BLOG | Responding to UCLA Student’s Racist Rant Video: Let’s not stoop to her level

March 13, 2011

Screenshot of the viral video where UCLA student imitates Asians talking on the phones in the library, Ching-Chong style. (Youtube).

The moment I saw multiple Facebook friends posting this viral video onto my newsfeed, I knew what the content was about. From Rush Limbaugh’s mocking of President Hu Jintao of China to Miley Cyrus’s slanty-eyed photo, I think I’ve seen enough to know how Asian/-Americans are usually bashed in the media — and almost always unoriginally, might I add.

I knew UCLA student Alexandra Wallace, before I even knew her name, would do an offensive imitation involving an absolutely degrading Ching-Chong imitation the likes of Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and try to mask her blatant racism in the lines of “Oh, I’m just being politically incorrect y’all!”

I would have even expected her to give us a Sarah Palin-esque wink in the end to really make the video shine.

What she did was completely wrong, there shouldn’t be any debate about it. Wallace made this video because she didn’t think anyone would call her out and instead of expressing a complaint about people talking in the library, she brought ethnicity into it. She posted the original vlog on Facebook because she thought the kids she considered “friends” whose parents taught them “American manners” would agree, thinking they’ll all laugh at the silly gooks with her. She most likely thought the hordes of Asians and their “moms, their brothers, their sisters, their grandmas, their grandpas, their cousins” wouldn’t be in rage over it — and rightfully so.

I was most offended by how Wallace heartlessly criticized fellow Asian students for calling their relatives in a recent time of crisis. They might have been a distraction in the library but come on, cut them some slack! They’re trying to see if any of their loved ones are still ALIVE after the combined earthquakes-and-tsunami in Japan for gosh sakes. Your freakin’ “epiphany” will come back, their family probably won’t!

I was furious at Wallace but I was also mad at how so many of my peers are reacting towards her video.

In the last two days since the video was released, I became all too familiar with the responses towards Wallace. Overwhelming legitimate criticisms of her behavior by the millions were the threats to beat, attack, kill and rape her. Youtube videos that could have been intelligent parodies were rendered immature by the fact that the vloggers focused mainly on Wallace’s body and gender rather than her racist sayings — just as the user Xuyah has done by reducing her to just her boobs adding he “might get the wrong idea, y’know?”

I even read a status update from a fellow Asian American Mills student who wrote “This bitch is gonna be shanked!” as though she couldn’t even ACT like she went to a women’s college.

Really, people? We’re doing this now — an eye for an eye? Then, how are you any different from the people who killed their spouses in so-called ‘crimes of passion’ or gangs shooting up others for stepping onto the wrong turf? Do we really have to resort to violent threats and slut-shaming every time some idiot offends us?

I want her apology, not her blood on my hands!

We shouldn’t be treating people like this because we’re better than that. Just as she shouldn’t be spouting her racist rhetoric on any forum, we shouldn’t call her a “dumb blonde” or “slut/ho/whore” just because she is a white girl who wore a low-cut top in the video.

Not that this would excuse her disgusting behavior, but gosh darn it, she lives in Los Angeles — where the explosively hot desert is. I would wear a shirt like that if it even hits 80 degrees in the Bay Area.

So, criticize her for the beyond-disrespectful things she has said and probably doesn’t feel a bit guilty about even when she got caught. Wallace’s not horrible because she’s female so stop reducing her entire character — if she had any — to just her gender and “slutty” cleavage. To degrade someone for being a woman is to degrade ALL women, haven’t any of you watched Mean Girls?!

Okay, I’m going to take a breather and introduce one perfect example of how to criticize someone’s actions rather than their appearance. SoundClick music community user DraculoSucks made a ring-tone the night Wallace’s vlog became popular by remixing her soundbites.

Not only is it a catchy tune, it hilariously used her racist words to make her sound even more foolish. I burst out laughing the first time he looped in her “Ooohhhh, Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong!” and am amazed that there was no mention of her being blond, a woman or “skanky.” His tactic was simple yet so very clever and still getting the point of his anti-racist message across.

Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of DraculoSucks’ book if we want to have a discussion about this debacle without resorting to sexism and death threats. If Wallace is as bad as you claim her to be, then don’t stoop to her level.

Agree or disagree with this response to the video rant? Let everyone know by leaving a comment below.

You can read more related posts on The Campanil’s special page about the disaster in Japan.

