Friday, June 26, 2015

Activist, Author, Icon Grace Lee Boggs Turns 100 Years Old - NBC News

Happy 100th Birthday to Grace Lee Boggs
"We try to heed Grace's challenge to us," said Putnam. "She said that we must 'think beyond what we even believe is possible.' This call for critical thinking and deep imagination is her legacy to us."
Activist, Author, Icon Grace Lee Boggs Turns 100 Years Old - NBC News

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Criminal Defense Attorney Mia Yamamoto Talks Race, Identity, Community - NBC News

such an honor to be able to interview the amazing Mia Yamamoto for NBC Asian America
Born in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II, criminal defense attorney Mia Frances Yamamoto has always known the effect that race can have on justice, and she often jokes to both audiences and clients, "I was born doing time."
Criminal Defense Mia Yamamoto Attorney Talks Race, Identity, Community - NBC News

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Statement from the American Citizens for Justice Board on Charleston

Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of Depayne Middleton Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Dr. Daniel Simmons Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.
As we seek justice for this inexcusable act of hate and terror, we must fight the urge to bury our heads at yet another tragedy inspired by hate. Instead, we must continue to advocate for justice and educate those who promote hate and fear.
American Citizens for Justice (ACJ) was founded in 1983 to seek justice for the killing of Vincent Chin, a killing fueled by hate and racism. ACJ is a nonprofit 501c3 organization serving the Asian Pacific American communities of Michigan and fighting for the civil rights of all Americans.

To view Vincent Who?

From Curtis Chin: Today is the 33th anniversary of Vincent Chin's death. To view Vincent Who? for free, please go to: http://t.co/Ior5uSzGwe

33 Years after Vincent Chin’s Death, Our Common Cause Must be Racial Justice For All | Reappropriate

New essay from Jenn Fang at Reappropriate:

33 Years after Vincent Chin’s Death, Our Common Cause Must be Racial Justice For All | Reappropriate

Friday, June 19, 2015

One of APALC's First Cases, Vincent Chin Tragedy Catalyzes Asian American Activism | Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

From our friends at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA (formerly known as APALC)
“In the specific case of Vincent Chin, the final outcome repeated the tragedy of his murder,” Kwoh reflects. “But the case and the intense mobilizing it precipitated set in motion forces that have been gathering in strength every year since then.” As an example of that strong Asian American legal defense capability, APALC would rise in concert with the emergence of Asian American political consciousness -- the final and most lasting legacy of Vincent and Lily Chin.
One of APALC's First Cases, Vincent Chin Tragedy Catalyzes Asian American Activism | Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang on Role of the Media in Vincent Chin Case State Bar of Michigan Legal Milestone

from back when I was Executive Director of American Citizens for Justice, "Role of the Media in the Vincent Chin Case and the Birth of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement" at The State Bar of Michigan's 34th Michigan Legal Milestone commemorates the Vincent Chin Case "From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry," Friday, June 19, 2009.   ‪#‎iamvincentchin‬ ‪#‎vincentchin‬ #vchin

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang on Role of the Media in Vincent Chin Case State Bar of Michigan Legal Milestone: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Executive Director American Citizens for Justice, "Role of the Media in the Vincent Chin Case and the Birth of the Asian American Civil...

33 years ago

Vincent Chin was a 27-year-old Chinese American raised in Metro Detroit. A week before his wedding, June 19, 1982, he went to the Fancy Pants strip club in Highland Park with a few buddies for his bachelor’s party. There, they encountered two autoworkers, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, who, like many at the time, blamed the Japanese for the U.S. auto industry’s troubles. At the time, the American auto industry was in a crushing recession and much of the hostility was directed at Japan. Mistaking Chin for a Japanese American, two white autoworkers began to harass Vincent with racial epithets and a fight broke out. Even though Chin was not Japanese and worked in the auto industry himself as a draftsman, Ebens was heard saying, “It’s because of you little m—f—s that we’re out of work,” as well as other anti-Asian racial epithets.

