Here is a YouTube video showing a Chinese woman fighting with a black woman on a San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) bus on October 7, 2009.
The video has garnered a great deal of attention online and in the news. Below is a rough transcript that provides an English translation of the Chinese spoken at the incident. This is not a verbatim transcript, as some of the comments made in the video–both in English and Chinese–are unintelligible. Even with a rough transcript, viewers who do not speak Chinese should now be able to understand better what transpired. So far, KRON 4 News and MUNI officials have condemned the fight as an act of violence on MUNI and grouped it together with a robbery that occurred on MUNI days before this incident. From the news coverage, it appears that neither the KRON 4 reporters nor the MUNI officials understood–or bothered to seek clarification for–the Chinese spoken in the video before issuing their condemnations. Other Bay Area media sources, including CBS 5, KTVU and SFGate.com have also reported on the incident but said nothing about the cause or the racial subtext of the fight. Given that more than half of the incident took place in Chinese, the transcript below will hopefully help straighten out some of the muddled facts.
Chinese woman throws her bag down on the seat.
In the background, a male Chinese passenger says (in Chinese): “Hit her back!”
A female Chinese passenger says (in Chinese): “No, don’t hit her.”
Chinese woman to black woman: “Fuck you!”
Black woman: “Put yo’ hands on the [unintelligible].”
Video man: “Just another day on MUNI…fucking MUNI.”
Chinese woman turns around to the other Chinese passengers and frantically says (in Chinese): “She hogged the seat and refused to let me sit down.”
Black woman waves her hand in the air and yells at Chinese woman: “I guarantee you won’t walk off this bus.”
Female Chinese passenger in the sunglasses, sitting in front of the two screaming women says (in Chinese): “Don’t hit her. Just talk to her. But let me tell you, don’t let her bully you.”
Chinese woman to black woman: “You are stupid! Fuck you!”
Black woman says, repeatedly: “Put yo’ hands on [unintelligible].”
Chinese woman to black woman: “You are stupid! Fuck you!”
Black woman: “No more spitting in my face.”
Chinese woman complains to the other Chinese speaking passengers (in Chinese): “When I sat down she started yelling at me. I’m the one who should be yelling at her. I asked her to let me sit down. I said ‘excuse me’ but she didn’t move one inch.”
Black woman (simultaneously): “I’m gonna beat yo’ ass.”
Chinese woman to black woman: “Fuck you! Fuck you!”
Black woman: “Say it again.”
Chinese woman: “Fuck you!”
Black woman punches Chinese woman in the face.
Chinese woman chases after the black woman.
In the background, male Chinese passenger yells (in Chinese): “Hit her! Hit her!”
Female Chinese passenger yells (in Chinese): “Harder, harder!”
Other Chinese passengers, all screaming (in Chinese): [Kick her ass!]
Chinese woman repeatedly hits black woman on the head. Black woman retreats to other side of the bus. Chinese woman kicks her.
Asian woman who is not Chinese and does not speak Chinese says (in English): “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Somebody grab her!”
Chinese man yells (in Chinese): “Hit her! Kick her!”
Asian woman (in English): “Stop it, stop it, stop it.”
Chinese man yells (in Chinese): “Hit her until she’s scared!”
A female Chinese passenger who is sitting down pats the Chinese woman in the fight gently and says quietly (in Chinese): “Stop fighting now, stop fighting now.”
Asian woman screams (in English): “Get her back! Fucking stop it! Immature!”
Chinese woman in the fight points at the black woman and screams (in Chinese): “You’re trying to bully us Chinese people!”
Black woman attempts to get off the bus. More fighting ensues.
Asian woman (in English): “Stop it, stop it. You guys gotta go. Get off the bus.”
Black woman gets off the bus.
Chinese man (in Chinese) yells: “Hit her!”
Chinese woman in the fight angrily complains to the other Chinese passengers (in Chinese): “I asked her, please, could you please move. She refused to move. I asked her, could you let me sit down, but she refused to move and started yelling at me.”
