Opinion / Xin Zhiming

Hit the brakes on unfair insults

By Xin Zhiming ( Updated: 2014-05-08 13:30

A 21-year-old Chinese student studying in the US, surnamed Duan, was killed in what would have been an otherwise an ordinary road accident in California last week — if the car he was driving had not been a Ferrari.

Netizens have offered their condolences, but some Internet commentators have also showed their lack of sympathy, cursing the deceased simply because he was probably a rich man driving a posh car.

One comment at the popular Sina Weibo micro blog blatantly said: “It is better for him to die than killing others (in over-speed driving).”

But, according to a Los Angeles Times report, “The Ferrari was traveling at an appropriate speed in a 35-mph zone, but the Hyundai (which struck the Ferrari) was moving ‘well above the posted speed limit”, citing local police.

The driver of the Hyundai is under investigation on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the report said.

So far at least, no evidence has shown that the victim has done anything wrong in the tragic accident.

In another accident last week in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a young man named Hu Bin rolled his BMW over at a curve. Local police said it was an ordinary accident and nobody was injured.

Similarly, some netizens criticized Hu for showing off and insulted him.

Unlike Duan, however, Hu has a criminal record. Five years ago, Hu killed a pedestrian on a Hangzhou street while driving. Although the police later said he was not speeding, many people did not believe the report. Hu was sentenced to three years in prison but he managed to get out of prison nine months earlier for commutation, which has aroused another round of uproar by netizens who believed he has got the commutation through bribes, not good behavior in prison.

Despite his criminal record, there was no evidence that Hu has violated any traffic rules in last week’s accident.

Some angry Internet users expressed their unreserved resentment toward the two drivers. This is clearly unreasonable.

China’s reform and opening up in the past three decades have created an increasing number of rich people. While their wealth has expanded exponentially, some of these fortunate people have failed to behave properly in public.

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