Ferndale in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry
Michigan Legal Milestone
"It's not fair." These were the last anguished words whispered by Vincent Chin as he lay dying, the victim of a hate crime on June 19, 1982. His words became a rallying cry for the Asian American community outraged at the lenient sentences his assailants received, and they spawned a civil rights movement.
On that fateful evening, Chin and three friends were at a bar in Highland Park, celebrating his upcoming wedding. An argument broke out with two auto workers who blamed Asians for taking away their jobs.
After the group was kicked out of the bar, the two auto workers pursued and caught up with Chin and his friends on Woodward Avenue. While one held Chin, the other bludgeoned him with a baseball bat. Chin died four days later.
In state court, the assailants received three years' probation and a $3,000 fine for a reduced manslaughter charge. A subsequent criminal trial on federal civil rights charges resulted in the conviction of one assailant and the acquittal of the other. However, the conviction was later overturned and the assailant was acquitted on retrial. Neither assailant ever served any time in jail.
The Vincent Chin case galvanized the Asian American community and led to the formation of various groups, including American Citizens for Justice and the Michigan Asian Pacific American
Erected 2009 by State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Location. 42° 27.643′ N, 83° 8.082′ W. Marker is in Ferndale, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker is at the intersection of Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue (State Highway 1), on the right when traveling west on Nine Mile Road. Touch for map. Marker is in the median of Woodward Avenue on the north side of Nine Mile Road. Marker is in this post office area: Ferndale MI 48220, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory of Vincent Chin (here, next to this marker); The Crow's Nest (here, next to this marker); Deputy Albert Anderson (here, next to this marker); The Inter-Urban Railcar - Detroit United Railway (here, next to this marker); The Badder Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Professional Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lux Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Ferndale Center Building (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ferndale.
Categories. • Asian Americans • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 82 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 15, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.