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[share_ebook] The Design of the UNIX Operating System

Detroit by Joe T. Darden

Detroit by Joe T. Darden

Author:Joe T. Darden
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Michigan State University Press


Judge Kaufman's light sentences for the two white men who had killed Chin and his reasons for doing so placed an additional emotional burden on Chin's grieving mother. Lily Chin had raised Vincent from the time she and her husband adopted him as a six-year-old orphan from China. Her husband succumbed to kidney disease in November 1981 (Detroit Free Press, September 9, 1987). She was still suffering from the shock of her son's brutal death when “she was jolted by the news that Wayne County Circuit Judge Charles Kaufman had set the convicted killers free. She now cries herself to sleep” (Detroit Free Press, May 9, 1983).

Mrs. Chin had waited patiently for nine months to see justice done for her son. Four days after the beating death of her son, Ebens and Nitz were arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Expecting due justice and desiring to put Vincent's terrible death behind her, she purchased a plane ticket to China to visit her mother “for solace in her grief.” After the disappointing sentence, Lily Chin was determined to stay and seek justice. “I want to (stay) and fight…I lost everything. How can I live in America with that kind of law? My son is beaten like an animal and, and the killer is not in jail,” she said. “If this happened in China, [Ebens and Nitz] would be put in [an] electric chair. This is freedom and democracy? Why isn't everybody equal?” (Detroit Free Press, May 9, 1983).

Lily Chin lost both her son and her respect and love for America as the “Promised Land.” A newspaper writer explained it best when he wrote: “She never imagined that the promise and hope of her adopted country could be shattered in a Woodward Avenue street fight, then in the marble and oak-paneled court room of Judge Kaufman” (Detroit Free Press, May 9, 1983).

Lily Chin's story of coming to America was not so different from millions of other immigrants. She was born Lily Yee in 1920, in Canton, China, “the only child of a prosperous merchant.” She recalled her father's business being like the old Hudson department store (now demolished) in downtown Detroit, and her childhood as very happy. Lily was part of a large urban extended family of aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

World War II ended her good fortune, at least for a while. As the Detroit Free Press (July 7, 1983) reported, “Japanese air raids and ground troops ravaged Canton, one of China's principle seaports, in the 1930s. She remembers being roused in the pre-dawn darkness before the morning bombing raids in the mountains in the countryside with other frightened school children.” Canton suffered twice from Japanese aggression, which Mrs. Chin remembered destroyed the city. Her family survived but “lost everything; her father's business was shattered.”

Her life changed when she met her husband, Hing Chin, in 1947. “His mother and Lily's grandmother had been neighbors in the same village. He had come to America in 1922 at 17, living first in Seattle, then moving to New York, and finally settling in Detroit.


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