CNN is being criticized for an insensitive headline regarding a recent mass shooting in Fresno, California, in which four Hmong men were tragically killed and several more were injured.
Police have since stated that the incident was very likely to have been a targeted attack and are currently looking for a motive as well as the two or more suspects who opened fire on the Sunday night football viewing party.
The four victims who were fatally shot were later identified to be Phia Vang, 31, Kalaxang Thao, 40, Kou Xiong, 38, and well-known Hmong singer Xy Lee, 23, who was rushed to the hospital but later passed away during surgery.
A CNN article about the shooting was accused of trivializing the tragedy and carrying an almost celebratory tone after the story was published under the headline, “The Hmong community in California is experiencing another American milestone: Their first mass shooting.”
Several Twitter users shared screenshots of the tone-deaf headline, clarifying that this incident was not the first mass shooting involving Hmong victims, nor should such a heartbreaking crime be considered as a “milestone.”
How dare you describe this as a “milestone” in my Hmong community? This was a TRAGEDY. People DIED, families and an ENTIRE community is hurting. There was no achievement made that night. @CNN Hollie Silverman–DO BETTER. @cnnbrk@cnni https://t.co/blj9Ic1cWh
— Linda Moua (@lindaamouaa) November 19, 2019
The Hmong community faced a horrific tragedy over the weekend when a mass shooting took place in a Fresno backyard.
— (@altonwang) November 19, 2019
We need to have a talk about this headline and this “American Milestone” @CNN.
a Hmong journalist pic.twitter.com/pb5QJgg5yC
— Chenue (@ChenueHer) November 19, 2019
— Mai Nguyen Do (@DoNguyenMai) November 19, 2019
@CNN @cnnbrk This needs to be fixed. A milestone indicates a change in development. This is not a milestone yet this shows that the Hmong Community is becoming another TARGETED GROUP to a mass shooting. The title of this article is disrespectful to the Hmong Community. pic.twitter.com/Kp86As4TCZ
— Kathy (@_yangkatia_) November 19, 2019
Agreed. The headline writers at @CNN need to re-phrase and also correct. Mass shootings are not milestones for ANY community. And if they look diligently, this isn’t our first mass shooting involving Hmong people. https://t.co/5vwvsGxYsf
— Doualy Xaykaothao (@DoualyX) November 19, 2019
Still waiting for @CNN and @hrsilverman to address their EXTREMELY insensitive article title. Hmong people experienced mass genocide, exploitation by the CIA, War, and continued failed policies. And here we are, recognizing our celebratory “milestones?”#Hmong #Fresnoshooting pic.twitter.com/1URwxwKJMU
— Du (@TheDouTube) November 19, 2019
A Facebook post from user Monica Lee has since gone viral on Facebook and Twitter after she “fixed” the headline for CNN, writing, “The Hmong community in California is Suffering from another failed American policy: mass shooting due to the lack of effective gun control.”
CNN has not yet issued an apology but instead changed the headline to “The Hmong community in Fresno is mourning after a mass shooting killed 4 of its young men.”