Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Students Decry Social Media Portrayal Of USC Chinese Students Shot To Death

Shako Liu and Dan Watson |
April 11, 2012 | 10:06 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporters

(Photo by Kay Chinn)
(Photo by Kay Chinn)
Tears and anger were on display Wednesday night, as friends of the two Chinese students who were shot and killed earlier in the day near USC denounced the portrayal  of the victims in some social media outlets as indifferent, rich students. Several students attending a candle light vigil on the South Los Angeles campus spoke out against the image being circulated of the two shooting victims.

A family friend of Ming Qu, one of the two victims, claimed that many students who offered sympathy for the victims didn't come to the campus memorial because they were being bombarded by reporters' queries that focused on the luxury car the two students were driving.

Many comments on Chinese Weibo, a Twitter-like social media, were focused on the BMW, alleging that the two victims were obnoxious rich kids. "They dared not come [to the memorial," said Qu's friend who requested anonymity.

“Ming Qu was a very good kid and had been a top one in his study. He was going to fly back to China in 20 days and start working there,” she said .

Jia Silu, a good friend of the second victim Ying Wu, brought a bouquet and a photo of her to the memorial, with tears in his eyes. “Actually the two of them were very frugal,” he said with a choking voice. “Wu shared a room with another girl to save rent. Those who said the BMW was $60,000 have no conscience. It is a total lie.” 

Jia said the two students often studied late at night. They spent most of their time in the library, he added.

“She was very kind to everyone. We often hanged out," Jia said. "We had dinner in Chinatown, and I took her to buy contact lenses. She told me to hang out again. I never thought something like this would happen.”

Jia said he didn’t do anything the whole day, except stay online to read updates on the killing that took place in the wee hours of Wednesday morning barely a mile from the USC campus.

He fondly remembers Wu giving herself the nickname "Sister Pig Feet." Everyone called her that nickname, he said. Last night, she renamed herself "Sister Ox Feet," he said. Ox is slang for "greatness" in Chinese. "So you are a great person now?" Jia joked with her.

“We all have the dream of having a better life and contributing to our parents and our country,” Jia said.

Adam Bobrow, a former USC theater major, remembers asking the girl next to him if she’d watch his computer in Leavey Library, and, soon thereafter, a friendship blossoming.
 
“Wu was open-minded, progressive, thoughtful, considerate, and she was up for participating in a good joke,” Bobrow said.
 
Just after asking her to watch his computer, he remembers teaching her the Westside sign as a joke, and taking photos of her and her friend as they posed and laughed. “She loved life, that was sort of contagious, being with her,” Bobrow said. 
 
On Wednesday night, he left a candle for his friend at the vigil.
 
“She’s the most harmless person. She never does anything to put herself in dangers way. I can’t imagine a more peaceful, pleasant person. The ‘deserve-factor.’ Deserve has nothing to do with it. It just seems so crazy,” he said.
 
“I thought about her family and what it must be like to be home in China with your daughter far, far away, and then to have to hear this terrible news.”

 

Reach Shako Liu here.

Reach Dan Watson here.



 

Live On Twitter

Buzz

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTdpCitDdXE&list=UU1tL2s9hkvS2TSyP65kS_Sw]Griffith Observatory hosted school groups and others today to view the partial solar eclipse. Lasting for only a few hours, a solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. Astonomers and sky enthusiasts brought their telescopes to the observatory's lawn to view the eclipse. 

The prosecution and defense delivered their final arguments today in court.

 


Comments

taylormade r11 driver (not verified) on May 6, 2012 8:10 PM

public ortitleist drivers courtier merchant gentry, are looking forward to this time of peace and development canscotty cameron putter be sustained longer certain, although the horse its region titleist irons and in the Li Boya Khan Some areas remain dissatisfied with the forces or activities in r11 driverthe dark, but publicYou were "rocketballz driver You do not want a girlfriend? The r11s driversun came out, go ah!"

Your rating: None
Boston (not verified) on April 14, 2012 4:02 PM

USC did not accept 70% of incomming freshmen in the 1990s, though it was significantly higher than it is now back in the 1980s. "1997-ish" isn't "pre Sample Days" either. He became president in 1991. Also, take a look at this data:

1970: University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League University): 70% Acceptance Rate
~1995: University of Chicago: 68% Acceptance Rate
~1998: George Washington University: 80% Acceptance Rate

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
calwatch (not verified) on April 15, 2012 6:58 PM

From the thread you copied and pasted this fact from on College Confidential, it does show that USC's 1996 admit rate was 70%. This is an article from the alumni magazine trying to sell the increased selectivity - http://www.usc.edu/dept/pubrel/trojan_family/winter98/Admissions/admissi...

Really although Sample did take the reins in 1991, as you point out, the rise in USC's prestige is a late 90's and early 2000's phenomenon. Back then USC was placed with the Miamis, Syracuses, and TCUs of the world - better known for football than for academics.

Your rating: None
Boston (not verified) on April 14, 2012 4:01 PM

USC did not accept 70% of incomming freshmen in the 1990s, though it was significant higher than it is now back in the 1980s. "1997-ish" isn't "pre Sample Days" either. He became president in 1991. Also, take a look at this data:

1970: University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League University): 70% Acceptance Rate
~1995: University of Chicago: 68% Acceptance Rate
~1998: George Washington University: 80% Acceptance Rate

Your rating: None
Jal (not verified) on April 12, 2012 12:04 AM

This is really unfortunate. It's apparently not enough that these two kids were shot in cold blood and their parents put through hell. Talk about lazy rich people... just go to any homecoming USC football game and check out the ruddy cheeked, sodden yacht club alumni guzzling booze. There's a reason why USC was known as the University of Spoiled Children and that was long before the Chinese students arrived. RIP to those poor kids.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)
calwatch (not verified) on April 11, 2012 11:46 PM

While it's definitely inappropriate to assess the victims in this tragedy to contributing in any way to it, unfortunately it does play into the stereotype, both in China and until recently in the Chinese American community, of USC as a rich kid's plaything. This misguided stereotype dates back to the pre-Sample days when USC accepted 70% of incoming freshmen (1997-ish) and was infested with legacies. It doesn't matter that they saved up for the BMW, were in electrical engineering which has high paying internships, etc. but there is a strain in parts of Chinese culture against the conspicuous consumption represented by the BMW, which is why you get those misanthropic comments on the Internet.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Leave a comment

Name
E-mail*
URL
Comments*
ntrandomness