Talk:Murder of Vincent Chin

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July 31, 2005 Articles for deletion Kept


Is it time to try for GA status? The article is really very well referenced, and it has grown to a good size now. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 20:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

That would make me proud, contributing to a GA, but is it a one shot, or a revision process? Giving the article a lookover before applying would be a good idea. Can you archive the talk before this GA discussion? It looks like we'll need room to work.
  • The Zia book is a decent bio source and is invaluably detailed on the formation of ACJ, but frankly, she failed to do any updated research on the civil case past, let's say, 1987, due to the lack of information on the Ebens v. Chrysler suit. The fact is that other editors have been able to locate Ebens, and Rolawd Hwang, current ACJ president, told me that they know where he is (although I won't include that because of WP:NOR). Ebens' disappearance in the book is attributable to poor fact checking.
  • I have a concern that the $20 Jimmy Perry story, though often told, may violate WP:BIO. I don't know if he is still alive, but jury selection transcripts mention him as a family man, and I think his testimony was that he was just trying to get them to the hospital. I had wondered about the veracity of that story myself, until I learned of the hospital he was referring to, which was definitely closer, although not one of the more well known in the area.
  • The presentence report given to Kaufman lists two days served in jail, corresponding to the weekend that Ebens was held in custody after the initial assault. The commonly disseminated belief is that he never went to jail, even though he mentions the experience in the documentary.
  • Any of the famous quotes from the case need to be properly sourced and investigated for NPOV. It seems many inaccuracies in the reporting can be attributed to the original press releases of ACJ, which was definitely promoting an agenda.
  • I would suggest that refs to the documentary cite the elapsed time, or else people can change things and say it was somewhere in the documentary. I consider the research put into the article to be high enough that at this point, we need to know where and when.
  • Would the article benefit from sourcing the specific addresses of the incidents, thereby eliminating future debacles like the Fancy Pants.jpg? Could anything be done with Google StreetView?
  • I'm concerned that a trivia label may be applied on our list.
  • Frank Wu is writing a new book focussing on the case. It will be a significant secondary source, but it won't be ready for at least a year.
We should be proud that Wikipedia is currently the most up to date source on the Vincent Chin case, but I think that the discussions between me and Subdulous highlight the struggle of remaining NPOV. We must not forget the outrage the case created, but we must also struggle with the distortions that were presented as fact. I'm sure that is not the first time that this has occurred for something mentioned in Wikipedia, nor will it be the last.
MMetro (talk) 09:02, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • As far as I know, you can nominate an article for GA promotion as many times as you want. Though obviously common sense dictates that real article improvements were performed between each nomination. And yeah definitely, we need to do some copy-editing before we actually nominate it. (I was hoping to get to do that this weekend, but I have ran into some computer problems and need to spend time on that first.)
  • About Zia's book - if there are other reliable sources that offer better information, then we should definitely use them. But the important thing here is that they qualify as reliable sources under Wikipedia:Reliable sources. So you are absolutely right about being careful of WP:NOR. However, unless I'm missing something, the article does not seem to mention that Ebens disappeared after the 1987 settlement. Shouldn't that be mentioned?
  • I think as long as the Jimmy Perry story is referenced by reliable sources, we won't run afoul of WP:BIO. Having said that, here are a few refs for it - [1][2][3]. I would say the first is probably the most reliable. Though accounts seem to differ in the quote - "get those chinks" vs. "get those Chinese guys". Um... I tend to think it was the former, because I can't really picture disgruntled Detroit auto workers in the 80s who are about to beat an Asian guy with a baseball bat saying "Chinese guys" as opposed to "chinks". But maybe this is moot because I'm not sure about the value of including that in the article.
  • About whether or not there was jail time - if different reliable sources are saying different things about this, we may consider including both accounts, and attributing the claims in-content. As in... "According to XXX, Ebens never spent a day in jail, but Kaufman... " so on and so forth. Though I suspect the "served no jail time" claim essentially refers to the fact that they were not sent to prison by a court judgement. The better word for them to have used was "prison" as opposed to "jail", I think. But we are stuck with what we have, which says "jail".
  • Information at the granularity of addresses and phone numbers should not be mentioned in articles unless that information is specifically notable in and of itself - for example the White House address or 10 Downing Street. As for editors coming here and making mistakes about Fancy Pants, I think that's just something we have to live with and watch over, per the "open" nature of WP.
  • Going back to the GA nomination - usually the way it works is that a GA reviewer will review the article and lists a number of things to improve upon before he thinks it is GA quality. At which point editors work on the reviewer's concerns, and notify him when they are addressed. I think reviewers generally give at least a couple of weeks to work through their concerns. Usually what gets a GA nomination rejected is that the reviewer lists his concerns, but nobody works on addressing them. Though on some occasions GA nominations do get rejected immediately because of the poor quality of particular articles. But even if that happens, we can improve the article and re-nominate it again. So don't worry too much issues that might get the GA nomination rejected. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:31, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • There should be no mention of any disappearance. The courts were able to find him, and contributors have even posted Ebens' Nevada address in the past-- it's not reputable reporting.
  • In regards to sentencing, we just need to be careful and accurate about what we say, as compared to how other secondary sources understood it. He spent the weekend in jail (ref Who killed Vincent Chin-- time cite needed). He was credited with two days served (ref Presentence report, American Citizens for Justice, Box 4 Bentley Library, University of Michigan). Kaufman sentenced him to three years probation and a fine.
  • The Jimmy Perry stuff should mention both sides of his story and not get into inflammatory language (especially about what kind of person would help those guys) to meet NPOV.
  • We're really going to have to take variances about what was believed to have been said into account. Personally, I think if he said something at that point, he probably said Chinese guys. Detroit is not a town where you can carelessly say the N word, and that carries over into other slurs. The case lecture featuring David Lawson also mentioned how dubious it was that anything ethnically offensive was said. The prosecution was given the burden of proving racial intent given an absence of anything said that was explicitly racial. In any case, our own opinions about what we think was said do not matter at all.
  • Source #1 is great. I was given a copy of the newsletter at that luncheon where I met David Lawson. The photo of the Fancy Pants (and probably the other photos) was courtesy of the Detroit Free Press. I asked the author if we could get fair use for Wikipedia and that is what I was told by email. I'll have to double check, but I think the photo of Chin was his senior high school yearbook photo.
  • Source #2 appears to be a reprint of Zia's 1984 article for The Nation. Zia heavily borrowed on her previous work to write her chapter in Asian American Dreams. The article was good, but we must remember that it doesn't cover anything after the time it was written and that is a limiting factor to the veracity of her 2000 book.
  • Source #3 is a copy of the original appellate decision. The text meets fair use as a work of the US government. You could even copy it to Wiki. It is a great source for info on the Liza Chan tapes.
  • Also look up Paul Weingarten, "Deadly Encounter", Chicago Tribune, July 31, 1983 page F10 and Michael Moore, "The Wages of Death: The Man Who Killed Vincent Chin" Detroit Free Press Sunday Magazine August 30, 1987, p. 12.
  • In terms of general location, the Fancy Pants was the SE corner of Woodward and Davison. The McDonald's was Woodward, just north of Glendale. I can cite the specific address from the court documents, if needed. Woodward is itself noteworthy, and mentioning the locations gives scale to the chase. You can see the original McDonald's in Google StreetView. The specific numerical address probably isn't needed.
  • Generally, I think we should use Asian American criticisms only as a citation for reaction and legacy, stick to the best facts and cites that we have of the historical situation, and be very wary of generalities about what happened after the case because the documentary is outdated, and whatever we do put up should comply with Wikipedia's verifiability standards. Reliability of the source is the most important factor.
Thanks for creating an archive and bringing up some great sources to work with. Let's continue the work, even after achieving GA, to see if we can reach Featured Article. MMetro (talk) 01:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


