Killing of Asian-American on subway prompts questions of racism on CNN, Weibo



Does coverage of the murder of Korean-American immigrant Ki Suk Han, who was pushed onto the tracks of the New York subway on Monday, December 3 raise important racial issues?

One CNN guest and a number of commenters on Sina Weibo seem to think so.

On December 3, Naeem Davis, a black man, pushed Han onto the tracks after the two had become engaged in an argument. He was struck and killed less than a minute later. The incident became international news after the New York Post featured a photo of Han on the tracks with the train bearing down.

Much media coverage has focused on whether the Post was right to feature the photo on its front page along with the headline, “This man is about to die,” but a CNN guest and a number of Weibo commenters went further, finding racial issues in the choice of photo.

Daily Download Editor in Chief Lauren Ashburn appeared on the CNN show Starting Point on December 5 and asked, “Would The Post have published this if it were a white woman?” She didn’t go further in elaborating her point, but I would suspect her thoughts have something to do with the theory that the media treats cases involving white women differently than others, as illustrated by the phenomenon of missing white woman syndrome.

The discussion on Weibo was more defined, as two Chinese people living in America went back and forth about problems of racism as it affects people of Asian descent and media portrayal of different races in American culture.

One unifying point in the criticism is that the use of the photo was insensitive, particularly when put alongside the headline, “This man is about to die,” and some Weibo users find the headline to be disrespectful and mocking the victim.


Right now Americans society and media has completely different attitudes on the coverage of black people and Asian people, and it is causing people to be angry. Towards the later, they won’t dare commit an offense, and give them all kinds of welfare and special treatment. Towards the later, they use completely mockery and derision.Just look at the movie Red Dawn using people of Asian descent to invade America, and you can see what I mean.



Red Dawn is connected to the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War and to the Communist Party. It’s not about race.The original version and countless other movies are more contemptuous.


If it was a black person who was pushed in, would they dare write this headline?


The old version is about the Cold War time. It puts the Soviet Union as the enemy. In that film, China is allied with America. Now the Cold War is over. Russians are white people. They must find a new imaginary enemy. They cannot use black people or Latin Americans, because that is politically incorrect. Asians are the easiest to bully. The new film was going to use China’s army as the enemy, but after China organized protest they instead chose to use North Korea.

While Red Dawn picked one of America’s geo-political foes to invade, it is true that Americans do harbor some irrational amount of animosity directed at China due to nationalistic and xenophobic strains of thought. China’s economic development and international rise on the political stage has caused many Americans to be nervous or fearful of China, and has contributed to fear-mongering about China being inserted into political debate. No attack ad is complete in America without a reference to the candidates’ opponent “sending jobs to China,” and the 2010 ad “Chinese Professor” went so far as to portray China taking over America. Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama before him, have criticized China continuously over the pseudo-problem of alleged currency manipulation.


As ordinary Americans say, they basically don’t distinguish between Chinese people, Japanese people, and Korean people. In the end, they all Asians are the same. So this movie can easily mislead them to hate all Asians. A lot of web commenters have already started saying, now that I have watched this film I am starting to hate Asians, want to find some Asians to kill.


Those people are all uneducated dregs of society. They don’t represent average Americans.


For movies about sensitive topics, they will typically wait 3 or 5 or ten years to film.In World War II, China was America’s ally, so in the 80’s, this is how the movie was filmed. But the Korean War and Vietnam War had affected America, so in 2012, this is how they filmed it.


And I haven’t even mentioned so many other Hollywood movies, for examples Transformers or The Hangover, where the Asian male plays the role of the circus clown. They won’t chose a black man or a Latino to be ridiculed like this. Asians are the easiest to be bullied.

There is a widely held view in the study of Asian character roles in American media that Asians often play emasculated males and silly characters, and the character played Ken Jeong in The Hangover, with his buffoonish character and stereotypical heavy accent clearly fills that role. The blogger “Racist Proving Racist” offers more examples, and there are also academic papers offering this view.

Another Weibo user by the user name of 胖胖的围脖, who lives in China, posted in English:

ZT:This is a profoundly shameful photo in the history of journalism and an insult to the human race. You humiliated the victim and all Asian Americans by misspelling his name:His name is Ki-Suk Han, not Ki-SUCK Han!  What you have done is racist,cold-blooded and totally despicable.

A number of news reports have misspelled the victim’s name as Ki Suck Han.

不当五毛党的阵 said,

cold-blood paper. racialist.

Read more comments on Weibo.


