Making sense of Vincent Chin

Julie Huynh, #46376331

The first thing I wanted to know from the start of this film was, how were they able to get footage of Ebens and his wife for this film? Ebens and Nitz were charged but yet why were they so willing to be featured in a film where they were convicted? Ebens and his wife, when interviewed, were pretty upfront about their feelings and didn’t hold very much back.  I learned eventually that this was due to the area they’re coming from, in which they feel like they didn’t do anything wrong per se and this whole incident was a misfortune.

Watching the pair respond and react to what had been happening to them makes you pretty dumbfounded. Hearing that Mr. Ebens was more remorseful about missing Father’s Day than committing murder was a mind-warping one, and it was also a bit disgusting to see his wife treating the media’s focus on Vincent Chin’s mother as a “parade” that was become a harassment to her family.

I had heard about the Vincent Chin case before in a previous Asian American class.  Hearing stories about incidents like these, and them going by unjustified, is infuriating the first time; however, I have to admit, I am rarely shocked because I just feel that there are so many Vincent Chin-like cases that have occurred behind our doors. Or even under our noses but people are able to turn the other cheek.

Hearing more recent incidents in the news that are reminiscent of the Vincent Chin case doesn’t make me feel any better towards the way in which our American society allows the justice system to operate. It doesn’t make any sense to not even punish a police officer who commits a crime. It doesn’t make sense to relieve someone for killing innocent people. And yet, it boggles me that something is allowing for these pardons to occur. Who is responsible, I want to know? I don’t believe any one person is, but I feel that as many factors as there are in contributing to unjustified outcomes, there MUST BE as many ways to prevent it and ensure that a case does not go by unjustified. Yet, it still happens and I would love to know how and why.

The one other thing that ignited a lot of feeling in me during the film was the instance when Mrs. Chin recounted the experience she and her husband had at an American baseball game, in which they were forced out by numbers of white people acting racist towards them. It was not only angering, but extremely sad for me because Mrs. Chin had mentioned that her husband was always wanting to go to new places and explore them with his wife. It’s saddening because for a family like them, they’re already alone — a minority trying to make a living, an American dream — and they ask for perfectly simple, innocent things like wanting to try new things in a country where they’re treated as strangers. To have your pursuit for happiness be taken away like that, when what you ask for is so simple… is heartbreaking.

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