Category Archives: Modernity

Who Killed Vincent Chin? – Howard Diep

Howard Diep | 1020964

In one of my Asian American Studies classes, we screened the documentary film “Who Killed Vincent Chin”. Throughout the course of this video, I was able to have a clearer understanding of the respective individuals that were involved in this tragic event. Although there are many complexities that many people feel about this incident, I looked at it in a different manner where human ignorance and awareness plays an integral role in the actions, outcomes, and reasons for justifications within these happenings. Throughout my screening of the film I also had many questions that I had asked myself such as how a three thousand seven hundred and eighty dollar fine and three years probation be justifiable to an individuals life? It’s unreasonable and ridiculous if you really look deep into the aspects of the situation. However unfortunate this event may be, I thoroughly enjoyed the positive aspects of the film such as how this event sparked the organizing and healing aspect of communities coming together in support, love, and solidarity.  I also enjoyed how this documentary featured individuals of color who were able to express their opinions and concern about what had really occurred during the night of June 19, 1982. After hearing the verdict after taking the case up to the Federal level, I was thinking a lot about people in general, morality, and the structures of power.

After engaging within this film, I reflected and found it somewhat refreshing how the producer of this documentary included a segment of the film dedicated in illustrating the environment that many of these people involved in the Vincent Chin murder case grew up and assimilated in. Detroit, Michigan a city of “Work harder play harder” as quoted in the film. I was really disheartened during the part of the film where Vincent’s mom said “Last Time” really meant Bad Luck and that that really was Vincent’s last time.

I also dislike how many people in America during that time period and currently hold a strong conviction on consumerism and material wealth and unnecessary luxury. One aspect of the film that had good historical insight was the mention of the “Buying Habit’s of cars going through the United States during this time and that this was the “notion of freedom” and American Dream.

I also found it pathetic that law enforcement involved in this case did not notify and seek evidence and testimonies of individuals the bar/stripclub, the officer of color that was on the scene that was the mother of Vincent Chin, and the local dancers in the club.

One amazing moment that really resonated with my heart during the film was a quote from Vincent’s mother, Lily Chin. “Skin is different, but heart is same”.