Chinese crowd: “Okay, okay, forget about her, just sit down now….”
Chinese woman in the fight screams (in Chinese): “She was walking all over us because we were Chinese. I asked you politely and you think you can walk all over Chinese people.”
Thanks for doing this.
Small clarification: I had assumed so as well, but the young woman trying to stop the fight was not Chinese.
Thank you for the clarification. I’ll make the appropriate edits.
Thee woman also says “inmature, stopit” not “get her back”
Thanks, she did say “immature,” which I’ve now added, but she also said “get her back.”
This MUST be made into a musical. An EPIC musical. Live on a real muni bus.
This is awesome, thanks!
Obviously this was a fight that should never have happened. but it’s sickening that these Chinese people are egging on the fight. that screaming chinese woman instigated the fight by continuing to scream fuck you. either case, they both got what they deserved
While I appreciate the extensive translation, I don’t see how this changes things. We all knew the racial subtext–which I would argue was so clear was actually the text of the fight.
How many times have any of us–regardless of our descriptions–been subjected to similar humiliating treatment on MUNI?
I just found the entire video, and the fact is that the Chinese woman asked the black woman to move her purse so that she could sit. And the black woman essentially told her to go to hell. That’s not humiliating treatment on Muni; that’s one person being an asshole. That woman is probably an asshole to anyone she thinks she can victimize, and she punched someone in the face for asking her to move her purse, and she got hit back. Maybe she’s a victim of abuse or hasn’t been attending her anger management classes regularly or whatever, but it’s not unreasonable for someone to ask you to move over so she can sit down, and it is unreasonable for you to punch that person in the face for asking.
I think Tony Koo is right: regardless of our nationalities or ethnicities or whatever, the way to stop a bully is to stand up to him. That woman is very possibly going to think again before she punches a stranger in the face.
“That’s not humiliating treatment on Muni; that’s one person being an asshole.” I’m happy to see this point being made. It’s not the MUNI, it’s the riders who make for a pleasant or unpleasant ride.
“I think Tony Koo is right: regardless of our nationalities or ethnicities or whatever, the way to stop a bully is to stand up to him.” Here is a link to a similar bus story: http://www.nypress.com/article-19453-8-million-stories-bus-justice.html
Just goes to show that Chinese people, though normally polite and humble, WILL whip open a real nasty can of whoop ass if they feel they’ve been pushed to the point of no return.
If more of us did things like this, then maybe we wouldn’t be picked on and humiliated so much.
Just a thought…
It’s interesting to me that all the facts and details that help one determine the real story here were established in the blogosphere rather than in the conventional news media.
Were the news folks sloppy? Lazy? Covering up? Just putting in their 40 for the paycheck? Seems like the only valuable function of the conventional media anymore is an alert that something happened somewhere. And if you want to know what, head for the web.
I love it. Great job!
I’ve been following your internet publishing and for the most part it is complete bias based in hate.
I am truely sorry for your childhood but I assure you African Americans dont hate Chinese people. I took Chinese for 2 years in high school and had 2 chinese girlfriends in the short 21 years I’ve been alive.
I love Chinese Culture, I very often reference it in my art (im a student graphic designer). As for my romance with Chinese women in the past, I alway treated them with respect and unlike most whites I didnt fetishize them. Futhermore where I grew up there was always a healthy mix of nationalities, this greatly help form my world views at large. I live in a two family house and the people I share with are Viet (I love them like family because to me they are.).
My high school was full of filipinos who never face any type of harrassment at the hands of African American. We just got along expect for the ones who stuck with their own with no intention of interacting outside their race (and that was ok, not everyone prefer a melting pot culture).
I really would like to see better Afro-asian relations in the global scene but this won’t happan if people spread mass hate for a race over the actions of afew (admittingly ignorant and low on the eco-scale) people.
Actually take race out of the picture and look at eco-class doesnt it make scene the poor are the most ignorant. Sadly many immigrants move into poor areas so they get put into tough situations.
