LOS ANGELES — Alexandra Wallace unwittingly achieved Internet stardom when she posted a video of herself ranting about Asians and Asian Americans attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on March 11.
The video, since dubbed “Asians in the Library,” features Wallace complaining about Asian students that live around her apartment complex and sit and talk on the phone in the library. She emulated the way Asians speak on the phones with “Ohhhh, ching chong ling long ting tong,” and complained how Asian parents would storm her apartment complex over the weekend to cook and clean for their kids.
Professor Lane Hirabayashi, chair of the UCLA Asian American Studies Department and Professor David K. Yoo, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, said in a statement condemning Wallace’s actions that there is “clear evidence that we still have much work to do before we can claim to live in a ‘post-racial’ society.”
The statement goes on to call upon the UCLA administration to take “immediate and specific action regarding the student in question, but more significantly, to respond institutionally since the video addresses larger issues of campus climate and culture.”
Chancellor Gene D. Block also responded to the video on March 15. He wrote in a message addressed to the campus community, “I am appalled by the thoughtless and hurtful comments … Let this incident serve as a reminder of our collective responsibility to confront hateful and ignorant speech and to uphold UCLA’s core values of respect and integrity.”
Block went on to also publish a video response on the school’s YouTube account to reiterate his written message and to stress that people should remain civil in decrying Wallace’s commentary.
The Daily Bruin, the school’s daily paper, published a report noting that Wallace reports that she received death threats and quoted various school administrators and professors condemning the death threats.
The newspaper reported that the UCLA campus police department currently “cannot confirm or deny that any of the threats were death threats.”
The Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA reiterated a call for calm and wrote in an opinion piece, “we must address the many ignorant comments stemming from our own community … we as a community can do better than to resort to the student’s tactics of throwing out divisive words, which only perpetuate a culture of racism and sexism on both sides.”