Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?
Wang Yue, 2, is treated at a hospital in China on Sunday after being hit by two cars. She died Friday.
October 21st, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?

Exchange of the Morning:

"Someone please tell me things are different in the USA."–PointNoted
"Things are quite different here. For one thing, we tend to value human life a lot more."–ShovelingSnw

Chinese toddler dies a week after being hit by cars, ignored by passersby

A Chinese toddler who was hit by two cars and ignored by more than a dozen people before rescue died Friday. The video footage sparked a global outcry about the state of morality in China's fast-changing society. CNN.com readers argued over whether Americans were any better, while some identifying as Chinese or Chinese-American responded.

elfster said, "My heart sank seeing the video in its entirety. The van continued forward upon striking her the first time knowing they ran over a child. It is unthinkable, callous, apathy at its worst. She sustained some serious injuries when the rear wheels rolled over her torso, not to mention the truck that ran over her legs 8 minutes later. To watch passerbys on foot, on motorcycles, and in vehicles look and leave her there is repulsive."

CaitieLady08 said, "I know, I watched it too. Jaw-dropping. I don't understand at all!" Einstein1111 said, "I wonder if this is a general disregard for life in China or if it was the fact that the child was female. It is well known that females are not as 'valuable' in China. I would like to know the thought process on ignoring a severely wounded child in China."

paulbark said, "Lack of bystanders helping is not unique to China. It often happens in the U.S. and elsewhere. Oddly, the more bystanders there are, the less likely someone is to get help from anyone. It's called 'diffusion of responsibility.' " amlesser said, "The 'bystander effect' is a well-documented psychological phenomenon; this has nothing to do with China or human rights."

ken1010 said, "This exact same thing happened in Connecticut where a guy was hit by two cars in broad daylight and people ignored it. Granted, it was an elderly man and not a toddler, but still it shows that we aren't in any position to point fingers as if we have superior moral values."

Some readers said an earlier Chinese court case had made many hesitant to interfere. qdbw said, "This is deeply troubling. As a Chinese, I feel ashamed. However, let me give you some background. There has been multiple instances in China where people who tried to help others who fell on the street were later accused by the injured. In one such instance, the court determined that the person who tried to help must be guilty. Otherwise, he wouldn't have tried to help. He was ordered to pay a large amount to the injured old lady."

CherriH said, " 'Nanjing judge' refers to the infamous 2006 case of a man named Peng Yu who helped a woman to the hospital after she had fallen only to have the old woman accuse him of knocking her down. The Nanjing judge in that case ultimately ruled that common sense dictated that only the person who hit her would take her to the hospital, setting a precedent that continues only further discourages and reinforces many Chinese people's wariness to help others in similar situations.

liuconsis said, "I think in China, we know what is right, but sometimes we dare not to do that, such as criticizing the president, the premier, is that the ting we should do? Sure. But dare we? We dare not, because we are afraid, losing job or even going into jail. That's the main problem, and can we trust our policeman? I think in American are not more upright, but they are more brave. They have a clean government or policeman to trust and rely on, do we have in China? What are the officials doing everyday? We cannot supervise them, because we don't have freedom."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

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Open Thread

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. bobcat2u

    You like to think that people would do the right thing and try to help. Some people will, but the majority are to afraid to get involved for whatever reason. There are still some good samaritans, but sadly they are getting few and far between.

    October 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KayLou

    Perhaps the best punishment for the drivers and the passerbys is to be sentenced not only to jail...but also forced to watched the video of that poor baby's accident in its entirety an hour each morning and night for the rest of their lives...I pray the family does not suffer too greatly emotionally and mentally, and I pray Yue Yue is not forced to be stuck to the spot of her demise, I pray she finds safety in God's arms. Insha Allah!!

    October 21, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    I don't ever recall seeing this much outrage against an entire nation when priest's were caught red-handed molesting boys. Do we point the finger at America ea. time a 'holy man' is caught? No, we do not. So this begs the question; why is it that Americans are quick to judge the entire nation of China based on heresay? Are you jealous that they could buy and sell America 3 times over? Does it upset you that they have laws limiting how many children ea. family may have rather than to allow them to have 50,000,000 abortions? What is it that has you so very ready to judge other peoples behavior?

