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Vincent Who? Update/recap

Racism is still alive even today.

In 2009, 2,034 law enforcement agencies reported 6,604 hate crime incidents involving 7,789 offenses.
An analysis of the 6,598 single-bias* incidents reported in 2009 showed the following:

  • 48.5 percent were motivated by racial bias.
  • 11.8 percent stemmed from ethnicity/national origin bias.(1)

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Read our CEO’s blog post submission for the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism blog carnival to learn more about what racism looks like in Hawaii where our population is dominated by the Asian “minority.”

Additionally, 2012 marks the 30 year anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin.

On May 1st, the YWCA, in partnership with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and other community groups, hosted the film screening of Vincent Who?, a documentary that focused on the 1982 racially-motivated murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit.

The event brought in 70 individuals. The panelists Mari Matsuda, Hoyt Zia, Kimberly Miyazawa Frank, film director Curtis Chin, and moderator Wes Nakama engaged with the audience following the film. You can read the archived discussion via Twitter, hashtag #VincentWho.

Some interesting take-aways and food for thought worth sharing:

  • One reason why racism toward Asians still exists, is because Asians do not hold positions of high-power within the political and judicial institutions.
  • It's not just about racism; it's about culture. Having role models for Asian kids to look up to and who they can relate to.
  • Hawaii is 77% minorities; 57% Asian. But Hawaii is not immune to racism. Eliminating racism begins with exposure. We need to expose our children to situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
  • The Vincent Chin murder was a “bonding” point for people nation-wide to identify themselves as Asian – not just Chinese, Japanese, etc.

*A single-bias incident is defined as an incident in which one or more offense types are motivated by the same bias.

(1) U.S. Department of Justice: Hate Crime Statistics, 2009: Incidents and Offenses, http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/incidents.html  

 

 

 

 

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