Response to video from Asian Pacific Coalition (UCLA)

Posted on March 14, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is the response from the Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

From the Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA

On Sunday, March 13th, an alarming video was re-posted on You Tube from the Facebook account of a UCLA student. The video, titled “Asians in the Library”, chronicled the student’s racist tirade against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at UCLA. Within hours, the video re-posted on various forms of social media, where members of the community viewed and responded to the video. The resulting reaction reveals an alarmingly dangerous campus climate and an underlying current of racism and prejudice still vibrantly alive in America. The Asian Pacific Coalition and API communities at UCLA would like to issue the following response:

In her public comment to the UCLA community, Alexandra Wallace expressed her concern about the “hordes of Asian people that UCLA accepts into our school every year.”  On a campus that boasts a student population of 40% Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities (API), Wallace’s comments are both insensitive and revelatory of the flawed mainstream perception of the API community.  Many view API’s as a uniform aggregate, thereby failing to acknowledge the diversity within the API community and perpetuating the view of API’s as the model minority and the foreign “they” who unfairly get accepted into “our” school.  Wallace perpetuates the “us” versus “them” rhetoric in her comments, thereby expressing distaste in API’s and an even greater anxiety that “foreigners” are taking over UCLA.

However, she claims, it would not bother her so much that “hordes of Asian people got into our school” if they would start learning to “use American manners.”  Her comment stems from the supposed phone conversations she overheard whilst studying in the UCLA library, citing one particular conversation in the following phrases, “OOo, ching chong, ling long, ting ta.” Among these phrases, “ching chong” stands out as an ethnic slur considered derogatory due to its historical usage in negatively depicting Chinese speech patterns [1].  While some argue that “ching chong” is a phrase we should regard with desensitization now that decades lie between us and the Chinese Exclusion Act, its constant resurfacing tells us otherwise.  API’s today are viewed as the legacy of the “yellow peril”:  if we are not taking over railroad jobs in the 1860’s or taking over auto industry jobs in the 1980’s, we are now supposedly taking over coveted spots at universities like UCLA.  The use of such a blatantly ethnic slur portrays API’s as the perpetual foreigner, undeserving of an opportunity to study next to “Americans” in the UCLA library.

Her remarks do not simply address the students at UCLA, but she extends her call for American mannerisms to the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents of API students, whom “swarm” the apartments every weekend to cook and clean and stop API students from learning to “fend for themselves.”  Why should the involvement of family in a student’s life be considered with such disdain?  Why do the experiences of a few API students become generalized as the experience of every API student?  Above all, why is there an assumption that Asian Americans do not know how to fend for themselves?

Furthermore, her ignorant comments extend to the tragedy currently affecting Japan following the tsunami.

Her decision to state such culturally insensitive remarks via a forum as public as a Facebook video is disturbing.  What gives her the audacity to record such a video?  Perhaps she did not expect anyone to react.  Perhaps she did not expect API’s to fend for themselves.

Well think again.  We are responding, and by the numbers.

As evidenced by the responses of outrage and hurt from our community, it is clear that this student’s comments can be considered a hate speech, an act of discrimination, harassment, and profiling.

However, we must address the many ignorant comments stemming from our own community in reaction to Wallace’s comments. While we condemn this student’s remarks as not only ignorant and offensive but hateful as well, we believe that we as a community can do better than to resort to the student’s tactics of throwing out divisive words, which only perpetuate a culture of racism and sexism on both sides.

We will not use our strength as a community to attack this individual but rather we will use this event to grasp at an understanding of campus climate: despite what you may have believed about UCLA or our universities before, it is clear that racism, sexism, bigotry, and hatred still exist.

As a community, we should respond with the grace, sensitivity and civility afforded us through the manners we learned from our parents, and their parents before them.