Ignorance is a problem but are Chinese people so without ignorance that they are mere victims to big black americans like you make it seem?
Thank you Christian ❤ Ditto
I think the problem is a lack of honesty. whenever there is an incident of white on black or “white” Hispanic on black violence, the media is all over it. But when blacks do racist crap, the media doesn’t report it. So it feels like there is no accountability for blacks, and different standards. The reality is that many black people are NOT racist. I grew up in New York City in a multi-ethnic neighborhood and for the most part, people were not racist. A few were, but that shouldn’t make us paint everyone with the same brush. I remember one black girl who I saw be horribly mean and racist to a white girl who had done nothing wrong. But most of the blacks I knew would not have acted that way. Or, as another example, I have met Chinese who were very dishonest but most Chinese I knew were not that way. However, because the media and society in general won’t talk honestly about this type of stuff, I think sites like this are necessary so people can vent, talk honestly, etc. I think PC actually hurts race relations more than it helps. If people can talk to each other honestly, it might help people find solutions rather than just hold it in and feel resentment.
“Put yo’ hands on the RAIL”. her voice is unintelligible because of the background noise but that seems to be the most reasonable translation.
I’ve been living in Asia for four years and so I find this topic interesting. I’d like to know what you think about dating Asian women, as far as how well they adapt to moving to a Western country. I’ve thought about bringing my Chinese girlfriend back to Canada with me but I am not sure if she would acclimate to the new environment. I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with dating Asian women overseas and bringing them to another country?
My wife who is a Cantonese and not Toishanese speaker, said that at one point near the end, she thought that the Toishanese lady was getting after the non-chinese asian girl for intervening on the side of the black perpetrator. Frankly, that’s the way it seemed to me too. Can anyone shed light on this?
I am an african american woman and it saddens me to see that people are so into something so meaningless as color. I work with mostly chinese people at my job and i have found that people are people. our cultures are different and our food taste vary sometimes and when they get together they speak in chinese and i don’t have a clue as to what they are saying. i have met some that are the sweetest people that you will ever meet. i have had relationships with black people that i cannot stand and black people that i love to death. i know white people that i would not give the time of day to and then there are the ones that have helped me get every promotion that i have ever had, because i work hard. One of my best friends is fighting cancer and i try to be there for her as much as i can. she just happens to be phillipino. people, stop putting so much emphasis on color and just treat people accordingly. with love and respect. Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mother Theresa all treated people with love and respect.
Well said, Angie. We need to stop seeing color and judging based on people’s color. Whether they’re White, Black, Asian or Hispanic. We should judge by an individual’s character and not by his/her race, religion, sexual orientation, sex or gender.
This is a quentisential example of why females should be prepared to defend themselves from an attacker. The victim in this case is lucky the attacker, the black female, didn’t have in her possession, a weapon, such as a knife. No matter what people say, when the black female responded to the verbals made by the yellow female, by punching her in the face, she ultimately provoked the fight. The yellow female, was then, in her legal right, to fight back.
The chinese women were right in this case. The black women falsely under estimated the yellow woman’s response to this matter. she thought the yellow woman was going to walk away. The woman did the right thing, she kicked her ass, and all bullys need to meet the same demise.
Yes, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mother Theresa all treated people with love and respect. But this black bitch, needed her ass kicked, and thats what she got.
wow, this is crazy! Thanks for the transcript, I wasn’t entirely sure how the argument got violent until I read that.
Ms Ying—-You should move to a State like South Carolina or Texas where you would be adored and loved. Race relations in those Southern “backward” States are far better then New York or California (where you have lived).
I have been to China and my wife is from the Northern Philippines. I thank you for your magnificent contributions to the USA!
I use public transport (bus/train) in Dallas, and the Blacks are CONSTANTLY causing problems like you see in these videos. Many if not most of the bus drivers are obvious racists with a violent ghetto mentality. Same story where the Blacks are.
chinese are mean and they lie alot … killing blacks in area of guangzhou on police hand cuffs is no big deal to them …. all we get is that blacks are troublesome …gaddam it ……………..5 chinese against 1 black man may GOD FORGIVE CHINA
Hey, I’m actually going to be GOING to GZ. So, I googled this violence you’re talking about. I’m about to go read about it, but, all I see are Chinese v. African blacks.
