By Candice Chen
In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England Region’s Asian-Jewish Roundtable hosted an exclusive screening on May 15 of “Vincent Who?” (2009), a documentary that examines the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982. Producer Curtis Chin attended the screening, held at the Boston Public Library, and answered audience questions.
Vincent Chin was a Chinese American who was severely beaten by two white Americans in Detroit. The two perpetrators initially served no jail time for their crime and were given a three-year probation and fined $3,000. Vincent Chin’s death and the resulting trial, however, aroused Asian Americans’ anger and awareness of the injustice of the crime. The case inspired Asian Americans throughout the country to come together to form American Citizens for Justice and start the Asian American Civil Rights Movement.
Curtis Chin, currently a visiting scholar at New York University, interviewed approximately 80 young Asian Americans about Vincent Chin in the documentary, but most of them did not know him. Curtis Chin also interviewed journalists, activists and scholars who were either involved in the case or had opinions about racial justice.
The documentary has been screened at more than 350 colleges in four countries and has won awards from the National Association for Multicultural Education and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.
“People are still passionate about the case. They still have interest and see the relevance of the Vincent Chin case,” Chin said in the discussion after the screening.
ADL was founded in 1913 with the aim to stop the defamation of the Jewish people. Now, it fights anti-Semitism and tries to protect civil rights for all. Last year, ADL founded the Asian-Jewish Roundtable to advance alliances and partnerships between the Asian and Jewish communities.
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