            1. “A woman who told police she shoved a man to his death off a subway platform into the path of a train because she hates Muslims and” Asians……………..she” was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime, prosecutors said.”

              “Erika Menendez was charged in the death of Mr. Sen, who was crushed by a No. 7 train in Queens on Thursday night, the second time this month a commuter has died in such a nightmarish fashion.”

              As always many whiteys love to show off to Chinese too, like they are better than all the Chinese in China.

              And they do that at home a lot too as we can see.

    1. Only that in this case, the man who pushed the Asian immigrant was a black man, most likely who was born in the U.S.

      Nativism and racism can be espoused by all people, of all colors and all backgrounds.
      That much should be known by now, and this incident confirms it.

        1. Doesn’t matter he is black and some Chinese like blacks more than whites.

          Those China men are so fucked up in the head that even whites don’t like them.

          They should push those China men into the tracks and let the trains run over their shitty brains.

    2. yea, which means old’ outsider. it implies suspicion, but not hate. just because they don’t look like you doesn’t mean you should kill them by shoving them onto the train track.

    3. And like white people can’t ever even be considered Chinese? It’s like saying how Americans view yellow people.

  1. Why isn’t a barrier put up between the platform and the rails so this sort of thing doesn’t happen?

  2. a few new york friends have told me about a woman from hong kong who was killed in similar way after being pushed onto nyc subway tracks back in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, but this story was never published on the internet for some reason. anybody who have info on this murder case?

  3. A woman being pushed on the subway tracks in the 1980’s or early 1990’s would not be published on the internet for the reason the first graphical browser was introduced in the mid 1990’s. Searching the internet prior to that time was mostly command line:-)
    “The first web browser was invented in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. … The introduction of Mosaic in 1993 – one of the first graphical web browsers –

  4. The very next week, the same paper – the New York Post – published security camera on their front page of a man about to get shot in the head.

    They do it to everyone, not just to Asians.

  5. Did asians enslaved blacks?….No! Since the blacks can’t get justice from the white, they go after the other race to release their historical frustration and anger. Simple as that.

    1. “Since the blacks can’t get justice from the white, they go after the other race to release their historical frustration and anger.”

      But always so, many blacks are getting justice by going after the whitey bitches and screwing the shit out of them.


      1. that S/B ….. But not always so, many blacks are getting justice by going after the whitey bitches and screwing the shit out of them.

  6. Not quite. Had that been a belligerent drunken N-word that got in the dudes face, he would have reacted the same.
    I don’t disagree with your observation about us though:-) In fact I strongly agree. Just this incident has nothing to do with it. I think the victims own wife said he left the house drunk in a confronting mood.

  7. Too bad, but that kinda thing happens to you when you allow yourself to get confronting and drunk on top of it? I know I would have been dead long ago if I went out in New York in that state. Drunk, ….too bad his family could not just have locked him in the basement four or five hours rather than let him out on the streets of New York in that state.

  8. The nature of most of the comments on this page shows who the true racists are.
    Always ready to accuse others of what they themselves are. Racism is not a white only thing, it’s where one race sees themselves better than the other due to whatever reason.
    Your idiotic racial comments make you loose your much loved face.
    Stay isolated, stay alone and believe you are superior, it’s much easier that way isn’t it.

    1. “The nature of most of the comments on this page shows who the true racists are.”
      Quoting you: “China and always will be savages to their own”

      “Racism is not a white only thing, it’s where one race sees themselves better than the other due to whatever reason.”
      Anddd quoting your name “Nippon rules”

      Your sense of logic is really flawed dude, kinda seems like you are smacking your own “much loved face”.


      1. Lets examine your flawed logic shall we. “Racism is not a white only thing, it’s where one race sees themselves better than the other due to whatever reason.”
        What exactly is racist about this statement?
        First, let’s define racism “the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others.”
        So with that in mind, what was racist about that comment?
        “China and always will be savages to their own” Your flawed interpretation of my comment is racist in it’s own rite.
        My name as well?? Is it racist to have national pride?
        It seems to be if you are not Chinese that is.

  9. China would never allow that many non-Chinese to live permanently in the country to begin with, so what’s all the complaining about racism?

    Multiculturalism is garbage, this is just an example why

  10. U cant take her as an example tho.. The woman was deranged and i think from southern america.. Aint exactly the best person to take for stereotyping homer.

  11. What a fun New Year party for my friends in NYC, they had to stay in the box on Time Sq. for over 11 hours waiting for the ball to drop and they can’t get out of line for a pee or get any food to eat.

    What a crap city, NYC has become.

