Friday, April 1, 2011

Responding to the Rant (Racist UCLA Girl situation ect.) [you are so dumb, you are really dumb, for real]

Alright, so unless you've been living under a hole, or you're white, and you haven't heard about this youtube video.  Here's a copy of what the topic of discussion is today just to get you caught up.

There are so many things that we can address in regards to this whole situation but today, I would like to cover three.

1) the insulting comments made in the video itself
2) what the video says about common perceptions of Asian Americans
3) the Asian American community's reaction to the situation

This topic at this point has kind of been over done by a lot of youtubers and such, but I think it is an interesting case study that deserves a timely analysis and review.  I know I'm coming late to the party, but better late than never? Plus, as I said, a lot of my white friends have yet to hear about this sensation. So this is my two and a ha-penny cents for them (its funny how when you're the only Asian in your group of friends how they address all things Asian to you, not that I'm complaining, but I am honestly the token Asian)

The first time I saw/heard of this video was when it came up on my news feed.  One of my friends from back home in Michigan (who's actually white) posted it.  Though politically incorrect, the only lighthearted response I felt like I could give was, "I'm sorry, i couldn't hear anything she was saying, her boobs were too loud".  (not hatin' on the ladies with the tatas, it was just kind of like watching Katy Perry perform, its just like BOOBS)

First, I would like to say, how stupid do you have to be to post a rant against Asians on the internet on Youtube. REALLY? DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT ASIANS CONTROL YOUTUBE? One of the guys who CREATED Youtube is Asian. There is a part of me that really doesn't understand how people do things like this and think that they can get away with it.  Did you think white people at your school were just going to rally around you, that they were going to think it was funny to attack a group that is a significant part of your learning community? Did you think insensitively talking about the Tsunami in Japan was going to be FUNNY? THERE ARE MORE ASIAN PEOPLE AT YOUR SCHOOL THAN WHITE PEOPLE! I ACTUALLY FACT CHECKED THIS AT COLLEGEBOARD.

  • 34% Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 3% Black/Non-Hispanic
  • 16% Hispanic
  • 29% White/Non-Hispanic
  • 6% Non-Resident Alien
If your time at UCLA has not taught you to be sensitive about other ethnicities, I really don't understand what will.  But I'm not saying that you got what you deserved, but I'm just saying that this was obviously not well thought out about the potential consequences of something like this.

Alright, well let's talk about the content of the rant.  I have to admit that, while it is offensive, its not really really as racist as it could be.  If she had said that to some of her friends in a real life conversation, she probably could've gotten away with it, but girl, you're posting this on YouTube where people will blow up and scrutinize whatever you do.  

While reviewing the video, some of the stuff she said would have been perfectly acceptable if it had been an Asian talking about Asian culture.  The whole bit about our families being super involved in our lives is generally pretty true.  The thing is, filial piety is an important part of our culture, and we care about each other which is something you'll understand and appreciate (good parts and bad parts) if you really understood us.  I will be honest, I would make jokes about that myself, but the way that Ms. Wallace approached the topic, ridiculing our family values came across only as severely ignorant.  The next part, the main part of the rant about the people in the library just came across as horribly ironic.

I have to say for the record that I'm usually down for the Asian jokes, because to me, they're just jokes, but there are two things that I find offensive 

1) Jokes about Eyes
2) Caucasians making noises pretending to speak Chinese (that's because I'm Chinese).

"Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong"

 =_='' really? ugh. while her attempt to imitate an Asian language is painfully bad, in the end it really just makes you sound (again) stupid and ignorant.  And that whole part in the beginning saying that she's not politically correct, so don't take it offensively is kind of foolish.  Just because you say that doesn't mean that it forgives whatever you're about to say.  To be frank, this girl doesn't seem malicious, just really stupid (her boobs aren't helping the case if I'm honest). "This isn't directed towards my friends, just people I don't know."  That part didn't really help anyway because I feel like if she actually had some good Asian friends that she would have known better than to have done something so stupid.  (in the words of antoine dodson, You are so dumb, you are really dumb, for real"

It is always easy to mock, to ridicule the faceless crowd of them.  Life is different when all people are people to you, but this isn't the way that everyone approaches personal interactions.

