beaten to death with a baseball bat by two men who accused him of being responsible for the loss of automobile manufacturing jobs in the United States;
Whereas Chin’s killers were found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years of probation and a $3,000 fine, never serving a day in jail for Chin’s murder;
Whereas the tragedy of Chin’s death became a primary catalyst for a unified, pan-ethnic Asian Pacific American movement and united people from all communities to fight against hate; and
Whereas the lessons of Chin’s death still hold critical relevance today as we address the ongoing challenges of hate crimes, profiling, xenophobia, and bullying: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives recognizes the significance of the 30th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death as an important time to reflect on the dangers of xenophobia and scapegoating.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.