Full Text of the Mayor's Remarks, Vincent Chin Memorial
Text of the Mayor’s remarks, Vincent Chin Memorial Dedication and Michigan Milestone Installation.
Noon - Wednesday December 22, 2010
Good Afternoon, and welcome to Ferndale. We’re glad that you are here in our city and we are also happy to welcome you to the Post Bar, the former site of the Golden Star Restaurant.
We are here today for some unfinished business and we selected this location this morning because this is the very site where the Chinese American community first began to organize and advocate for justice after the verdicts were handed down in the Vincent Chin case.
INTRO OF DIGNITARIES PRESENT
County Commissioner Dave Coulter, Hazel Park Mayor Jack Lloyd, Ferndale Mayor Pro Tem Kate Baker, Hy Safran representing Congressman Gary Peters, DDA Director Cristina Decius Shepherd, DDA Board President Veronica Lujic, Chamber of Commerce President Jerome Raska, Ferndale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg, Ferndale City Manager Bob Bruner, Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher, Ferndale City Clerk Cherilynn Tallman, Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins, Woodward Ave. Action Assoc. Director Heather Carmona, Former Ferndale Mayor Robert Porter, Jeff Paulsen, Chair Michigan State Bar Milestone Committee, DDA Board Members Steve Selvaggio and Michael Hennis.
Please let me also thank the members of the media here today who will tell this story near and far, for this is a story that must be told and retold. And we thank the Post Bar for their gracious hospitality. Know that they are open today for lunch and have a great menu if you chose to come back and join some of us for a meal.
AMERICA LIKES TO VIEW ITSELF AS A BEACON FOR PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD, WHERE OUR STATUE OF LIBERTY WELCOMES PEOPLE TO COME HERE TO WORK HARD, MAKE HOMES, START FAMILIES,
AND JOIN A GREAT MELTING POT.
THE REALITY FOR MANY HAS OFTEN NOT BEEN SO WELCOMING OR WARM.
FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS WE STOLE THE LAND AND DESTROYED THE CULTURES OF THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF THIS COUNTRY.
WE BROUGHT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM AFRICA IN CHAINS AND MADE THEM SLAVES, AND THEN KEPT THEM SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL FOR ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS.
WE ASKED CHINESE AMERICANS TO HELP BUILD THE NATIONS RAILROADS, ONLY TO ASK THEM TO LEAVE WHEN THE WORK WAS DONE.
OVER THE CENTURIES ALMOST EVERY GROUP THAT HAS MADE THIS PLACE HOME HAVE SUFFERED POOR TREATMENT AND INDIGNITIES, INCLUDING THE IRISH, THE JEWS, CATHOLICS, AND SO MANY OTHERS.
TO THIS DAY SOME WOULD PASS LAWS TO ALLOW ONLY ENGLISH TO BE SPOKEN IN THE CLASSROOM AND SOME FIGHT AGAINST THE BUILDING OF MOSQUES IN CERTAIN PLACES.
AND ONLY NOW, EVEN THIS MORNING AT 9:15 AM, AFTER DECADES OF STRUGGLE, DID OUR PRESIDENT SIGN INTO LAW THE ABILITY TO FINALLY ALLOW GAY AND LESBIAN CITIZENS TO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY IN OUR ARMED FORCES.
EQUAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA IS NOT A GIVEN. IT IS NOT A GUARANTEE…RATHER…IT IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE. IT TAKES VIGILANCE AND EFFORT AND ENERGY.
WE MUST ALWAYS STRIVE TOWARD FAIR AND EQUAL JUSTICE, KNOWING THAT IT MAY NEVER BE FULLY ACHIEVED.
AS POLITICAL LEADERS, AS BUSINESS LEADERS, AND AS COMMUNITY LEADERS, IT IS ALSO OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ALWAYS REMIND OURSELVES AND ALL OF SOCIETY THAT DIVERSTY IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE FEARED OR SIMPLY TOLERATED.
DIVERSITY IT IS A GREAT STRENGTH OF OUR COUNTRY AND IT IS SOMETHING TO BE WELCOMED, AND APPRECIATED, AND EMBRACED.
THE PEOPLE OF FERNDALE OF PROUD TO HOST THIS MEMORIAL AND WE STAND WITH VINCENT CHIN AND ALL OF THE RESIDENTS OF SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN WHO BELIEVE IN FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE.