“Maybe it’s just because we’re known as the ‘model minority’ and we sweep a lot of things under the rug”
I recently watched a video from @nbcasianamerica about Vincent Chin. In 1982, he was beat to the brink of death, in short, for being Chinese. He was 27 years old.
Two men tracked him down from a club, where he was out celebrating his bachelor party, and beat him with a baseball bat. In a coma, Vincent died 4 days later due to injuries to his head. Legal ramifications at the time meant that the men who committed the crime, were only given (basically) a slap on the wrist.
They had mistakenly thought Vincent was Japanese, and blamed him for the auto industry layoffs of Detroit’s greater metro area.
Watching this video and hearing his story, made me angry. But it also made me afraid. Afraid for my friends and my family who sometimes speak their native languages out in public. Afraid for my fellow brothers and sisters of color who share my black hair and almond eyes. Afraid for my nephew, who’s still learning about the world and seeing it with fresh eyes and a happy heart. Who has no idea his neighbors might look at him differently.
It’s 2018. I didn’t need this video to remind me that still, in 2018, being black, Muslim, Hispanic, gay, etc, you name it-just about anything other than “traditional” American, can mean a target on your back. I am American, born and raised, tried and true.
But I’m not even sure what that means anymore. When did America stop being a country of immigrants? When did we stop appreciating the beauty in diversity? When did we stop “[holding] these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” America, I might not look exactly like you, I speak more than one language and I am proud of all the aspects that make up who I am. I am equally proud to be Chinese as I am to to be American. We are still a melting pot. We are still stronger united. Embrace our differences. We’re all in this together.
#asianpacificislander #heritagemonth #vincentchin #unitedwestand #america - 8 hours ago