AP: Detroit honors Vincent Chin, Asian American killed in 1982
By Corey Williams/AP
DETROIT (AP) — Decades before Chinese immigrant Yao Pan Ma was attacked while collecting cans in New York and Thai American Vicha Ratanapakdee was fatally assaulted in San Francisco, Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat in Detroit by two white men who never served jail time.
Forty years later — and amid a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans — Detroit has partnered with The Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance & Rededication Coalition on a four-day commemoration to honor civil rights efforts that began with Chin’s death and declare the city’s commitment against such violence.
“Although hate crimes existed, Vincent Chin did bring out a flash point for Asian Americans,” Stanley Mark, senior staff attorney at the New York-based Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said, calling Chin’s death “a seminal moment among Asian Americans.”
Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese immigrant, was at the Fancy Pants Tavern strip club in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park for his bachelor party on June 19, 1982, when a fight erupted. Federal authorities said two autoworkers blamed Chin for layoffs at car factories due to Japanese imports. After Chin left the club, the two men tracked him down at a fast food eatery and attacked him, authorities said. Chin later died at a hospital.