BLOG | Responding to UCLA Student’s Racist Rant Video: Let’s not stoop to her level was published on March 13, 2011 in Blogs

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  • Jason

    This is so far the best response I’ve read to this whole ordeal. Thank you. Logical and reasonable. I feel a bit uneasy with her apology. I don’t believe for a second she’s sorry for her thoughts, more the fact that she got caught. But I’m not sure what is a better alternative. She will definitely be digging her grave with this and she’ll eventually learn she has to take responsibility in the real world for all of this.

  • Adair

    What do you mean by ‘white as toast’?

  • Jerska

    LOL @Adair, I guess its sliced bread BEFORE toasting? :>

    This article pretty much summarizes my thoughts. I definitely wouldn’t want to be part of a large number of people that are out for her blood and are calling her slut/ho/skank, but I definitely do want her apology. A sincere one.

  • Melodie Miu

    Hey Adair, I meant ‘white as toast’ as a joke mostly on Wallace’s narrow-mindedness and ignorance of other cultures. But I realized this term will be interpreted differently by many readers which could confuse the real message in my post and have changed it to just “white.” Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Chris

    It is so frustrating to see another Asian attitude of holier-than-thou attitude like this author is trying to convey. Hey, Melodie, if people want to lash out the way they feel like it, then all power to them. It’s not like they’re actually going to kill her. What’s wrong with eye for an eye attitude? Do you actually think you’re BETTER than this blond bimbo because you don’t “stoop to her level”?? Please. You refuse to because deep inside you’re petrified to stand up against white people. Don’t deny it. How do I know? Because if it was any other race, then you wouldn’t blog like this. You would destroy them. Especially if it’s against other Asians. I’m so sick and tired of spineless Asians who criticize other Asians for standing up to white people. Frankly, I find the whole cell phone ring not funny at all. And I love the fact that many Asians nowadays don’t put up with this B.S. from white people. Just like the blond bimbo on the video, these Asians who rants against her are exercising their 1st Amendment rights. You really need to get rid of that mindset of how Asians should act BETTER than other people when against other Asians, you don’t. There are so many Asians, especially with Asian women who have inferiority complex towards white people that “white is right” mentality makes them criticize Asians without that disturbing mentality.

    By you acting like you’re better than them, that makes you look weak. That’s why so many non-Asians feel safe to make fun of Asians. Why not? They won’t lash back at us so it’s okay to make fun of them. Look, if you truly feel you’re better than them and not because you’re afraid to stand up against them, then more power to you. Then practice what you preach. Be better than others by letting other Asians exercise their freedom of speech by the way they feel good about it. Who the hell are you to judge them??

    There is actually an Asian reality show that is promoted to change the perception of how Asian Americans are perceived in America. From observing the producers of this show, I know it will TANK. These producers conform to how Asians are, which brings stereotypes that we see now. I was a big fan of this reality show but now I can tell it will confirm the stereotypes and now is against the show. So many meek minded Asians who are afraid to stand up to white people always use holier-than-thou attitude to shy away from confronting racism head on. it’s seriously pathetic!!!

  • Chris

    Oh, Another thing I have noticed about Asian bloggers is if the commenters criticize the author or bring facts they don’t want to acknowledge, they usually don’t post them in the name of “still waiting to be moderated”. Whateves.

  • Lola O.

    @Chris You don’t have to resort to slut shaming and rape jokes to insult someone. If you want to insult her, go right ahead? But get a little bit creative with your words and stop suggesting that people shouldn’t be judged by the colour of their skin, but rather how much they show of it. Attacking her appearance is an ad hominem argument. It looks stupid, and it doesn’t make you stronger for doing it. Personally, I have no problem if someone wants to get pissed and insult someone. Racism causes anger. It’s understandable that people meet it with anger.

    But if you don’t have anything in your arsenal other than “uuuuuh big boobs!” then you aren’t making anyone look any stronger.

  • Lola O.

    By the way, Melodie is exercising her 1st Amendment rights as well and I doubt she was suggestion that just Asians should not slut-shame and act idiotically, but rather EVERYONE should realise that attacking someone based on their looks, assuming sexuality is a bad thing, assuming that showing skin makes you stupid, is an incredibly ignorant argument and makes you just as ignorant as she is.

  • michelle

    u go chris!

  • Yun Miao

    For some reason I am not offended by the video. There are trash and elites in every culture. But most people are just ordinary with minor imperfections. I am okay with that. She’s not. And I am okay with that fact that she is not okay with imperfect ordinary people.
    I encountered an instance where a white guy talked so loudly in the computer lab. No one could have a minute of rest doing work. In some cases, you just need to walk to him and say STFU. I didn’t. I don’t know if I am spineless or what. I think everyone needs a chance to grow. So does him.