This article oddly uses different pinyin for the same characters:

Vincent Jen Chin 陳

Bing Hing Chin  陳

Liza Cheuk May Chan 陳

You not9ice the same character is translated as both chin and chan...I'm pretty sure one of these has to be correct, but surely they can't both be correct.

wiki notes the character is CHEN or chan but not chin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:42, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I do not know about Liza Chan's pinyin, but the Chin family's pinyin is correct, and is on the parents' tombstone. I hope to make a picture available in the Spring. MMetro (talk) 19:44, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
No, actually the pinyin is wrong. However, he is still most commonly known as "Vincent Chin" in English, so the common name rule for WP applies here. The case is similar for people like Gary Locke (politician). Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 19:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
When you say the pinyin is wrong, which do you refer to? It is quite possible that the Chin family transliterated their name into English differently, some 60+ years ago, and without having any standards to go by. I've seen it happen from Thai with my own last name, which is actually the character Ma as in horse. Other evidence is the C.W. Hing as the father's name on the tombstone. Before 1967, the city directory listed that as Vincent's father's name-- Chin Wing Hing. After that, it was corrected. My best W:NOR guess is that's when a school-age Vincent realized that there was a problem with the family name was getting mixed up with his dad's first name, since family names come first in Chinese. In any case, Hong is right; it doesn't affect the English, but I wouldn't change the translations, because there is no way to verify that you would be correct in translation. As I have noted, Chin and 陳 is what's on the tombstone. MMetro (talk) 22:44, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have been more exact. By "pinyin", I was referring to Pinyin specifically. But anyway, I'm guessing "Chin" was used most probably because that was a more exact romanisation of how 陳 was pronounced in his family's dialect, which should have been one of the Cantonese sub-dialects. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 02:33, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
"Chin" (and sometimes "Chinn") is most likely the Toisanese phoneticization of 陳. In Cantonese would be "Chan". Tinhor (talk) 11:28, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Murder of Robert Eric Wone[edit]

Those interested in mysterious, controversial murders will also be interested in this article Bachcell (talk) 18:06, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Documentaries and references in popular culture section[edit]

The "popular culture" section is quite a mess. I separated the documentaries but there are still some entries that just don't fit in there. not sure what subsection title could be used for entries like "In 1983, Lily Chin appeared on The Phil Donahue Show to bring public attention to the case." and most others. Any suggestions?The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 04:56, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Memorial plaque in Ferndale, MI[edit] and MMetro (talk) 06:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Court reenactment based on Federal court transcripts[edit] MMetro (talk) 20:28, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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