Jun. 24th, 2011

azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
I've never seen this documentary, but I'm planning on watching it this weekend. The story, for those who don't know:


On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin was enjoying his bachelor party at a club in Detroit, MI. Ronald Ebens, a white Chrysler employee who had recently been laid off, and his stepson Michael Nitz also happened to be there. Mistaking Chin for Japanese, they blamed “motherfuckers like you” for the loss of their job and, later, beat him mercilessly with a baseball bat. Before slipping into a coma, Chin whispered his final words: “It’s not fair.” He died twenty-nine years ago today, on June 23, 1982.

Ebens and Nitz were arrested and tried for manslaughter. They were sentenced to three years probation, a $3,000 fine, and $780 in court fees. Neither man ever served jail time. The jury found “no racial motivation” for the murder.

Chin’s death and the lenient sentencing of his murderers led to a nationwide coalition of Asian American activist groups, becoming what journalist Helen Zia called a “watershed moment” for Asian groups throughout the United States. Where previously there had been separate groups for Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, etc., the death of Vincent Chin united Asian Americans to form a pan-ethnic coalition to protest the injustices and racism that Asians faced.

In recent years Vincent Chin has largely been forgotten among the general public. But we must remember him, his name, his legacy. Remember the tragedy of his death, but also the silver lining: the change that it has brought, and the change that is still yet to come. We must continue to carry on his torch and continue fighting for justice.

I left this comment on [livejournal.com profile] neo_prodigy's blog as a response to his timely post on the movie:

I was a little kid when that happened, and I never knew about Vincent Chin until decades later. But I was already living through the same hate that killed him. Other kids used to call me "j*p" and "ch**k" interchangeably, and when I tried to tell them I was American, they'd just laugh at me and tell me it didn't matter because we were all the same. Anything they said to me or did to me was OK because I was responsible for WWII and "taking American jobs".

That was a terrible time. I think things are a little better for Asian-Americans today, but I'll never forget it, or stop worrying that it will happen again.

I also want to add that the experience really forged my determination to not just care about my own small group, but much wider ones as well. When I got older and started getting treated better, I noticed people trying to pigeonhole me in certain ways, asking me why I didn't do more specifically "Japanese" type things. I reacted very stubbornly against that. I care about Chinese-Americans because I was told every day growing up that I might as well be Chinese. I care about Vietnamese because I've been called a "g**k". If you fuck with them, you fuck with me, basically. And I soon expanded that to all racialized minorities or people of color. If people tried to tell me Asians were the "model minority", not like those troublesome black people, or scary Arabs, and so on, I refused to accept that.  Yes, we're very, very different people, but we're all in the same boat.

Today, Japanese-Americans are a fairly well-off group demographically, but we have a long memory, and that's why groups like the Japanese-American Citizens League take up issues of Islamophobic profiling, and why the Asian-American Legal Advocacy Center has joined the legal fight against Georgia's anti-Latino HB 87.

VIncent Who? is available online now, for free, all through the rest of the month and into July. You can watch it directly from the front page of the website at
azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
At this, the closing stages of writing, I added snippets of dialogue to the chapter numbers we have so far. I doubt these will make it to the final version as chapter titles; they're just a way for us to maintain an intuitive feel for each chapter as we go back and tweak some things here and there. I thought I'd post them here as a big teaser. Some of the dialogue snippets are mundane, some are bizarre, but they're all very significant. I have no idea what impression they give of our book! You tell me!

Chapter 01“All together now, boys”
Chapter 02“Good riddance!”
Chapter 03“Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.”
Chapter 04“Where the hell did you get it?”
Chapter 05“You can't buy Ecstacy in Muff”
Chapter 06“It's a family thing...”
Chapter 07“Burn him!”
Chapter 08“Tell me to stop.”
Chapter 09“Fuck Notre Dame”
Chapter 10“...there will be many lights in the darkness...”
Chapter 11“You were doing everything right for me.”
Chapter 12“Kilkenny's always winning.”
Chapter 13“Walk backwards. Very slowly.”
Chapter 14“There is nothing you can say to justify this!”
Chapter 15“You still guard the old ways.”
Chapter 16“A woman did this to you!”
Chapter 17“So I'm your ferryman, am I?”
Chapter 18“Tell me about Michael.”
Chapter 19“I loved him too much…”
Chapter 20“We're running out of time.”


azn_jack_fiend: (Default)

August 2011

 1 2 345 6
7 89 1011 12 13

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:49 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios