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Re-Post: Asians in the Library - UCLA Girl going wild on Asians

A YouTube video posted by FrapMocha on Mar 13, 2011.

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An example of how ignorance can breed hate

  • Mar 18, 2011
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This past weekend, UCLA poli sci undergrad Alexandra Wallace took it to Youtube to candidly express her sentiments about UCLA.  What was she ranting about?  Her inability to study in the library.  Specifically, though, she points out that the problem isn't her friends, but that "the problem is these hoards of Asian people that UCLA accepts into our school every single year".

Wait, what?  Did that seriously just come out of her mouth?

She goes on to add, "If you're gonna come to UCLA, then use American manners".

Okay, my brain just exploded.  Unfortunately, the further into the video I got, the worse it got.  The was some cringing, mouth gaping, eye bugging, and a whole lot of snickering on my part.  Despite being Asian myself, I even went as far as to feeling second hand embarrassment for her, and from the quotes below, you'll be able to see why.  In chronological order, you get choice quotes like,

"So it used to really bug me, but it doesn't bother me anymore, the fact that all the Asian people that live in all the apartments around me [...] everybody who they know that they brought along from Asia with them comes here on the weekend [...] You will always see old Asian people running around this apartment complex.  They don't teach their kids to fend for themselves."

Blanket statement much?

"Ooooooh!  Ching chong ling long ting tong!  Ooooooh!"

Hold on, let me cue the oriental riff.

"So being the nice, polite American girl that my mama raised me to be..."

Because it's nice and polite to voice these thoughts on the internet and because all Americans>all Asians and/or American parenting>Asian parenting.  Anyway that you interpret it, there's a definitely superiority complex there.  It should be noted that if you watch the video, she really stresses the word "American" when she says that.

"I swear they're going through their whole families just trying to check up on everyone from the tsunami thing [...] Like I feel bad for everyone who's affected by the tsunami, but if you're gonna go call your address book, like, you might as well go outside because if something is wrong, you might really freak out in the library and everybody else quiet.  Like, you should seriously go outside if you're gonna do that."

Because she's so concerned about the suffering going on in the world.  Did she seriously just downplay the severity of the tsunami that happened on the very day that she posted this video that, as of today, has brought in a death toll of 7,000 lives?

There were many indications in the video that she knew that what she was saying was wrong.  To lessen the blow of every totally racist, politically incorrect, ignorant and hurtful thing that she said, she laden the video with little lines like,

"So I know that I'm not the most politically correct person, so don't take this offensively..."

"I mean, yeah, I know that sounds wrong.  I feel bad for all people affected by the tsunami, but..."

"Even if you're not Asian, you really shouldn't be on your cellphone in the library...  But I've just never seen that before."

As a person of Asian descent, one who grew up in the United States and considers herself to be just as American as Alexandra Wallace does (though if she's the supposed epitome of American that she makes herself out to be, I don't know...), I can't say that I'm actually offended.  "Offended" would be too strong of a word.  "Appalled" is more like it, that someone not only thought about this, but felt it so strongly enough that she felt the need to broadcast her ignorance to the world.

Many have said that they can't take this video seriously because of the way she looks, what with the eyeliner, the valley girl voice, the bleached blondness, the boobs, cleavage, push-up bra, revealing shirt, etc.  However, what makes me discount this video is the way she approached the topic, her demeanor, rationality, and the fact that she made this generalization in the first place, and then chose to make it public.

The most alarming part to me, though, is not the video itself, but that there are people out there who think and feel like this.  The United States has been so progressive when it comes to race issues in the past century that this is just a painful reminder that racism still exists, and this feels like such a step back. 

I'm fortunate enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it's a total melting pot of culture, ethnicities, and all around diversity, so I haven't really experienced much racism here.  However, I sent this video to a friend who lives in a predominantly white, Southern town, and she said, "You know what's really sad?  If people around here watched this video, they would be in HER favor".


Based on the reactions that Alexandra Wallace must have received shortly after she posted this video this past Sunday, she pulled the video from Youtube almost immediately, but not before others were able to download and mirror it.  It created a huge stir, and by Monday, she had issued an apology in the UCLA student newspaper, The Bruin,

"Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate. I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I'd like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand."

