His effort to correct the historical record would be more persuasive had he bothered to interview any of the individuals directly involved in either the initial criminal trial or the subsequent federal civil rights trial – including me (I served as the only out-of-town counsel to American Citizens for Justice, the Detroit-area group fighting for justice for Chin).
I would have been able to tell him that our investigations identified a number of dancers who witnessed the racial epithets, all of whom provided testimony that was used in the first federal civil rights prosecution. (Rubin’s article names only one dancer.) Their accounts, as well as other eyewitnesses’, also indicated that Chin’s killers exhibited aggressively violent behavior, both inside and outside the bar. Rubin’s claim that Chin was the aggressor (“Outside, Chin attempted to prolong the fight”) is therefore hard to believe.
Most damningly, Rubin gives short shrift to the fact that the first federal civil rights trial, tried in a Detroit court, with a Detroit jury, resulted in a conviction of one of Chin’s two murderers. The verdict was overturned on a technicality and a retrial was conducted, far away from Detroit, in front of an all-white jury in Cincinnati that absolved the killer. A more credible attempt at reexamining this case would have discussed these facts in greater detail.
Rubin’s own biases are suggested when, in mentioning that Chin and his murderers had been drinking, he provides a blood alcohol reading only for Chin. Why? Were the statistics not available for the perpetrators? Did Rubin even attempt to find out? Unlikely, because finding out may have undermined the narrative that he presents as the real story: that a drunken, out-of-control Chin brought his death upon himself.Detroit News Columnist Trivializes Vincent Chin's Murder and Its Legacy | Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA