I was one of those kids in the video. In many ways I still am. If you were to ask me off the cuff: Do you know Vincent Chin? I would more than likely say I didn’t.
When Imaginasian TV launched one of the first films they broadcast was Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena’s Who Killed Vincent Chin? Activists have called the murder of Vincent Chin and subsequent reprieve of his murderers the “watershed” of the Asian American movement. Who Killed Vincent Chin? was the first movie I saw where an “Asian American” was the central focus of the story.
“Asian American” over “Asian” or “American” because I had seen documentary and fiction films about Asia and its peoples. The Vincent Chin documentary was the first film I saw that portrayed a life that was not exotic but intimate to me.
Fortunately, it wasn’t my life but it was close enough.
Just last week, news of the vicious beating of Victor Lu by a group of Black and Hispanic kids, the remembrance of the assassination of Dr. King, and announcement of the release of Vincent Who? reminds me of just how fortunate I am.
I am tempted to moralize about how we are one people on one planet and how it is possible to come together as a united but distinct peoples and how far we’ve come and much further we must go and how as individuals we can make a difference and collectively change the world but I will resist.
It’s been said before.
It’s the same dream and maybe one day, if we keep working away at it, it will actually come true:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we fact the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.