Monday, December 15, 2008

When Times Are Tough, Immigrants Get the Shaft

Remember Vincent Chin? In 1982, this hard-working Chinese-American was beaten to death with a baseball bat by a laid off Michigan auto worker who channeled his misplaced frustrations on Chin (the killer thought Chin was Japanese). The killer got a sweetheart deal from the DA, served no jail time, and paid a paltry $3,000 fine.

Never again, right? Well, with the U.S. economy tanking, anti-immigrant sentiments are brewing again. Last week, Jose Sucuzhanay, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was killed in Brooklyn by thugs wielding a baseball bat and a bottle. The killers yelled racist slurs during the attack. With the Big 3 about to go under, it's just a matter of time before another Asian-American becomes a hate crime statistic.

Such scapegoating is not unique to America. In Russia, seven ethnic Russians, mostly teenagers, were just arrested for killing 19 non-Slavs (migrant workers from Central Asia and the Caucusus). Earlier this month, a Tajik migrant worker was beheaded near Moscow. On Sunday, an 18 year old Kazakh student was found stabbed to death in his Moscow dormitory.

We must do all we can to ensure that these acts of hatred never happen again.


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