On June 19th, 1982, Vincent Chin, a 27-year old Chinese American man, was celebrating his bachelor party at a bar in Detroit, Michigan with his friends when he crossed paths with Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. Both Ebens and Nitz were auto workers who were angered about the recent layoff in the US auto industries due to increasing Japanese manufacturers, immigrants who fled to the US looking for a future with more opportunities. They assumed that Chin was Japanese and began to remark racial slurs against him as they attacked him with a baseball bat. The defenseless man was hospitalized on June 19th, however, Chin passed away four days later on June 23rd, due to the severe cranial injuries that he had received from the attack. Ebens and Nitz were charged with manslaughter, yet they did not serve a single second in jail.
This brutal murder showed the flawed American justice system that failed to protect its citizens’ rights regardless of their race. Chin’s murder was the first case involving an Asian-American victim in which the Civil Rights Act was used. It has been 38 years since his death, but we must never forget him. No person should be attacked because of the race and ethnicity they are of.