Vincent Chin And Looking Forward

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Have things gotten better since Vincent Chin's brutal death 30 years ago? I'd like to say yes, but honestly - I just don't know. You can go into small towns across the U.S., a "neighborhood bar", or just be in your car when a cop decides to switch lanes for no apparent reason and roll up on you - all the time feeling on edge - and that you're being targeted in some way or another because of your race and ethnicity.

And not always safe.

Sure, you can make a case that the Phanthavong/Senser trial, or the case of Koua Fong Lee, the students at South Philly High - all of these and more (because these are just a few of the injustices we've seen) - that they are worlds apart from Vincent Chin.

But only if you really want too.

Because you can also make the case that they are leaves from the same tree - if not from the same branch - and that time alone doesn't make things better and that in all reality, our lives, as seen by some, aren't worth any more than what Vincent Chin's was to Ebans and Nitz, his attackers thirty years ago.

What killed Chin, what drove those two men to murder him was the simple fact that we as Asian Americans were not seen as a group of people that belonged, even in our own individual greatness - and that hasn't changed as much as some people want to believe - it hasn't changed as much as I want to believe.

From the workplace and government, to television and film, to even the most simplistic things like ordering food and not getting a receipt that targets your race - people still don't see us as individuals always worthy of getting the same respect and opportunities as everyone else - and that's what needs to change first.

That's what has to change in order to really say that things have gotten better.


APA's For Progress


Bao Phi

Rafu Shimpo

Detroit News