  12. New Year’s Day celebrations took a deadly turn early Tuesday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, when a stampede following a fireworks show killed dozens of people, most of them children, according to a fire department official.

    At least 60 people were killed and more than 200 injured after the early-morning fireworks display turned into a panicked stampede near the 65,000-capacity Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Ivory Coast’s commercial centre, reports say.

    More nice black culture for the whitey nations to love and hug.

    1. “More nice black culture for the whitey nations to love and hug” More Chinese racism, but that’s OK isn’t it. You like celebrating the suffering of others, very advanced.

  13. Oh please, you Chinese/Koreans are the most racist and rude people! You have no respect for america or the citizens here! You don’t even pay taxes on the houses you people buy because you get them through your so called”church” that isn’t even a church, its a financial center! So I actually am not feeling any remorse when one of you people die! You people should just stay in China or Korea and stop ruining America and overcrowding us in the big cities! You people do not make the USA economy stronger, you people just go on welfare and not pay taxes when you come here!

  14. This guy isn’t “Asian” he’s Korean.

    Everyone knows Koreans are the only race on earth which kill and torture their own people for no reason except for fun, all Asians know that Koreans are the most crazy people and it’s in their DNA. A few days ago I saw a Korean get denied entry then he stabbed the security in the face and left. They are sick and this guy was pushed onto the subway since he was sick and no one cares.

    America is the most “anti-racist” nation on earth and go to great lengths to deny reality, reality is our DNA is different from race to race due to cultural evolution of millions of years in different geographic locations. Americans are the most confused and indoctrinated people on earth yet they think they’re the smartest since they have the most expensive schools and most movies.

    American kills Korean, who cares… let’s hope they all kill eachother which should have happened in WWII. Nuclear technology twisted human destiny in the wrong direction and now the world is suffering but hopefully N.Korea fires some nukes at America and America fires back to get those dogs away from our planet.

  15. Korea is hardly the only country to torture their own people for fun. Plenty of those to go around. I think you are no better than the americans OR the koreans your talking about.. You stereotype then all together and condemn an entire race, ALL koreans torture for fun, ALL americans think they are the smartest because they have the most movies etc. So im guessing all british people have high tea and all chinese are cannibals then?

    And you hope a country fires a weapon of mass destruction to kill millions so more people can die? You are no better than the dogs you are referring to. Anyone in a “normal” state of mind wouldnt want to do that.

  16. Goodbye, US passport.

    That’s not a concept that Americans contemplate lightly. But it’s one that many of them seem to be considering – and acting on.

    The number of expatriates renouncing their US citizenship surged in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the same period the year before –

    Yeah Amerika is for the blacks and Indians and muslims and more Indians.

  17. American media is good at suppressing positive news about Asia and Latin America. American media loves to portray Non-Whites as backwards. Eg. , there’s no high rise buildings in India, Philippines, South-East Asia, and East Asians are Sexist society that denied females equal rights.

    1. East Asia does have a ‘sexist’ society where females don’t have equal rights, it’s quite natural in Asia where women have very rarely been ‘hunters’ or ‘leaders’ so to speak.

      With the exception of China, Korea, Japan and a few civilizations such as Egypt and the Incas etc., ‘non-whites’ around the world were all pretty backwards until ‘white’ civilization arrived there.

      Tell me an advanced non-white civilization today standing on it’s own feet i.e. without copying or assimilating the west.

      Anyway you’re right American media is still Anglo-Saxon-centric and does not get excited about K-pop and Bubble Tea.

      1. @nano
        “Tell me an advanced non-white civilization today standing on it’s own feet i.e. without copying or assimilating the west.”
        Hakka civilization. Hakka are the creators, Apple the imitators. In fact it’s obvious that the ‘vision’ of Apples ‘mad genius’
        is nothing less than copying (read stealing) Hakka architecture both in form and function then crediting Steve Jobs with creating the design.

        New Apple headquarters:

        Straight out of Fujian into Cupertino California:

        PLUS the females RULE 🙂

  18. Please note:
    “As we noted in June, Apple is building what is sure to be the coolest office building ever in Cuptertino, CA. ….
    Now this assumes the Hakka civilization had no offices in their Tulous. Overly presumptuous at the very least.

  19. They wouldn’t have published this photo if it was a white WOMAN, or an Asian woman, or a black woman – but they would have still published this photo if it was a white man.

    The name of this ‘trope’ is “men are the expendable gender”. Most murder victims are male (at the hands of other males”, but it’s the killing of women that ganders front page panic – though understandably, women are killed by serial sex killers that are strangers while men are murdered in the middle of fights they are involved in.

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