The Case of Vincent Chin

Megan Ly | 52919361

This is injustice at its best. The case of Vincent Chin is one which symbolizes the growing unity and solidarity among the Asian American community and tells of a story of racial injustice in America. I live in a society where murderers like Ron Eben are dismissed and given the freedom to roam the streets of America after taking a man’s life. I am utterly upset and disgusted, but not the least surprised. I live in a society that is often filtered through the lens of white and blackness; white being a color of superiority and goodness and black a color of mischief, thus ignoring the reality that we are not the color of our skin. Vincent Chin was just your average guy, with an average job, and living an average life. The only thing that separates him from the “norm” is the color of his skin. Chin was subjugated to racial discrimination and injustice because he was Asian American. I believe that this particular case reinforces this ideology of race and how race can be a determining factor in how one is treated and essentially, in the case of Vincent Chin, how one is not treated. For example, Vincent Chin was silenced, both literally and figuratively. Vincent Chin was stripped away from his life and his right to legal representation in the court system.

Being that Chin was Asian American may have affected how the case was ruled. I keep thinking to myself, if the victim were to be a White male and the murderer an Asian American male, what would the verdict be and how serious would the consequences be? There seems to be this underpinning that it is understandable and almost acceptable for a White male to act in such way and commit such a crime and the consequences are not as severe as it would be for an Asian American man. For example, in the documentary, the police officer and witness to the crime assumed that Eben’s hitting Chin on the head with a baseball bat was done so in such a manner that it seemed as though he was hitting a homerun. Even with this disturbing detail and all of the other disturbing details and evidence; he was given minimal charges because he was a man with a staple job and had no criminal record. Although not explicitly said, I am convinced that race worked in Ebens’ favor. It is assumed that because he is white, doesn’t have a criminal record, and has a staple job, he must not have committed this crime intentionally; thus, it is impossible to be white respectable USA citizen and a murderer.

With the case of Vincent Chin also came the beginning of the political rise in the Asian American community. I was quite moved when the Asian American community came together and fought together to bring justice. This was an opportunity for Asian Americans to become educated about racial injustice and take action.


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