Outcry Over UCLA Student’s Anti-Asian Video

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A screen shot of Alexandra Wallace from her YouTube video rant, "Asians in the Library."

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UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and the Asian American Studies Center on Monday decried a student’s anti-Asian rant posted on YouTube, saying the video “does not represent the views of our UCLA community.”

In a three-minute video, a student identified online as Alexandra Wallace lashes out at Asian students, using a fake Asian accent to chastise students who use their cell phones in the library.

“In America, we do not talk on our cell phones in the library,” she says.

During the video, she also laments that large numbers of Asian people, whom she described as relatives of students, descend on the university area on weekends.

“It’s seriously without fail. You will always see old Asian people running around this apartment complex every weekend,” she says. “That’s what they do. They don’t teach their kids to fend for themselves.”

“If you’re gonna come to UCLA, then use American manners,” she says on the video.

Block said he was “appalled” by the video.

“This one act certainly does not represent the views of our UCLA community. Our community is built on mutual respect and civility, and we are committed to fostering an environment that values and supports every member of the community,” Block said in a letter to the “campus community.”

“I believe that speech that expresses intolerance toward any group of people on the basis of race or gender, or sexual, religious or cultural identity is indefensible and has no place at UCLA.”

In his letter, Block did not address any possible discipline the student might face.

Professors Lane Hirabayashi and David K. Yoo of the Asian American Studies Center issued a statement expressing their dismay at the video.

“ ‘Asians in the Library’ is a travesty on many levels, representing an attack on Asian and Asian American students and their families and undermining UCLA as a global university with deep ties to communities and institutions in Asia and other parts of the world,” said Hirabayashi and Yoo.

“It entails a ‘new racism’ by foregrounding students who speak Asian languages and have different family traditions, as it insidiously groups and attacks UCLA’s American-born as well as our international students of Asian ancestry. As the only University of California campus without a diversity requirement, UCLA surely needs to implement a diversity requirement that will expose every student to the task of living civilly with people of different origins, backgrounds, orientations, and beliefs, whether they are born here or come from abroad.”

 

Video: “Asians in the Library”

Note that this video is not owned by Alexandra Wallace; her original upload has been taken down.

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