The whole time she was complaining about Asian people talking on their cell phones in the library I was thinking, "most of the time there are people talking on their phones in the library, they're white girls that look like her".  This is the reaction that I've heard from many people.  Her bits about "Nice American girl with manners" is also a part that I found ironic and appalling as well as many of my friends.  Its ironic that you're saying that you're polite when you are being incredibly rude to a ethnic group that kind of runs the area you're from.  I think most people at this point will acknowledge that actions like that are actions of an individual and not that of an entire minority group which is the fundamental stereotype and generalization that ethnic groups can often receive.  

I heard a serious critique on YouTube where the girl tried to emphasis how the actions of an individual cannot be solely attributed to their race and their racial group.  To be honest, I think that people who talk on their phones in the library can be annoying.  Maybe part of the reason why these people talking on their phones are usually Asian is due to the fact that her school has more Asian people than white people.  But the fact that she blames these acts of individuals as a problem attributed to an entire minority group is what is so offensive.  The point this youtuber made was that the actions of an individual are just that, the actions of an individual.  Assumptions are what turn stereotypes into racism.  Stereotypes exist, its something that I think we all have to acknowledge to a certain extent, but its not allowing stereotypes to affect the way that you judge and treat individuals (that's called prejudice, aka pre-judging).  For me, one of the hardest things to deal with is the double edged sword that those of the majority (aka white people) ( in my opinion its a double edged sword due to affirmative action that assumes if you're a minority, you ARE interesting). Caucausians/whites are just people when you meet them.  Just people.  For me, there aren't a lot of things that I can tag onto them, which is nice for them.  No one will assume that because you're white, you're really good at math, piano, or violin.  No one assumes that you're "from the ghetto".  No one assumes that your parents are illegal immigrants.  No one assumes that you know Kung Fu, a gangster, or Spanish.  Of course, Caucasians have their own regional stereotypes like Valley Girls or Redneck southern hick, but for the most part, its white bread. Now, there are pros and cons to that.  The phrase "white bread" is just that.. white bread, its kind of bland.  A lot of times people like to joke about having spice or what not as a part of their culture! or heritage! (just like that, with !'s) but I believe that every person regardless of the color of their skin is interesting, and to get back to the original point, responsible for their own individual actions.

A really interesting thought that I've heard touched on in many comments and replies is the question of what "American Manners" are?  In fact, aren't American's known for being kind of rude and Asians for extreme politeness.  (I'm not saying that either are, but if we're dealing with stereotypes, that's what most people would probably side with).  

This leads me into my second point about understanding what underlying thoughts about Asian Americans shaped these thoughts and reactions.  The whole concept of American Manners implies in itself that all of these "Asians that brought their families from Asia" are not American.  The truth is that there's some Asian Americans at UCLA who's families have been in America longer than a lot of the white kids.  

<<<<<< rant about the perpetual foreigner syndrom to skip ahead, scroll down>>>>>>>

There's this misconception that something about us is apparently innately not American.  Here's a wake-up call for mainstream America, we are American.  I make a special point of using the term Asian American in this blog because I care about fostering a new understanding of the fact that I was born in Michigan. I am an American citizen.  I can be president.  My favorite joke, it really only works on people from Michigan is that if you put me and Jennifer Granholm together in a room and asked people who they thought would could possibly be president of the United States, they would pick Granholm when in reality, I can actually be President and she can't.  (for everyone else, Jennifer Granholm was the governor of Michigan, she is in fact, Canadian).  The truth is that the face of America is changing, and the general conception of what makes America, America needs to change.  We are here, and we are staying.  We're not going anywhere. This is my home, its the only place I've ever really known.  (I was planning on doing an entire post about the perpetual foreigner syndrom, I think I still will, but this is kind of a appetizer on the topic). To read more about the topic, check out my article "I'm From Michigan"


