Documentary explores racism against Chinese AmericansWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
A local film group will show “Vincent Who?” on Aug. 21 in remembrance of a Chinese-American man murdered in Detroit 30 years ago.
Vincent Chin was beaten to death by Ronald Ebens, a Chrysler plant supervisor, and his stepson, Michael Nitz, after layoffs in the auto industry attributed to Japan’s success. The two were put on probation and received a $3,000 fine with no jail time.
“This kind of stirred [Asian Americans] up and it started a movement that’s important to remember,” said Errol Lam, one of the organizers and a member of the Media Decompression Collective Toledo.
The 2009 film examines the case’s legacy and its impact on future generations. It also looks at the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese American Internment in World War II, the 1992 L.A. Riots, anti-Asian hate crimes and racial profiling after Sept. 11, 2001.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, a journalist and teacher of Asian Pacific American History and the Law at the University of Michigan, and Roland Hwang, president of the Organization of Chinese Americans when Chin was murdered, will lead a discussion after the movie.
“They’re coming to add perspective to this,” Lam said. “It’s basically to remember what happened to Asian Americans. A lot of people don’t know … even now these killings are almost everyday in a sense.”
The showing and discussion are 7-9 p.m. Aug. 21 at Third Space, 137 N. Michigan St. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to cover the speakers’ travel costs.