Do you know of instances where violence has occurred with Chinese v. Western blacks? Because I know outside the states people usually care where you’re FROM, not necessarily what color you are.
Thanks a lot
It shows the power of people coming together agaInst small acts of injustice….me thinks…..
I can’t help but notice that Ying Ma’s writings frequently include apologetic statements about the “good” blacks who actually work, embrace education, and aren’t inclined to thuggish behavior and ignorance. However, I wonder what exactly the relevance of this minority of blacks to the issue of race in America actually is. There are far too few of them – practically negligible numbers – in the areas where Asians and blacks are likely to live side-by-side.
Maybe this video (crudely) represents the answer: that the racial antagonism that blacks so liberally dispense to Asians requires an equally racial response in kind?
While this may not seem like the preferred action of civilized people, we need to remember that, in the real world, those who prefer decorum and civility are frequently eaten alive by those who play by rougher rules. And there is no creature in the mammalian world more mindlessly savage than the “African American” – and the crime statistics and superabundant anecdotal evidence prove it. It’s time to stand up for our people – as a race under siege by a soulless predators readily identifiable by their black skin.
Go fuck yourself Jerry. Just because the fight on the bus was between a black lady and chinese lady does not mean it was racial. You didn’t hear any kind of racial remark from her towards the chinese lady. The black lady was just being a bitch and EVERY culture has one. Ying Ma is just instigating because of all the crap she wen’t through growing up,”In the Ghetto” now she want’s every black person out there to feel her dragon lady wrath.
Ying Ma, why don’t you talk about the racism against the blacks in your motherland of China? Black people from Africa are discriminated against almost on a daily basis there. Why don’t you talk about how a lot of black teachers from America who want to work as english teachers over there, get overlooked and those jobs are given to white people, how during the 2008 Olympics the chinese banned the Mongolians and Africans from their bars? Why not talk about that? A lot of Chinese come here to the USA with racist views of blacks already. What about the skin-lightening creams and all that crazy plastic surgery they get try to look more white? I know you know its there as much as you write about China. But I know better and I know that you really don’t give a shit because deep down your bitter.
Just simple… yuan>dollars.. ftw
Ying Ma, why do you think this is an example of “Black racism”. Has it ever occured to you this is a cultural misunderstanding/difference over space. And the chinese passengers were not being any better behaved by egging on the fighting. Americans value space and don’t like people sitting close to them on a bus. It has nothing to do with race.
However the Asian racism against blacks in China is very bad and appauling, which you do nothing about. Asians are opening stores in kenya africa and telling signs of no blacks allowed. Asians discrimiante against blacks in china heavily, and the zhou chinese wiped out the indigenous shang and xia and nha khi black chinese dynastys. You make no mention of the racial characterictures that chinese make of blacks and the anti-black hatred they bring to America.
The Chinese lady didn’t help the situation by touching the black women and telling her fuck you multiple times, those be fighting words in America.
While black americans are by no means perfect most don’t even think about asians on a day to day basis. The few who do and are racist, are racist due to negative encounters like this one, or due to white supremacy that happened during white brainwashing blacks. Calling blacks racist does nothing to help either of these issues. You’d be far better off go and finding these blacks and educating them that not all asians are evil. That would build more bridges rather than burning them,
I’m Chinese-American and I agree with Hernanday & Blackgold. I think we Chinese do have to examine our own history and our past and current relations with other races (such as people of African descent) as well and remember that we too were once and still are oppressed by the white patriarchal society that is racist, sexist, classist, agist and homophobic. We Asians do not make up much of Congress or Hollywood, even though we make up the majority in some Ivy Leagues, UCs and the tech sector as non-high ranking employees. We were heavily discriminated against by Whites in American and in our homeland (mainland China) during the Opium War; the British government force fed our people opium just so they could get their hands on our more valuable tea. We need to analyze our own history and our current relationship with other races.