    Me? I post that America is fat, lazy, and dumb based on research...not on what the talking heads in Asia say about US. When I say that the avg. American woman now weighs between 170 and 180 lbs, I'm just posting what any video camera at Wal-Mart would show. Why be offended? That's you in the video, not me. You are only offending yourselves even more than you have offended your own bodies. Calling me names will not help you in any way, shape, or form.

    If you have a weight problem, there are a few simple things that you can do that your Dr's and dieticians will never tell you. They feed off of your fat. They profit by it. I do not. If there were an outbreak of wellness in our communities, many doctors and dieticians would be out of work! And isn't that the goal? To be well?

    1.) eat nothing but fruits and grains in the morning.
    2.) eat plenty of LIVE green vegetables in the afternoon, and get plenty of sunlight.
    3.) eat whatever you want for dinner (within reason) and enjoy your dessert. (just don't combine complicated proteins)

    summary: You are fat. It takes a lot of energy [calories] for your body to produce a natural chemical that it uses to rid your body of toxins, and to literally melt excess fat you have built up. So reducing your caoric intake is the LAST thing that you want to do.This chemical can ONLY be produced if you eat live greens in the afternoon, and get plenty of UV exposure to your eyes. (until you have had at least 20 min. of direct UV exposure, this process simply does not begin)

    Meat and dairy are very hard to digest, so don't eat more than 4-6 oz. of red meat per day. It takes 80% of your bodies entire energy output just to produce enzymes to digest food. Eating foods that are easily digestable will save your body much energy that it will put to use cleaning your system for you, especially ridding yourself of excess fat.
    Eating fruits in the morning helps your system cleanse. Eating fruit in the afteroon is stupid if you are overweight. Fruit passes through your digestive tract a lot faster than say, red meat. The fruit runs into the red meat still being digested, and get's held up. The fruit begins to ferment, and you build up gasses. Also, the fruit carries undigested red meat with it as it goes through your system...robbing you of the energy the red meat had to offer you, and making your poop stink.

    Once you have been on this three-step program for a time, your energy level will naturally increase. you will begin excercising more because you will begin to feel kind of 'antsy'...like nervous energy. You don't need to goto the gym ! You need to get outside, get some sunlight, and enjoy this beautiful land of ours...bring your kids on your walks. Heck, get a leash for your cat even. If it's been a while since you have excercised daily, make sure to stretch. Stretching is vital to your healing.

    You will become happier. You will naturally smell nicer too. (cheap perfumes are to be avoided at all costs. Expensive French parfum is distilled in stainless steele containers for certain periods of time, and are not toxic. Cheap American clone perfumes are distilled in whatever and for just as long as it takes to make them smell good. Flower extract is poison, and so French laws strictly regulate how it is used. America has no such laws. So nix the cheap stuff, especially if you are obese) And don't buy into this "big and beautiful" lie. You can't con yourself. Your body has a natural weight...and it's not 180 lbs. on the average. This simple 3-step program will have you back to your natural weight in less time than you think, and without the yo-yo effect that mirrors people strung-out on mind-altering pharmaceuticals experience, alays having their meds "adjusted".

    Be well my sisters. And I do not hold it against you for lashing out at me. I'm only 17 years old emotionally, and can be difficult at times. I'm not a drunk, nor am I a druggie. I am a man who was severely abused as a child, and it has taken me this long to get to where I am today. A 17 year old boy trapped inside of a 53 year old man who has never owned a TV. imagine being that kid for a while. 😉 So sorry if I have offended you ladies. But I feel it's for your own good. I don't see anyone else here doing it...so I found my niche. You are stuck with me.

    October 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • KayLou

      The only thing you said that offended me was the "all you Americans" comment. I am American but I do not in the least agree with people outing an entire nation for a few people's awful acts. I also agree with you on the weight issue in America though, most of the people here are very greedy and do not realize all the other countries out there with starving people who need food, clean water, doctors, and such more than we do and that deeply saddens me. Now I am none of that nor am I over weight but I am not the 105 pounds that the media says every woman should be because that is starving yourself. I am disgusted with this country I live in because of how they treat others and I do wish I could leave this place because of it. I am in no way rich but I am not deathly poor, I make only enough to make ends meet and provide what I can for my children. I'm trying to go to college for an Art degree and with this I plan on changing the world in any way I can to help them, especially Americans, see the hardships the other countries face and just how many innocent people are being brutally murdered, treated, etc. I just want to tell someone my plan in hopes of sparking inspiration in others, I plan on beginning a foundation or something to help familys like yue yue's who lost their loved ones, and the people who are starving or dieing of disease, I also plan on being a doctor, one who could save people like Yue Yue...People tell me it will and can never happen that I can never do that...I'll prove them wrong. Phillip you pointed on some great topics about America and you are completely right.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • KayLou

      btw thank you for that 3 step plan...I saw it once in the news from a guy who lived to be like 120 something and I could never find it again. I want to follow that plan vigorously in hopes to see the world change for the good..Call me ambitious but inspite of all the bad in the world, I havent completely lost my faith in humanity

      October 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phillip

      Just kidding, they pay me 50 cents to post anti-USA comments.

