For the first time in a very long time, I was shocked and shaken to the very core. I was ashamed to know that I share the world with such narrow minded people and I was reminded of the ignorance and blind arrogance that plagues and clings to our society like a heavy, dirty rag.
A few days ago, my friend shared a YouTube video with me. It was a video of a blonde girl, Alexandra Wallace, from UCLA, singling out a group of people, stereotyping all Asians. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of disgusting. Click here to watch the video.
In her rant, she complained about the burdens of having Asians in the dorms on the weekend. Their family members come on the weekends to cook for them and she claimed that their parents were not letting them grow independent. Apparently, having parents who care for their children enough to come and cook homemade food for them is a huge nuisance for her. At this point, Alexandra left me thinking “Why does it matter to you?”
It only snowballed from that point.
Rolling her eyes, Alexandra continued to rant about Asians in the library. Apparently while poor Alex was studying her political science, Asians were always on the phone. She raised a mocking hand to her face and opened her flagrant mouth: “OHHH CHING CHONG BING BONG TING TONG.”She heartlessly disclaimed the severity of the earthquake in Japan and proudly mounted herself on a rocky pedestal of fool’s gold when she called herself “the polite, American girl.” She publicly and very ironically announced that Asians needed to learn “American manners.” Sadly, this queen bee, this high and mighty girl who studies political science has forgotten that America, a salad bowl of cultures, was founded on its immigrants. “American manners” is in part Asian manners as well as manners of Hispanics, Africans, Germans, Italians, and more.
What shocked me the most was the her complete dismissal of the disaster that has shocked Japan. In her few short words, she had repudiated the heartbreak and worry that the earthquake brought onto many. My friend, Minako Otake, could not sleep all night when she heard of the news because she was worried for her family at home. She was tense, waiting for the call to hear the comforting voice of her mom and dad telling her that they were okay and to know that they weren’t a part of the thousands that were reported to be injured or dead. My boyfriend’s family lives in Japan. As Alexandra called it, “the tsunami thing” is a very good excuse to answer a phone call in the library.
The motives for her video were racist, debasing, and facile. I am sure that Asian families aren’t the only “hoards” of people that come to visit on the weekends. I am sure that Asians aren’t the only ones in the library that are using their phones and I am sure that she has probably realized the magnitude of her words. In these 2 minutes and 52 seconds, Alexandra Wallace of UCLA proved her sheer ignorance.
I am Korean American and proud of it. I know that when I get into college, wherever that may be, my family will come visit me on the weekends too and bring me food and maybe do my laundry. It is not because I am Asian. It is because I know my family will try to make my first year of college as comfortable as it can be. I know that I will probably be one of the many people from different ethnicities that might use their phones in the library. I know that my language might sound like a harsh din of rushing vowels and clanging consonants to the foreign, prejudiced ear but it is most definitely not something to be mocked or ashamed of.
In a world where people strive to be different and find beauty in the rarity of things, it is remarkable and eye opening when I find someone so narrow minded and audacious as she. To label a group of people because of their roots is wrong. What kind of world would we live in if we were all one generic race, one generic language, and one generic look? Hopefully, Alexandra Wallace (and many others) will come to terms with the many cultures that constitute our diverse home that we call America. Until then, I hope, at the very least, the magnitude of her words and their ramifications has taught her that if she doesn’t have anything nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all.