Monday, March 14, 2011

Alexandra Wallace offends "Asians in the Library" and Asians on the Web

The Asian American web community is up in arms about UCLA student, Alexandra Wallace, and her rant about Asians in the Library. The original video started making its way around early Sunday afternoon and has been removed, but several mirror copies are floating around YouTube.

Oh yes, you bet, the Asian American community is rightfully offended and making it known. There are so many things wrong with this, but mainly how callous it is for her to casually mention the tsunami as if it were some kind of inconvenience. Don't even get me started on "ching chong." Excuse me, you are a polysci major? How much more politically incorrect can you get?

However, she has reportedly had her FaceBook hacked, phone number and home address posted online, and received death threats all in response to this video. Do we as a community really want to give the hate back? Yes, she sounds like an ignorant racist, but she doesn't deserve to fear for her life. Yes, I had to resist the urge to respond with expletives too, until I realized that calling her names doesn't make me any better than her. No amount of verbal lashing I could give is going to compare to the turmoil that is about to be unleashed on her life from just the few short hours this video was live. Being infamous on the internet is the worst kind of infamy that can exist. It will never disappear. It will never be fully disconnected from her. It is quick to spread in the most unfortunate kind of way. This short video will haunt her for years to come.

UCLA has released a statement calling the video repugnant and is taking action to investigate the original poster of the video. Offended as we may get, it's not our right to rally for her silence or threaten her safety. If she is, in fact, a UCLA student, I am certain the school will deal with her accordingly. (By the way, I seem to remember my own alma mater setting a not-so-shiny example not too long ago either.) We should turn the other cheek against ignorance and continue educating the world together about the Asian American culture in a positive, collaborative way.

Just my two cents.


  1. Shann Awesome:

    Indeed, you are taking the high road, and that's admirable. But, probably as an older Asian woman, I don't think can sit passively by these days. Slowly, there is a browning of the United States. Latino mixes will be 50% of the population by 2040 or so. Asians are only about 12% of the population, but we make up a greater percentage of college populations, especially in elite universities, where we are "over-represented" (and where the average Asian must score 160 SAT points higher than his/her peers, all else being equal). We need to act more like the Mossad in Israel; we need to act in our own best self-interest. No more model-minority crap. We're smart, we're tech savvy, we can get the message out, but we're not united and we're not politically strong. We haven't got that part of our lives organized, though we have the financial power to really play a part in politics. You're prone to awesomeness. What's a better way to register social disgust, and be heard?

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for your comments. I absolutely agree that we need to use every tool at our disposal to make the message known that racism is still rampant and we will not sit idly by. We completely have the right to be outraged, but we must voice our anger in a way that doesn't resort to petty name-calling and personal attacks. It will only degrade our message if we sound just like the thing we rally against. We can rage with strong language, we can take to the web in a fury of media, but we can't stoop to their level.