China: My father is Li Gang!

“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!”. Below is a photo showing the car accident scene:

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. The greatest hit about this incident is the following music video:

The lyrics is written by 司文痞子, a user in a popular forum, MOP:

横行路中央 轿车轻飞扬
平凡的模样 可咱爸是局长
只手遮天的大树 还有神秘的力量
我爸叫李刚 公共安全专家局里副局长
谁让我爸是局长 我爸叫李刚
这是为什么呢 因为我爸是局长
撞人后的那个鲜血哟 红个艳艳个艳
如果飙车能够带走我的校友 就让她随风飘远

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 explains his idea and motivation in writing this song in MOP:

昨天看到河北官二代撞死人的新 闻非常气愤,前有富二代七十码,后有官二代爹救驾,当肇事者撞死人之后并没有去管被撞的女生怎么样而是还在责怪把他的车撞成什么样,看到这里我愤怒了,一 条鲜活的生命在他的眼睛里还比不上一辆没有生命的汽车,可见那个官二代感情淡漠到已经不在人类范畴之内了,更可气的还是撞死人之后竟然可以淡定的继续去接 自己的女朋友,当保安拦住时竟又脑残地高喊:“我爸是李刚!”,这让我想起了《西游记》里那句喊出“齐天大圣”就可以逢凶化吉的咒语,可惜你爸不是孙悟 空,你爸只是个某局的副局长,能够在这样危机时刻喊出这样咒语的我们应该想象得到以前这句话是多么的威力无比,你喊这话因为那是在你爸的地盘,但是你低估 了舆论的力量,这不知天高地厚倒霉的孩子,你的一句可笑的话不仅断送了你自己,你爸也是在劫难逃,若是你能低调的形势也许你这句咒语还能再用上个三年五 载,但是至你喊出来之后你的这句密语已经失效了,别说你爸只是个副局长,就是再大的官职在强大的舆论面前也保全不了你,全国人民一人一口唾沫足以淹死你, 这句话也有可能能成为今年最流行的一句网络语言。

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 of Thoughts 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!

Another widely circulated photo is a software generated advertisement Government official father for sale!

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.”

河北大学同学的声音之二,同学给我留言:“我妈已严令禁止我再管这事,但我没办法让自己的良心受煎熬!晓凤惨白的脸一直在我眼前晃动,我若不管,我怕我会 夜夜被噩梦缠绕!晓凤晶晶都是我所在社团的部员,她们甜甜的叫过我学姐,我没法坐视不理!但,我真的没办法要求那些仅仅是目击人的同学太多”

Voices from Hebei University's student 2: “My mother has forbidden me to follow the incident. But my conscience is giving me a hard time. The plain face of Xiaofung keeps appearing in front of me. If I don't speak up, I will be haunted. Xiaofung and JingJing are both members of my club, they have called me big sister before, I can't just step aside. However, I cannot demand too much from other eyewitnesses.”


Vocies from Hebei University student 3: “You have no idea how corrupted the university is nowadays. The school authority is like local triad. What they said would affect students’ future – whether they can enter graduate school and the party, whether they can get their graduate certificates, scholarships, etc. People said the high school examination can determine a person's future, but school leaders have even more power over students!”.


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