The Murder of Vincent Chin and How It Changed America.

Lillie Chin (mother of Vincent Chin, who was clubbed to death by two white men in June 1982) breaks down as a relative (left) helps her walk while leaving Detroit`s City County Building in April 1983. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

On June 19, 1982, a young man named Vincent Chin was celebrating his bachelor party at Detroits Fancy Pants strip club along with several of his friends when he overheard a group of men harassing his tables dancer. This led to a confrontation between Chin and the men, Robin Ebens and Michael Nitz, who shouted, “Its because of you little motherf—ers that were out of work,” referring to their recent layoffs as autoworkers. Auto manufacturing was the backbone of the Detroit economy, and many in the area blamed the rise of the Japanese auto industry for flagging sales of American cars. Ebens and Nitz likely made the comment believing that Chin was of Japanese descent, though he was, in fact, Chinese-American.

During the clash, the men repeated racist slurs against Chin several times, and a fight broke out, according to eyewitnesses. After Chin overpowered the couple, the bachelorette group decided to leave the club to avoid further violence, but Evens and Nitz weren’t done. Humiliated and angry, they pulled baseball bats from the back of their car and raced across town in search of Chin and his friends, eventually finding them at a McDonald’s. They threw Chin into a parking lot, where Nitz restrained his arm and Evens hit him over the head with a bat, knocking him unconscious and inflicting severe brain damage. The men were quickly arrested and Chin died in hospital four days later without regaining consciousness.