Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Asians in the library"

A UCLA student - a self-proclaimed "nice, polite American girl" - has received threats after the ill-advised posting of this video.

Not much more to say than "Wow." Not only 'ching chong' and 'hordes of Asian people' but following up an imitation of Chinese with a reference to the tsunami that hit... Japan. Methinks the reason her 'epiphanies' never arrived had little to do with people talking on their cell phones. One wonders how long this will follow her around for.

The story is covered by the Daily Bruin and Angry Asian Man, and a comment on the response to the video is here; searches for 'Asians in the library' on Youtube will turn up lots of responses, parodies and remixes.

A Google search might also turn up the blog 'Asians Sleeping in the Library,' a Blackout Korea-esque blog consisting of photos of Asians sleeping in libraries and classes and which is "meant to celebrate, not berate, the hardest workers at our universities." It apparently welcomes submissions, and contains posts with titles like "Asians sleeping in packs."

As always, no one will ever go broke underestimating the amount of stupidity on the internet.


Brian said...

Stupid video, and more evidence that "hordes" of stupid people are getting into our universities every year.

The university issued something about "celebrating diversity": a very vague, hollow statement overused in our PC country. But as stupid and thoughtless as the video was, maybe "celebrating diversity" ought to include not threatening to kill white people who don't like Asians talking loudly on cellphones in the library.

jinrok said...

Still, I can think of two reasons why half of my Korean friends would quickly forgive her...

Anonymous said...

The "hordes of Asians" coming to the US comments and the "ching-chong" crap is seriously offensive. UCLA Chancellor Block's statement - "Speech that expresses intolerance toward any group of people . . . is indefensible and has no place at UCLA” - is right on point.

The criticism about families supporting each other by preparing meals and washing clothes is unfathomably idiotic - are these not shared values that "American society" should strongly support?

Leaving aside the question of factual accuracy - I haven't experienced the cell phone issues she complains about and my university (Univ. of Hawaii) is predominately "Asian" (41%) - the cultural "etiquette" issues are a legitimate subject to discuss. Fertile ground in fact as there are plenty of Americans abroad who fail to respect local etiquette for various reasons (ignorance, indifference, etc.). But the racist context she frames in it obliterates any opportunity for real dialog.

There are infinite opportunities for countering her racist/orientalist "rant" without resorting to similar racist/occidentalist rants and "threats" (N.B. the university police "cannot confirm or deny that any of the threats were death threats") and there are many examples of individuals who are effectively doing so. It's a shame that those who resorted to making "threats" have derailed what should have been an opportunity for more dialog and education. I agree with the Dean of students that they've "got a lot of work to do" at UCLA. Hopefully, we will see them doing it rather than sweeping this issue under the rug.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

Looks like she's dropping out of school due to the harassment she's getting over this (her "apology" was pretty sad, too).

That's too bad. It's the idiots and the ignorant that need the education the most.

Turner said...

I'd say she could use a year abroad more than education.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

Don't expect that to change anything. All it will do is cement her ideas about how "rude" Asians are because they do things differently in their own country.

I mean, hell, how many people have you met here already who are close-minded to the experiences here and just bitch about everything?