"My father is Li Gang" goes viral in China
“My Father is Li Gang!” has become the most popular catchphrase in the Chinese Internet in the past few days. First of all, you may ask, who is Li Gang? Li Gang is the deputy director of the police department in the northern district of Baoding city, Hebei province.
On October 16, a car accident took place in Hebei University, which led to the death of a female student. According to eyewitnesses, the car knocked down two girls who were riding roller on the school campus, but the driver did not stop and continued to drive to the female dormitory to drop off his girl friend. In the end, the school security guards and students blocked the entrance of the school gate and demanded the driver to get off the car. Instead of showing any sign of remorse, the driver, Li Qiming, yelled out to the angry crowd, “Go ahead and sue me, my father is Li Gang!”.
What is the underlying meaning of the sentence: “My Father is Li Gang!”? Many netizens believe it reflects the arrogance of the offsprings of government officials (the so-called G2-official) that they could easily get away with any mistake or crime that they have committed. They are outraged by such inherited corruption and expressed their anger online. Below are the lyrics to a song that has become popular:
The vehicle flies in the middle of the road,
My powerful parents are offsprings of this yellow earthland.
I have an ordinary face, but my father is the head of a bureau.
He is a big tree and can cover the sky with his hand, he also has mysterious power.
My father is Li Gang, the deputy head of Public Security.
A person has died and so what?
God let my father to head a bureau, my father is Li Gang
A person has died but it won’t affect our position
Why? Because my father is a bureau head
The blood coming out from the crash, so bright and so red
If my flying vehicle could bring away my alumni, let her fly away.
The writer of these lyrics explains his motivation here:
“Yesterday, I read the news about a second generation government official running over people and causing one death. I was very angry. Earlier on, we have the “70m” case about second generation rich, now we have another case about second generation official. He did not care about the girls he crashed into, but blamed them for damaging his car. I am so angry. A living being is nothing compared to his vehicle.
“The indifference of this second generation official is inhumane. What’s more, after he crashed the two girls, he continued to drive to the dormitory to pick up his girl friend without any sense of guilt. When he was stopped by the school ‘security, the moron yelled out “my father is Li Gang!”.
The scene reminds me of a movie “Western Journey”: when one yells out the spell of “Holy monkey”, one could be saved. However, your father is not holy monkey, he is just a deputy head of some police bureau. But the fact that he chose to yell out this spell shows that such spell has been very powerful. You yelled out the phrase because the area is under your father’s jurisdiction. However, you have underestimated the power of public opinion.
“You ignorant kid, this spell will not only bring you down, but also your father. If you could keep a low profile, such spell may work for 3 to 5 more years. Once you yelled out, it lost its effect. Not mentioning the fact that your father is only a deputy head, he could not save you even if he was from higher ranks. One spit from each person in the country can drown you and this catchphrase will probably become the greatest hit this year.”
On Wednesday October 20, MOP user, Asshole wetman, made a public call for poetry writings with the catchphrase “My Father is Li Gang!”. So far there are more than 350 submissions. The most circulated ones are reiterations ofThoughts in a Still Night, poem by Tang dynasty poet Li Bai. Below is one of the reiterated versions:
The luminous moonshine before my bed,
Is thought to be the frost fallen on the ground.
I lift my head to yell at the security gard,
My father is Li Gang.
Apart from songs and poems, there are short stories and pictures based on the catchphrase. One example is an imagined conversation between two people in a buffet queue:
Give me more rice, my father is Li Gang!
God damn it, why my father is not Li Gang!
While the incident keeps spreading across the internet in various media forms, the Hebei University school authority started pressuring students to keep quiet. According to a famous journalist microblogger, Wang Keqin, many student eyewitnesses of the incident have been summoned by the school authority. Now it has become very difficult for the reporters to follow up on the issue and dig out the truth. However, he still managed to collect some students’ comments.
Voices from Hebei University’s student 1, “Now that the school does not allow us to comment on the incident, it is very difficult to look for eyewitnesses. Once they told the reporters what they have seen, the school will definitely find out the informant and punish him/her. Everyone is scared, so they all keep silent.” This article originally appeared in Global Voices.