Too many people don’t know who Vincent Chin was. He’s the young Chinese American man who was brutally killed in 1982 in a hate crime by out-of-work Detroit autoworkers who blamed the Japanese auto industry for their woes. After getting into a fight with Chin, who was celebrating his upcoming wedding, in a strip club, two men beat him with a baseball bat on June 15. He died four days later of his injuries. His last words before slipping into a coma were, “It’s not fair.”
That sad and terrible attack in a very real sense was the spark that led to the modern Asian American Pacific Islander movement.