Despite her apology, there's still a lot of controversy surrounding this story.  I, for one, don't buy her apology, but it's a good start.  Some have speculated that this is a publicity stunt, but I doubt it.  If it is indeed, it was done with extremely poor taste and judgment, and who would want this kind of negative attention anyways?

Aside from what was actually said in the video, let this be a lesson and example of how one should always use their best judgment when posting anything online, whether it's on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, etc.  Once it's online, anyone with access to a computer or smartphone can easily save or capture it, and once it's seen, it can't be unseen and can only spread.  It's near impossible to take anything back; there's only going the difficult road of addressing it head on.  Alexandra Wallace pretty much just flushed her future down the drain because of this lapse in judgment.  Though she did apologize, it's going to be difficult and will take a lot of time to rectify the situation and clear her name.

If you haven't yet seen the video in question, you can watch it here.  When I first watched over the weekend, this video had a scant 200 views.  Right now, it's close to 5 million views, so clearly, this story has made a splash,

The public isn't the only one reeling from this; UCLA is as well.  They haven't yet decided whether to take any action against Alexandra Wallace yet, but the chancellor felt compelled to issue a statement and address this regardless:


In a written statement that came alongside the video, Chancellor Gene Block writes, "Like many of you, I recoil when someone invokes the right of free expression to demean other individuals or groups."


On a side note, if you need a little comic relief after reading this, check out this brilliant musical response, Ching Chong (It Means I Love You),

UPDATE: Alexandra Wallace has chosen to voluntarily leave UCLA, despite the school deciding not to take any disciplinary action against her.  She states to The Bruin that she's leaving because of "the harassment of my family, the publishing of my personal information, death threats and being ostracized from an entire community". 

Alexandra, this is not a good time to play the victim.  As for anyone out there who is actually threatening or harassing her, or thinking about it, please take the high road and don't.  I'm sure that by becoming news fodder, a web meme, having parodies made in her name and having the chancellor of her former school publicly address and condemn her actions have shown her the severity of what she said and is suffering and embarrassment enough.

She also goes on to say, "In an attempt to produce a humorous YouTube video, I have offended the UCLA community and the entire Asian culture".  I don't know in what sort of parallel universe is in her brain where this would be humorous, but I have to admit, it did end up being humorous, but in all the wrong ways in which she did not intend.

As for UCLA not disciplining her, they cited that she was exercising her right to free speech and that she didn't violate any student codes of conduct as she didn't "seek to harm or threaten a specific person or group".  I have mixed feelings about this as this rationale is very reminiscent of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church and why his funeral stakeouts are still happening.  Furthermore, it's sending the message that this type of behavior is okay.
An example of how ignorance can breed hate