Hence, as a community, we demand the following:

1) We call for a public apology from Alexandra Wallace. Her words and actions are not in line with the UCLA Student Code of Conduct, which states:

“The University strives to create an environment that fosters the values of mutual respect and tolerance and is free from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and other personal characteristics.”[2]

2) We call for UCLA to take the appropriate disciplinary measures befitting of Wallace’s violation against the UCLA Student Code of Conduct  and UCLA’s Principle of Community, which states:

“We do not tolerate acts of discrimination, harassment, profiling or other harm to individuals on the basis of expression of race, color, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religious beliefs, political preference, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, or national origin among other personal characteristics. Such acts are in violation of UCLA’s Principles of Community and subject to sanctions according to campus policies governing the conduct of students, staff and faculty.” [3]

3) We call for UCLA to issue a statement addressing this incident.  UCLA must demonstrate its commitment to a culture of diversity, respect, tolerance, and acceptance for all communities by standing against such acts.

4) We call for the UCLA Academic Senate to pass a requirement in the general education curriculum grounded in the UCLA Principles of Community.

As students at UCLA, here is how you can help voice your concerns:

1) Email Chancellor Gene Block (chancellor@ucla.edu) and Assistant Vice Chancellor Robert J. Naples (rnaples@saonet.ucla.edu) to report this matter as a violation of Student Conduct.

2) Post a message on Chancellor Block’s Facebook page expressing your concern:http://www.facebook.com/uclachancellor

3) Allow this event to help us bare in mind the continual relevance of ethnic studies at UCLA and beyond.  While ethnic studies programs are crumbling at CSULA and struggling for a place at UCSC, let us remember why it is important now more than ever to continue to support the development, sustainability and growth of ethnic studies.

Let this incite an honest discussion on what it truly means to be a community founded upon mutual respect. Do not turn this into a riot.  Do not turn this into an attack. We are better than that. Allow us to come together in solidarity and address the matter where it truly stems: as a reflection of the gross misunderstanding of our communities and the hatred that grows from it.

[1] http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/Ching+Chong?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744%3Av0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=Ching+Chong&sa=Search#906

[2]

http://www.registrar.ucla.edu/catalog/catalog10-11-827d.htm

[3]

http://www.diversity.ucla.edu/strategicplan/docs/Principles_of_Community.pdf

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18 Responses to “Response to video from Asian Pacific Coalition (UCLA)”

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Wow really? I understand that you all are upset about this video, and I am in now way supporting her or agreeing with what she says. But isn’t it quite obvious she’s probablly failing a class, stressing out over finals, and needed someone to blame?

I think its quite silly of you guys to demand an apology. I understand you want to preserve social equality and what not, but get real. That’s not how the real world works, people say insensitive things whether they mean it or not.

Being asian myself, I actually laughed at this video. I couldn’t take anything she said seriously. She’s clueless and a hopeless cause. She is a child, and writing a response like this and demanding actions to be taken is childish as well.

wow really? c’mon man wow really yourself.

some asians are really offended by it. and let them be. you aren’t then that’s good for you.

this is only for asians who are offended. get it? and if you are the one who weren’t offended. then you don’t need to comment on how silly these asians are.

some people thought it was funny, some thought it was offensive. it’s not for you to judge and tell them how silly and not real.

some people just wanna hear the damn “sorry” out of her mouth so they can feel better cuz whether it be asians or non-asian, some people are sensitive to this topic. this doesn’t have to do with race only. this has to do with some kind of respect of human-kind.

good for you if you’re grown up and doesn’t take anything seriously.
i wonder how hard you’ll laugh if she said it to your parents.
i hope they laugh hard with you. i really do.
but i’m sorry but not everyone in this world is “mature” like you.

some people can take joke. others can’t. and you “being asian yourself” doesn’t help in this topic.

honestly. and obviously. you’re not mature enough to understand how others might feel about this cuz you’re too damn proud and selfish.

i laughed at this video too. doesn’t mean i have to go around and be like
“gimme a break guys. she’s just a dumb little child”
i guess you’re clueless about how other people feel too. and you writing a response like this saying these offended people are childish, makes you childish as well. haha

damn i’m so straight.

