The Tragedy of June 19, 1982

I may be a day late in posting this, but the time for reflection is a never-ending one, really: it’s 40 years since the death of Vincent Chin.

See here for Emil Guillermo’s perspective, posted June 16, 2022, on the hate crime that had occurred, and how we can reflect. There are no easy answers.

I’ve proposed for the last eight years a national period of meditation each and every year between June 19 to June 23 to ask ourselves some basic questions. Questions like, “What does it mean to be an Asian American today?” / “What does it take to stand up for a sense of ourselves?” / “Our community? Our personal and public identity?” / “What does real equality, real justice mean today?” Those are the things worth thinking about now and in the future.

Emil Guillermo

Guillermo ponders on what is justice, if those who commit the crime don’t take responsibility or don’t show remorse? What is a hate crime, if the intent by the person who commits the crime leads to no admission and no reparation?

Guillermo further notes:

No one has to hear from the killer ever. Apology? There’s no there there. / But every year, it’s important for all Asian Americans, past, present, and future, to pause and reflect on what happened on those five days, starting on June 19th and ending on June 23rd, when we awake, inspired to take action, moved by the memory of Vincent Chin.

The further reality is that, during the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian hate persists and reminds us that the perpetual foreigner trope persists, and so we keep struggling somehow for what is better, what does it mean to be American, what is equality, and what is justice.

So, yes, Guillermo’s questions are very real.

Significantly, in the 40 years since Vincent Chin’s death, the needs for solidarity and dialog and work persist too. See for more on the struggle of against anti-Asian hate: “Remembering Vincent Chin — and the deep roots of anti-Asian violence,” by Li Zhou, June 19, 2022, over at Vox. Zhou reports:

Overall, activists note that while the causes of anti-Asian discrimination are enduring and as tenacious today as in the 1980s, thanks to continued activism, awareness about these biases has also increased and improved significantly. Continuing to grow this understanding, and maintaining the willingness to fight back against it, is central to moving forward, they say.

As a closing note to pass along: Triscribe’s own FC shared, via Facebook, the link to the Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance and Rededication. I hope that I can check out videos of the remembrance later, but there’s also a guide to consider as well.

Remember to take care of yourself too, as the struggle is real and can be tiring. Keep learning and keep trying. — ssw15

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