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March 31, 2011
I only have a question... what's UCLA scoring method (or system) for accepting their freshmen? ;-)
March 31, 2011
Obviously, they don't check for competency in speaking Asian ;)
March 22, 2011
This is the funniest response I have seen so far, hilarious!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOGpGoEMu2s&feature=feedlik
March 22, 2011
Thanks for sharing this video. It was really funny!
March 23, 2011
I thought that was hilarious as well. There are so many witty comebacks on Youtube!
March 22, 2011
I grew up in the US, in a predominantly white town in New Jersey. Though I hold an American passport (as well as a Taiwanese one), I never feel comfortable calling myself American because of the racism I perceived in the little affluent town that I was raised in. I will never forget that once I went to a lake side restaurant with my parents and their visiting friend from Taiwan in my own neighbourhood in New Jersey. In the middle of dinner, the table next to us with older white people complained loudly to the owner of the restaurant that they were annoyed by the foreign speaking sounds coming from our table. The owner immediately apologised profusely right in front of us and went so far to not charge the table next to us as a token of his extreme regret that they had to endure sitting next to us speaking "Ching Chong Ling Long".... I guess we were expected to not speak a word through out dinner if we were to eat in public??? My parents' friend was just visiting the US, he didn't know there was a law that to visit a country, you must speak their local language upon entering?? Just like you said, I was not offended, I was appalled and I felt so sorry that my parents and their friend had to experience this type of humiliation in this day and age, and in a free country called America. As soon as I finished my education in the US, I left for good and moved back to Asia. I am lucky I can move around freely because my parents are not immigrants to the US, they live in Taiwan and are just financially secured enough to own properties around the world, including some in the USA. Through out my education in the US, I had many wonderful white American friends, but I can attest to the fact that in suburban areas (not just in the South) where the white race predominates, racism is prevalent and taken for granted.
March 23, 2011
Thanks for sharing your story, Landy! Wow, that dining story is just amazing. That's just... so wrong and unbelievable. I'm lucky that though I've experienced misunderstandings and being put in a box of Asian stereotypes, I've never experienced such egregious forms of racism like that. The most I've ever experienced was a little kid imitating my mom and I as we were speaking in Cantonese. Glad to hear that you and your family can be mobile and get away from the racism that you grew up around.
March 23, 2011
Truth is, there is probably racism everywhere in the world, even in my own country Taiwan where there are immigrants from South East Asia who are mistreated because they look identifiably different from the locals. It's just that in my own country, I am no longer on the receiving side of unfair treatment anymore, but rather I sometimes fall into the trap of condoning racism unintentionally. Now that I am older and wiser, I have learned to view racism from a different perspect and try to understand that actions committed by a small group of ignorant people do not represent the total population of the United States. I miss the US now that I don't live there, and I am forever grateful for all the opportunities that were presented to me during my education there; the confidence i gained from immersing in years of equality between sexes, my well roundedness that comes from the exceptional education I received at my alma mater, the uncompromising spirit I have as a result of practicing my first amendments rights, all of which are beneficial qualities I developed while living in the US and will stay with me forever!!
March 31, 2011
I think perhaps racism just doesn't arise out of differences (be it language or color) but rather out of the perceived superiority to others. It can happened between Chinese as well. Think HK & mainland China, there was definitely "racism" back then but now, funnily enough, perhaps the reversing trend is beginning to arise. I don't know, there are often a certain degree of "racism" & discrimination but most people keeps them within. To complain about that in public, esp. in the States, is just to tell the whole world they are phonies and practicing double standards. There is after all a difference between liberty and decency. As far as my experience goes, Australia is even worse when it comes to racism!
March 21, 2011
This is appalling.
As a feminist I hate the word "bitch", but when I see that I have to admit that's exactly the word that comes to mind. The American lexicon needs a new word for these upper and middle class women that seem to think that they are the only people with an inherent right to access the wealth and the resources of this diverse country. There should be a word that combines "bitch" with "bigot"... "bigotch" perhaps.