So what are American Manners? American manners are everything and everyone because we are America.  This is one of my biggest things about the media, this inability for Asian Americans to be regarded as that, Americans.  Her attitude, while antagonistic has a tinge of what I would like to call a "go back to where you came from" syndrom.  It essentially says that you don't belong here, and you should leave/learn/assimilate.  The beautiful thing about America is the fact that everyone comes here and learns and assimilates but also puts their own spice in the melting pot, that's what makes it delicious. It's one of the best things about America.

The truth is that I'm not even going to touch her comments about Japan.  That's just like saying that you like to kill puppies and kittens.  You do not bash natural disaster victims. Rule of Media/communications. DO NOT BASH NATURAL DISASTER VICTIMS.  it's not that she had malice against them, she just seems stupid (and after all of this I have to wonder how she actually got into UCLA).

I think perhaps the most fascinating thing about the whole situation is the way that the Asian American community has reacted.  Like I said earlier, if you're asian, you've heard about this, for sure.  Everyone has kind of risen up against this in one giant internet voice of fury.  There are the death threats of course against Ms. Wallace and what I can expect to be buckets of hate mail (sometimes I just wonder who actually has the time to sit down and write an angry letter, address it, stamp it, and send it to someone in this day and age?).  Sadly, Ms. Wallace actually ended up dropping out of UCLA after all of the fallout from the thing (i mean, if you're going to a school with more Asians than Caucasians and you rant against/don't like Asians its a good idea to leave) And being Asians who are extremely involved in the internet community, there about a million replies on youtube or parodies of her rant.  I think my favorite reply is probably this song by some guy named Jimmy (funny story, MY MOM  sent me a link to this youtube video)
I like this because its a nice lighthearted approach, gently mocking her.  Its funny. plain and simple.  Ms Wallace we don't all want you dead.  Most of us are pretty nice about it (if anything, our manners teach us to be extra polite and suck stuff up most of the time ( the way our mothers taught us ), I'm just sad that this ended up being the way thing turned out for her.  We need to educate America so that they can see that we're not this remote ethnic group that's going to go back to Asia any time soon.  This is where we belong, and the sooner that mainstream media can deal with it and start changing it all, the better. 

 It's just really easy to see how in these sorts of situations an entire minority composed of separate ethnic groups really just binds together and rises in a time like this.  It is very easy to see how much cohesion there is among Asian Americans on the internet.  I am pretty positive that almost every Asian American knows about this.  It's kind of crazy because I keep talking about it like everyone knows about this viral video but my very very white friends are like, 'What?'.   So, please, use your Asian American connections my friends, and pass the word on about this blog.  I would like to believe that one day, people other than my friends will read this. ha ha ha. i know.  

On a side note about Asians in the library, I like NEVER see Asians on campus here at Belmont, but when I go to the library, I will usually see at least one, its kind of nice to know that I'm not all alone and Asian (I swear I'm really not that emo), but I've never seen a single one on their phone.  It's funny, UCLA are also Bruins like Belmont, but they have WAY more Asians than us. Actually, its kind of crazy how excited I get when I see an Asian on campus.  There was this one time when i saw THREE ASIANS together.....

SueAnn Shiah
Bob fischer just gave me a double take. I know, i`m surprised when i see an Asian at Belmont too.
Oh yeah, I have a Twitter if any of you want to follow me for my sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, sometimes just weird tweets.

Anyway, this is my bit, special analysis of the situation.  I know its kind of scattered, but hopefully it gave you some insight about it.  I know that this is kind of overdone at this point, but what do YOU think about the whole situation/video.

That Asian Girl

P.S. out of many of the responses I have viewed on YouTube, there two are my favorite funny ones.

Two Asian Girls' Response
Funny Guy, don't watch if you're easily offended though.

1 comment:


    I love you, Beast :)