  • Chandler

    Chris it’s glaringly apparent that you’re missed the entire point of Melodie’s post. I’m sure you’re heard the expression an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. So to answer your question “What’s wrong with eye for an eye attitude?”, there’s your answer.
    When you said “It’s not like they’re actually going to kill her” were you actually predicting the future or were you simply assuming the wouldn’t? You must not be very aware of the world we live in. People have been killed/attacked for doing much less than what this young lady has. There is far too much violence and hate in our world for comments and threats against her to be taken lightly.
    It’s pretty obvious from your rant that you are the one with the inferiority complex. Attempting to earn respect by shouting and violence will only earn people’s fear. Is that what you want Chris? Do you want people to fear you? Is that what you equate with respect? In my opinion it is. It seems as though you have a lot of hate inside of you and therefore need some sort of outlet for it.
    I hope one day that you can understand the best way to change the world is not by yelling/screaming/intimidating at those who disagree with you.

  • Denny K Miu

    I had taught at UCLA for nine years and the joke was always that UCLA meant University of Caucasians Learning among Asians. I guess there is enough learning to go around.
    By the way, talking about race doesn’t make you a racist. Making every issue about race when they are not do make you a racist, even if you didn’t throw the first punch. From my experience as a Professor at UCLA, there were definite issues with weekend parking and library etiquettes. But they were issues about absence of courtesy and lack of resources, nothing else.
    Good article, Mel, enjoy it very much.

  • tvvv

    doesn’t offend me. i could care less what she thinks. i could say a whole lotta shit about white people too. but why waste my time. too bad she’s gonna get her ass wooped though. not by me though. unfortunately.

  • Butterflies and Rainbows

    I agree with Chris. I’m sure that fellow Asian Mills women was just kidding cus if it was me, I sure would be kidding. Nobody in their right mind would actually go and harm her.. it’s just their way of expressing their disbelief and astonishment at her ignorant and racist remarks.

    Also, maybe you should accurately quote this student. It would make a big difference to the overall tone of the comment.

  • neaato

    i like how the author wrote not to have ‘an eye for an eye’ approach, then called her WHITE AS TOAST, which then got called out, and changed it to a much better…..WHITE GIRL IN A HALTER TOP.

    i get it, the author means well, but i agree w/ chris, author tries to hard to be ‘not racist’ and then writes ‘WHITE GIRL IN A HALTER TOP?’

    let’s change that phrase to ‘BLACK GIRL IN BAGGY PANTS’. yea, not cool right?

    lesson: listen to your own advice

  • Tunda

    Totally agree with Chris, Butterflies and neaato…

    Irritated by this article.

  • Adair

    It’s not a joke. It’s offensive.

  • woosh

    Thank you for this. It’s good to see than at least someone understands right from wrong. I find most of the people talking about harming her or trying to make her life more miserable to be more offensive than her rant. And yes, because she was irritated, she acted out her version of what she thinks they sound like. Not too bright and very rude, but people trying to kill her now? Amazing how low some people stoop. The OP, Melodie, should be applauded for this great write up that shows the way we should all aspire to be.

  • Han Kim

    Hey, we all know how it is when something bothers us. Last week, I got almost run into twice by old people who clearly shouldn’t have been on the highway. After the second one, I was like, “I hate old people!” But of course I didn’t actually mean it long term (sorry Mom, really didn’t mean it).

    I know it’s not popular to say, but she does have a point about Asian families and their kids. Sheesh, teach your kids to cook and clean for themselves, it’ll build character. Aunt C, are you listening??? You wonder why your son is so danged lazy…and Korean? He can’t even speak beyond a few bits of banmal, and he acts stupid because he’s taking drugs and you don’t even notice. If I rat him out, I’ll be the bad one. But I digress…

    To the kid who did the video, if you had ranted about all races, it might have gone viral in a good way.

  • karl

    its like asians are begging to be victims or something. ‘i want sympathy too! ignore the fact i make more than you…’ i didnt think there was racist thing about what she said, nor did any of my non-american asian friends. look, i dont go to ucla’s library, but she is complaining about the etiquette asians are displaying there. if asians happen to be doing that behavior, there is nothing wrong calling them out on it. as far as the tsunami and calling home in the library, well f’ing right, people shouldnt be using their phones in the library, WALK OUTSIDE. like courteous people did in 911.

    at the very least, assuming she said something really racist, she still OWES YOU NO APOLOGY. its her video, it was on her facebook page. i dont think martin luther king meant by his speach: i have a dream that all white people will be ridiculed and forced to publicly apologize for saying anything that is negative about a person of another race…

  • Gregory

    I agree of everything said. Most Asians in general are a** kissers to white people.