WASHINGTON — June 23 marked the 41st anniversary of the tragic murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man who was brutally beaten to death by two white autoworkers who blamed him for the loss of their jobs to Asia, specifically Japan. Neither assailant served any time in prison for their crimes.
Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements:
CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “Vincent Chin’s brutal murder 41 years ago, and the blatant miscarriage of justice of his killers, mobilized Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across ethnicities, cultures, and classes to come together and start the first-ever national pan-Asian movement to demand equality. As we honor Vincent’s life, we must renew our resolve to combat racism and bigotry in all forms. This is especially critical after three years of anti-Asian hate and at this current moment of heightened rhetoric around the U.S.-China relationship resulting in racial profiling, xenophobia, and extremist targeting.
“Earlier this year, I was proud to join Helen Zia [a leader of the Justice for Vincent Chin movement] at the launch of the Vincent Chin Institute to fight anti-Asian hate and mobilize a new generation of activists. This effort, alongside others led by CAPAC members, including the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Asian Pacific American museum study bill, is essential to continuing the work that the multi-ethnic coalition started 41 years ago. I am committed to building upon these efforts with our partners in and outside of CAPAC to ensure that all Americans feel safe in this country.”
CAPAC First Vice Chair Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “Vincent Chin was only 27 years old when he was brutally murdered by two auto workers in Detroit in the early 1980s because they blamed him for the U.S. economic downturn. The murderers received no jail time. While we have seen improvements in race relations since his death over 40 years ago, the AANHPI community continues to be saddled with instances of discrimination, bigotry, hate, and violence as we have been blamed for the spread of the coronavirus over the last nearly three years. We honor the life and tragic death of Vincent and commit ourselves to stand against hate, bigotry, and xenophobia wherever and whenever we see it.”
CAPAC Second Vice Chair Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “The senseless murder of Vincent Chin 41 years ago remains a constant reminder of the need to advocate, educate, and change the narrative about Asian Americans. Earlier this year we celebrated the launch of the Vincent Chin Institute, which provides education on Chin’s life and legacy, and information and resources to combat anti-Asian hate and violence; critical tools for the work of ending discrimination against our community. We must honor Vincent’s legacy by continuing to stand up against injustice and remain united against all forms of hatred and xenophobia.”
CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-Manhattan Beach): “The horrific murder of Vincent Chin 41 years ago served as a reminder that racism against the AANHPI community was real and could be violent. Today, members of the AANHPI community remain targets of racially motivated hate and violence, especially due to a rise in bigoted rhetoric from far-right politicians, leaders, and conspiracy theorists throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The racism that led to Vincent Chin’s death, and that is directed at AANHPI Americans today is completely unacceptable.
“My CAPAC colleagues and I remain firm in our commitment to call out and eradicate anti-AANHPI hate and racism in all its insidious forms. And I’m going to call out some racism right now: it is wholly unacceptable for Donald Trump to repeatedly mock Americans who happen to be of Asian descent, including by making fun of the name of –[former Transportation Secretary] Elaine Chao. Trump’s actions give license to his supporters to continue to disrespect and target the AANHPI community. Americans regardless of party need to call on Donald Trump to apologize for his racism towards the AANHPI community.”
CAPAC Freshman Representative Rep. Jill Tokuda (D-Hawaii): “For so many of us, the brutal murder of Vincent Chin hit close to home. While it has been 40 years since he was beaten to death in a racially motivated assault, there has been no justice for Vincent. Not a day of jail time for the two murders who cut a young life short. In a time of increasing anti-AANHPI hate and violence, it is critical now more than ever that we shine light on these dark moments in our history lest we are doomed to repeat them.”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “Vincent Chin should be alive today, but tragically his life — like too many others — was cut short by a horrific, misguided hate crime 41 years ago simply because he was Asian. Every American deserves to live free of fear, discrimination and violence. Today and always, let us continue to build on our work to stop the anti-Asian hate crimes that still terrorize the Asian American community to this day and ensure what happened to Vincent Chin never happens again.”
CAPAC Health Care Task Force Co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland): “The murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 by two white autoworkers marks one of the most tragic reminders of systemic racism against AANHPIs in the United States. As we grieve his death 41 years later, we must also recommit to eliminating racism, discrimination, and hate in all its forms, including the rising tides of violence against our AANHPI neighbors. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities deserve to know that they belong in our country. I stand with my CAPAC colleagues in working toward ending racism, xenophobia, and bigotry in all its forms and building a future where every person’s right to dignity is recognized.”