Ms. Ying Ma, do you not remember Vincent Chin? Do you not remember that our people were lynched by white men in San Francisco Chinatown. Do you not remember the Chinese Exclusion Act? Do you not remember reading Korematsu and Yick Wo in law school? What about Plessy and Brown v. Board? Historical context is important. Asian women are still seen as docile, submissive and are hypersexualized in the media, while Asian men are. And it is not because of Blacks. I hope that you focus on this issue as well. I appreciate your presence and voice in the media, although I respectfully disagree with your views. Like you, I am also from the Bay Area, attended law school there. However, I attended San Francisco State University for undergrad and took many Black Studies courses there. It was eye opening, because you learn about Black history, such as how Blacks were kidnapped, enslaved for 500 years, raped, treated like cattle, tortured, lynched, sterilized and injected with syphilis. Many Black men and women are automatically seen as dangerous and suffer at the hands of police brutality; not all cops are bad, but some hold prejudices and abuse their power. It takes a toll on the psychology of many African-Americans. They are taught that they are worthless. I hope you can sympathize with African-Americans and their struggles.
While I am happy for your accomplishments and sympathize with you having been bullied in school by some fellow classmates who were prejudiced, it wasn’t because of their race. I too was bullied by people of all races and faced sexism and prejudice based on my sex and race and perceived sexual orientation, but I would not over-generalize and say that all or most people of a certain race, religion or gender are like that. I can tell that the reason they bullied you due to their prejudice and ignorance was because of their condition, living in poverty and possibly having parents who didn’t have time to supervise them and teach them how to be respectful, because they were too busy working low wage jobs. It was because of jealousy. It was because of centuries of institutional racism teaching black youths that they were worthless. I think you were blessed to have parents who cared about you enough to encourage you and you were blessed to be academically and intellectually driven and gifted.
By over-generalizing Blacks and painting a broad brush stroke, you are doing a disservice and feeding into the hands of the White patriarchal society that disfavors you and discriminates against your own race and gender. It is the very system that oppresses others, based on race, sexual orientation, class and gender. Even though you don’t see it, I hope in the future, you will reconsider your perspective. I often visit Oakland, and I encounter many African-Americans (and all other races) who are respectful, love Chinese food and hang out with other Chinese-Americans at the local park in Chinatown as friends. I had many classmates who were Black and from Oakland in my Black Studies classes at SF State. They were warm, highly intelligent, welcoming and inclusive; some were my friends. They didn’t see color. Many came from the public schools you speak about in your book. Not all Blacks behave aggressively or are prejudiced against Asians. They are a small sample size. They are only examples seen through your lens and the media’s / youtube’s lens.
Sorry, I forgot to proofread my post. I meant Asian men are de-sexualized in the media and rendered invisible aside from being seen as kung fu masters or math/science robots. Further, Asians are seen as the model minority and it makes us privileged in that sense, while at the same time, it hurts us, because it ignores any racism that we faced in the past and currently face in society. Not all of us are “tiger children.” I have always worked hard in school, but I am by no means some math or science whiz, and I never attended an Ivy League or UC.
Edit: the lynchings of Chinese-Americans (innocent Chinese men and women) occurred in Los Angeles’s Chinatown in 1871, not San Francisco’s.
I grew up in San francisco in the 1970’s and rode the MUNI from the Excelsior to Turk and Masonic. The black-on-white racial hatred was extreme. Their vocabulary was filthy and violent towards us nonblacks which included some Asians. After one horrible year of such torture twice a day I started riding my bike to school over O’Shauneesy Then down through golden gate park just to avoid the criminal evil neglected by local politicians. No mayor has addressed it. Everyone. Is on their own in self-defense. I say Bravo to this Chinese woman for fighting back against a nasty woman used to kicking ass but not expecting it to come back at her.