      October 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      I have an inferiority complex, so I bash the USA anonymously. In reality I am Chinese, but afraid to see the reply to my comments. So I use the quite sophisticated strategy of pretending to be American and self bashing. This is high tech for us.

      October 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ungira

    In India, I've seen similar situations happen. Not always but sometimes. It is a well known fact that people dont come to the accident victims aid because of the police or someone else pinning the blame or getting them into some sort of trouble. Only very recently have people been encouraged to help with the promise that they will not be in trouble nor will they receive blame for anything they have not been involved in. People mean well but they are afraid of helping and getting into trouble for something they didn't do. It's so easy for just one person to say "you did this now you must pay for your crime" instead of realizing that someone else did and no justice can be served since they ran away.

    October 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Denise Thurman

    These drivers physically abused Wang Yue. The passersby mentally abused Wang Yue.

    Granny Chen opened her heart to Wang Yue.

    I hold both Granny Chen and Wang Yue in my heart.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    My sympathy to this family.
    I saw the mother on TV the other day and it was absolutely heartbreaking.

    I don't know who you are addressing, sir, but you are off base once again, at least where I'm concerned.
    I will thank you to refrain from using me as an example in any way, shape, or form.
    It shows a distinct lack of class when one does such a thing.
    Thank you.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • KayLou

      This is such a sad experience for everyone..I pray her mother can make it through this. I think the thing aside from the completely obvious that breaks my heart so bad. Is the entire time she was in a coma and she never got to see her momma before she died and she never got to hear her mothers voice. I wish so badly someone would have helped, Yue Yue didn't deserve that :'( .

      October 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • KayLou

      I'm sorry I meant should have helped sooner

      October 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KayLou

    this brings me back to the days of Socrates...what was the satisfaction that they acheived to putting that man to death over something that he did not do...the executioner did not even want to do it. I read lately about how a man or woman (cant remember) was put to death even after the real killer confessed....it's not right.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    I realize that you're using hypotheticals, Philip.
    That is good.
    And I forgive you for lashing out at *me*, but not my daughters ot husband.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    @Denise Thurman:
    Well said, and, I agree.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    dayum philip, you STILL havent set up your own web site or twitter page?? are u afraid no one will talk to u or what? u keep talking but as usual u say nothin! why dont you just S.T.F.U. already? Your giving me a friggen headache dangit!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      I'm sorry, it's my inferiority complex. I have to bash the US, because even the welfare queens at Walmart make 20 times as much money as the average Chinese person. This to me is embarrassing. I took 4 years of language classes just to repeat outdated US stereotypes online.

      In China we push and shove each other like cattle, we have no concept of lines, and people openly defecate in the street. I am not allowed to make a blog or I will be beaten by China government thugs. Again, I am sorry and horribly jealous of America.

      October 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James Cameron Jeezy Crisco Johnny Cochrane Jesus the Christ

    I don't care what anybody says about American dogooderism versus anyone else. There are tons of people here who cherish ruining someone's day or laughing at someone else's misery. It's a sport.

    October 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    and 4 the record the only weight problem i have is WAITING to see what kinda nonsense is gonna spewl outta your mouth each and every day!! like there are no fat men out there? give me a friggin break!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    and im tired of u milking the pedophile priest cow, im sorry that happened to you but you really have to get over it! really! you have to for your sake as well as ours, and im speaking for myself now, im not here to pay for anyone elses sins, only my own!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    Will somebody here tell me something? If we Americans are such "good Samaritans", then why do we send troops overseas to kill people who don't deserve to die so we get to exploit their countries' resources? And don't forget about those ungodly drones either operated by those filthy creeps sitting in some air conditioned office here in the U.S.A.!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    More bla-bla-bla about we Americans being such "caring and good hearted" people. We're no better than anybody else in that regard!!!

    October 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
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