The men were thrown out of the bar, and the fight continued in the parking lot and into the night. Ebens and Nitz searched for Chin and his friends, and upon finding them after a half hour pursuit, Nitz held Chin in a bear hug while Ebens struck Chin’s head four times with a baseball bat, cracking his skull.

Vincent Chin died four days later on June 23, 1982. His wedding guests attended his funeral instead.

On March 18, 1983, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz pleaded guilty to killing Vincent Chin. Judge Charles Kaufman sentenced them to 3 years probation and fined them $3,780. Explaining the light sentence, Judge Kaufman stated, "These aren't the kind of men you send to jail . You fit the punishment to the criminal, not the crime."

Neither man spent a single day in jail for beating Vincent Chin to death.

The brutal murder and light sentence outraged the Asian American community. In Detroit on March 31, 1983, Asian Americans founded the American Citizens for Justice to lobby for a federal trial for Chin's murderers. The campaign was spearheaded by journalist Helen Zia, lawyer Liza Chan, and Lily Chin - Vincent Chin's mother. Rallies in Detroit, San Francisco, and Los Angeles awakened sleeping Asian American communities and attracted national media attention.

The national API mobilization succeeded in winning a federal trial. On June 5, 1984, federal prosecutors charged Ebens and Nitz with violating Vincent Chin's civil rights. After 23 days of deliberation, a Detroit federal jury acquitted Nitz but found Ebens guilty of violating Chin's civil rights. At last, after 2 years of struggle, justice came for Vincent Chin.

Defense lawyers won a federal retrial for Ebens and Nitz in Cincinnati. On May 1, 1987, the jury acquitted Ebens and Nitz of violating Vincent Chin's civil rights. Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz never spent a full day in jail for the murder of Vincent Chin. Crushed by the failure of the justice system, Lily Chin left America and returned to China.

Although the movement for a federal trial did not gain justice for Vincent Chin, it was far from a failure. The movement gave a resonant political voice to previously silent Asian American communities across the nation. The murder of Vincent Chin was the seminal event that sparked the Asian American civil rights movement. In his death, Vincent Chin was immortalized as a symbol of the Asian American struggle for acceptance.

Significance of Vincent Chin case today:
Asian Pacific American coalitions critical
Multiracial coalitions critical
APA Victims and Civil Rights movements started
Families can now testify during sentencing
Mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines
Danger of changing venues understood
Hate crimes prosecuted at federal level
Education and awareness beforehand key
American Citizens for Justice formed 1983

Thursday, June 18, 2015

We Are Vincent Chin

Remembering this great 2014 project #iamvincentchin

We Are Vincent Chin

V Chin (Vincent Chin) T Shirt

Check out the original by our friends over at Blacklava.net. Make a statement.

V Chin (Vincent Chin) T Shirt

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Asian Americans in Michigan | Wayne State University Press

A new book from Wayne State University Press launching now:
While the number of Asians in Michigan was small for a good portion of the state’s history, many Asian-derived communities have settled in the area and grown significantly over time. In Asian Americans in Michigan: Voices from the Midwest, editors Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew have assembled forty-one contributors to give an intimate glimpse into Michigan’s Asian-American communities, creating a fuller picture of these often overlooked groups. Accounts in the collection come from a range of perspectives, including first-generation immigrants, those born in the United States, and third- and fourth-generation Americans of Asian heritage.
In five sections, contributors consider the historical and demographic origins of Michigan’s Asian American communities, explore their experiences in memory and legacy keeping, highlight particular aspects of community culture and heritage, and comment on prospects and hopes for the future. This volume’s vibrant mix of contributors trace their ancestries back to East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan), South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan), and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Hmong). Though each contributor writes from his or her unique set of experiences, Asian Americans in Michigan also reveals universal values and memories held by larger communities.
Asian Americans in Michigan makes clear the significant contributions by individuals in many fields—including art, business, education, religion, sports, medicine, and politics—and demonstrates the central role of community organizations in bringing ethnic groups together and preserving memories. Readers interested in Michigan history, sociology, and Asian American studies will enjoy this volume.
Published by: Wayne State University Press
Asian Americans in Michigan | Wayne State University Press