The not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin trial is drawing comparisons to the case of Vincent Chin.
The Chinese American was beaten to death with a baseball bat in 1982 because he was mistaken for Japanese American. It happened in Detroit during a period of massive layoffs in the auto industry when many were blaming competition from Japan. Both suspects were eventually cleared of all charges.
“As a civil rights organization, we believe the (Trayvon Martin) case illustrates the pervasiveness of racial prejudice in our society and our legal system and the unique history and ongoing struggle of African Americans against racism and oppression,” Asian Americans Advancing Justice-ALC wrote in a statement. “For the Asian American community, this painful tragedy echoes the infamous case of Vincent Chin, a young Chinese American man who was killed in 1982 by men who harbored racial prejudice against Japanese and Japanese Americans.”
Emil Guillermo in his blog shared a picture tweeted to him from a protest in Philadelphia. In the picture a protestor is holding up a sign that reads “The Ground I stand on says all people matter, Trayvon Martin, Vincent Chin.”
In his blog for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Guillermo says like Martin, Asian Americans have also been racially profiled. Just ask South Asian Americans the next time they go to the airport. Just ask an Asian American who is perceived as a foreigner in the eyes of many.
As Asian Americans Advancing Justice-ALC put it “the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman remind us that the struggle for racial justice is far from over and that all communities must stand together to call for justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.”