I’m glad that a group is citing the official UCLA Student Code of Conduct. Chancellor Block will inevitably be forced to comment on this, especially considering the outcry on his Facebook page. As a graduate school alumn of UCLA’s East Asian Studies Program (and yes, a blonde girl) who now works for the Japanese media, I am deeply embarrassed and hope that a public response is made.

thank you for sharing this Tiffany. :)

maybe we can continue the dialogue for gender studies, too. :/

i feel like wallace’s video and the domino responses really demonstrate social unconsciousness.

and we need to wake people up.

What is a public apology going to do? It’s not going to change how she feels, or what she thinks.

It was wrong of her to do what she did, but asking for a public apology from someone who might fake the apology just to get people off her case, that’s ridiculous.

its gonna make some sensitive and offended people to feel better.

and that’s what they want. that’s all. this is real world. this is how people operate. yeah it’s ridiculous. get over it matthew kim

[…] from the UCLA Asian Pacific Coalition: http://ussanpcsc.wordpress.com/2011/…oalition-ucla/ __________________ Skyrine 350GT Coupe | Lakeshore Slate | TWCompetition | PLUR | RareJDM | […]

[…] Response to video from Asian Pacific Coalition (UCLA) This is the response from the Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA […]

I think that it is irresponsible if we allow these racial microagressions to go unchecked. Yes she may have been stressing or had other circumstances, but those in no way justify her comments which reek of racism, imperialism, and xenophobia among other things. And it is true that the “real world” does not necessarily operate in the way that the coalition is demanding, but it does not mean we can`t re-imagine a more equitable and just future and demand that it materialize. To encounter oppression and not challenge it is to tacitly participate in that oppression.

The girl’s video was closed minded, dumb and thoughtless. It was insensitive and a waste of bandwith, but just who did it hurt? I don’t think the asian people are that thin skinned. I don’t think anyone killed themselves or loss self confidence based onthe inane ramblings of a foolish entitled girl. I agree with most of what you are saying, but I this response sensationalizes alot of what has happened since the vid was posted.

Jeremy, do we not punish children if they act inappropriately? In the same way, this girl must learn the difference between studying under stressful circumstances and appropriate behaviour.

If she had a problem with people talking on the phone, why didn’t she complain to the librarians?

[…] racism and sexism on both sides.” It offers UCLA students various ways to take action: Click here to learn more. Print | Email | […]

[…] reflect a common bias against API students on college campuses. A statement from UCLA’s Asian Pacific Coalition notes Wallaces comments perpetuate “the view of API’s as the model minority and the foreign […]

“bear in mind” = keep in mind (“bear”=”carry” as in “the right to bear arms”)

“bare” = naked

[…] of racism and sexism on both sides.” It offers UCLA students various ways to take action: Click here to learn […]

It you choose to see this video as a simply humorous rant by a frustrated college student, i guess that’s ok, because who am i to judge? But at the end of the day she should apologize and bear the consequences of her words. Fact: there are a lot of bigoted, hateful and racist people out there, but they need to know that nothing gives them the right to publicly degrade other people. Their opinions are best kept to themselves. What the hell is “American” behavior anyway?

This is obviously nothing new in America. ALL people of color who have undertones that are not pink, have been tolerating this type of behavior for many years to say the least. Terms like “our” (schools) and “they” have wounded and eaten away at the value of countless humans in THIS country.
I say to hell with her ignorance and self entitlement. This girl may issue a completely inauthentic apology just for the sake of shutting people up, and we all know that it does nothing for the actual state of her heart. But for the state of her inflated ego I hope that she is forced to eat her words and publicly apologize!… Whether she means it or not.
Maybe, just maybe she might think twice before she self righteously posts her vomit for all the world to taste.

[…] is APIA, it could happen anywhere.” That’s why it matters. (Also, Gina linked this response from UCLA, which I really […]


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