CAPAC Members Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Murder of Vincent Chin

Jun 23, 2022

CAPAC Members Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Murder of Vincent Chin

Washington, D.C. — Today, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) commemorated the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder. Chin, a Chinese American man, was beaten to death in Detroit, Michigan, by two autoworkers who wrongly blamed him for the loss of American auto jobs during a time when Japanese auto-manufacturing was gaining a foothold in the United States. CAPAC members released the following statements:

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“For the past forty years, the murder of Vincent Chin has been a significant event for AAPI communities across the nation — signaling an immediate need to address rising anti-Asian hate and sparking a movement to condemn violence, as well as harmful stereotypes and rhetoric. As we continue to remember the life of Vincent Chin, we must renew our commitment to fighting bigotry, racism and xenophobia in all forms. On this 40th anniversary, I was proud to lead my colleagues in introducing a resolution recognizing Vincent and his lasting legacy. This resolution, alongside other efforts spearheaded by CAPAC members — such as the enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Asian Pacific American museum study bill — will continue to combat these attacks and atrocities, while working to ensure AAPIs feel safe and welcome in their communities and country. However, there is still much work to be done on behalf of Asian Pacific American civil rights.”

Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice-Chair:

“Today marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. Vincent Chin, who was mistaken for a Japanese American, was attacked by two American autoworkers who blamed Japan for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. What is so heart breaking today, is that we are again seeing this scapegoating and harassment leading to attacks against the Asian American community. As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s death, we must recommit ourselves to fighting against racism and bigotry anywhere we see it.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“Forty years ago, Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese American man, was brutally murdered. Two autoworkers who thought Vincent was Japanese beat him to death with a baseball bat, essentially blaming him for the decline of the American auto industry. Neither of Vincent’s two murderers spent a day in jail for their crimes. In the wake of his tragic death, a pan-Asian American coalition fighting for civil rights and justice was formed. This struggle continues to this day, particularly during the troubling rise of anti-Asian American hate crimes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can honor Vincent Chin’s memory by continuing our fight to combat anti-Asian hate.”

Rep. Kai Kahele (HI-02), CAPAC Freshman Representative:

“As we remember the horrific, racially motivated murder of Vincent Chin that occurred 40 years ago today, we should celebrate the progress that has been made in advancing Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander rights but remain committed to battling the bigotry, hatred, and xenophobia against the AANHPI community that continues to plague our nation. The harmful stereotypes and scapegoating that led to Vincent’s murder are still present today, leading to terrible tragedies like the 2021 Atlanta Spa Shooting last year and the increase in attacks following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is absolutely unacceptable that one in every six Asian-American individuals reported experiencing a hate crime in the past year. It is clear there is still much progress to be made in ensuring a safe and accepting environment for the AANHPI community and we must remain united in our efforts to combat hate and racism throughout our nation.” 

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“Today, we remember Vincent Chin, who was murdered 40 years ago today in an act of anti-Asian violence. Four decades after his death, we are grappling with a rise in violence and discrimination against the AAPI community. I stand with my CAPAC colleagues in honoring Vincent Chin’s life by continuing to fight racism and violence in any form.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13):

“40 years ago, Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man, was brutally murdered in Detroit. Mistaking him as Japanese, two autoworkers blamed him for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. Their senseless, racist act of violence sparked a nationwide movement for Asian American civil rights. Unfortunately, the fight is not yet over as we grapple with the rise of AAPI hate crimes in the aftermath of a pandemic that has again shed light on the long struggle to equality. Today, I urge every American to honor the life and legacy of Vincent Chin by standing up for a just future.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12):

“Today, we remember Vincent Chin, who was senselessly murdered 40 years ago because of anti-Asian hate. His death marked a turning point in our nation’s long fight for equality, yet despite the progress we’ve made, our APPI community continues to experience discrimination and xenophobia at an alarming rate. In honor of the life and legacy of Vincent, we need to stand united with Asian Americans across the country to combat hatred and bigotry in all its forms.”

Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45):

“Vincent Chin was beaten to death by killers motivated by anti-Asian hate 40 years ago today. The men received no jail time — an injustice that helped spark the AAPI civil rights movement. As we remember Vincent today, we must recommit to standing against hate in all forms.”

Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09):

“On this fateful day in 1982, Vincent Chin, an innocent American, was brutally murdered in a racially motivated hate crime. Chin’s murderers blamed him for the loss of their jobs as the Japanese automotive industry grew. The killers served no prison time for their heinous crimes, sparking outrage across the country and giving rise to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) movement. Today, we honor Vincent Chin and reflect on the work that remains to be done to ensure that this tragic injustice is never repeated. At a time when members of the AAPI community continue to face discrimination and violence, we must stand together to refute the ideologies that allow this hate to persist.”