People seem to suffer the misunderstanding that because we abolished slavery and now have an African American president, that we have moved beyond racism and racial profiling, but as this proves, we have not. Racism and prejudice never really go away, unfortunately, but at times there are periods when it's more pronounced than others. One could argue that when it's out in the open, at least you can confront it openly as well, whereas when racism is concealed it's more insidious in the way that it spreads. Kind of makes you wonder how much a country can progress and still have these attitudes.
March 21, 2011
Don't worry, you're not the first person who had that word pop into their head after watching this video.  If you go to Youtube and look up reactions and parodies of this video, you'll see that the majority of them use the b word.  I was actually telling a friend yesterday that I wish that had taken a high road and hadn't used that word because though Alexandra Wallace did say some pretty rude things in the video, she never once used any actual derogatory terms.  And I share the sentiments that you expressed in your second paragraph.  Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Count!
March 21, 2011
Oooh, Sean- I love bigotch! We really haven't abolished slavery- if you look to how migrant farmers are treated and the slave wages that they are paid (FAR below the legal minimum wage at $1.25/hr and without any proper worker's rights acknowledged), we are very much still a slave holding country.
March 22, 2011
When I mentioned the abolition of slavery, I merely meant legally. We have made slavery illegal and outlawed the slave trade and the ownership of slaves, though that doesn't mean that slavery ceases to exist... unfortunately.
March 21, 2011
I love your article here, but I must respectfully add that it's a bit scary when someone is chased out of college for First Amendment stupidity, and it probably doesn't help the integration cause. I strongly believe that the right path here is addressing the prejudice head on, so they can see ("fill stereotype here") rather than reinforcing their impression that a prejudice has power. Getting death threats for an opinion - however poorly formed - is alarming. But then I'm just a white Brit who drinks tea, most of the time. Don't you think "Stereotypes" would be an awesome Lunch community?
March 21, 2011
Irony much appreciated, says the white American sipping on tea and eating Mexican food.
: )
March 21, 2011
I haven't seen anyone publicly threaten her, but I'm not surprised. I don't understand the people who did threaten her because that's stooping really low and not really doing anything for the greater good. If they want to do something for the greater good, the should do as you say -- address the prejudice head on for sure ...Says Chinese-American sipping on pu-ehr tea eating rice and egg rolls ;)
March 21, 2011
FYI: from what I've read, she's received death threats from multiple sources, so I would agree with your headline that her actions certainly have bred hate. Sad state of affairs, if you ask me.
March 21, 2011
I think it's totally wrong, but I'm not surprised. I included an update at the bottom of the review that says that she left UCLA for this reason. And yeah, it's breeding hate in many ways. Very unfortunate, but eye opening.
March 21, 2011
And that's what sad. I think this young lady was perhaps a bit naive, and she let that naivete (sp?) influence what she said. Is it right? Well, it's her freedom of speech, so it is what it is. Any of us are free to make complete @sses of ourselves, and she appears to have certainly exercised that right, too! I'm just saying that I think the response she's received (certainly from what I've seen on the internet, and now from what I'm reading about these death threats) ... well, that makes me realize who the real ignorant people in our society are. What she did ... stupid. What they're doing? Ignorant. And, personally, I think they're showing far more H-A-T-E than she did ... but, as I said, that's only my two cents.
March 21, 2011
Death threats are never something to be taken lightly. It's very sad that ignorance and stupidity breeds hate.
March 21, 2011
Everyone certainly has the right to exercise their freedom of speech, but ideally, it should be done as tactfully and constructively as possible, and more importantly -- responsively. It's a shame that she dragged UCLA into this. If she hadn't, I would say she wouldn't need to be disciplined, but since she did, I feel like there should be something in the school's code of conduct that tells students to refrain from discrimination and creating a hostile learning environment, etc. I completely agree that people should take the high road and lay off this girl, like I said in the review, "I'm sure that by becoming news fodder, a web meme, having parodies made in her name and having the chancellor of her former school publicly address and condemn her actions have shown her the severity of what she said and is suffering and embarrassment enough."
March 20, 2011
Good job Dev :)
March 21, 2011
Thank ya, pea sprout :)
March 20, 2011
I wonder how much time she actually spends in the library. :P And people talking on cell phones in libraries is actually very common these days, and it's not exclusively limited to one ethnic group.
March 20, 2011
BTW: Loved the song response to her ridiculous video.
March 20, 2011
Hahahaha, yeah, people have been talking on cellphones in the library since they came out and it's definitely not exclusive to any one ethnic group. I love that song, too. Genius! :)
March 20, 2011
Indeed! It was an excellent way to counter her ridiculous rant/video.
March 20, 2011
Yeah, I think it's a common rule in school libraries.
March 19, 2011
IMHO she is another one of those youtube wannabe attention grabbers--they open their mouths w/out thinking, they throw tantrums and then they try to blame something else and/or delude themselves into thinking that they were just 'out of it'. I've met so many people like this in my life, folks who try to do something to get attention and then when it comes back and bite them, they scurry like a dog. People like this are deluded, I pity them, I don't hate them, I pity them....sadly the worst ones are even in the closet, this one was just apalling as you've said. Nice one, Debbie. Glad you posted this one, I was about to do one too but you covered it so well.
March 20, 2011
Sounds like it to me.
March 20, 2011
In another statement that she issued just yesterday, she said she was just trying to be funny. Um, it's not funny. It sounds like you've got a lot of thoughts about this, so you should share it, too, Woo! Thanks for reading.
March 21, 2011
If I start writing about these things, not even Lunch.com may have the bandwidth or space to accomodate all my thoughts LOL!
March 21, 2011
Ooh, that sounds like something I'd want to read Will. As you know, I like long ranting reviews. ; )
March 19, 2011
Wow she is unbelievable but I fear she goes beyond ignorance to plain stupidity and unfortunately that's more difficult to cure. I'm reminded of the Zappa song Trouble every day where he says " Hey, you know something people? I'm not black But there's a whole lots a times I wish I could say I'm not white.
March 20, 2011
I don't think I've ever heard that song before, but those are some thought provoking lyrics. I'll have to give it a listen. Interesting point on stupidity vs ignorance. Thanks for reading, Orn!
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devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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