Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Battle: UCLA

One of my favorite stories at the moment -- meaning it's one that just makes me shake my head at the absurdity of every facet of it -- involves the "anti-Asian rant" that a UCLA student shot and posted to YouTube. If you haven't seen it yet, it's an instant classic -- the kind of thing that was destined for viral transmission, followed by mass-media pick-up, followed by the inevitable contrived controversy and shouts of righteous indignation (and eventually ending with a Web Redemption segment on Tosh). Basically it goes like this: a girl named Alexandra Wallace was apparently so miffed at the fact that UCLA is overflowing with Asian students and their idiosyncrasies that she -- wait for it -- took to the internet to bitch about it. Her three-minute tirade is mildly offensive to say nothing of unbelievably dumb, but it's not like she's the Secretary of State and it's not like she set a Korean grocer on fire or something. She's a stupid kid whose shitty judgment should preclude her from graduating college long before her skewed belief system does.

But needless to say, there are already those out there demanding that she be expelled. Not because she's an idiot, but because she said something that offended them.

The great irony of this, of course, is that Alexandra Wallace is herself a walking fucking stereotype. In fact, she's got the ditzy, stacked Southern Cali blond thing down so flawlessly that I almost thought the video had to be some sort of parody. When I lived in L.A. I was generally more irritated by people like Alexandra than I was by the city's considerable Asian population. In fact, quite a few of my very close friends were Asian-American; I can't say I ever wanted to spend even a minute of my time with girls like Bryttnee from Brentwood here. But regardless of what I think of her statements about the student demographic which seems to be ruining her collegiate experience, she has a right to speak what little exists of her mind and not fear official reprisal. As Wallace reminds everyone ad nauseam in the clip, this is actually America -- and while, no, it doesn't mean that blonds have more claim to it than anyone else, it does mean that even a stupid opinion can be aired freely.

And what about that opinion? Well, it's just that -- an opinion. By its very nature that means that it's one person's view and you don't necessarily have to like it.

Apparently Alexandra has had issues with Asian students that she feels create a situation that's statistically significant enough for her to complain about those interactions and imply that they're part of a bigger picture. Not saying it's right -- although as I've said here before I'm of the mind that stereotypes exist for a reason; not everyone in a particular group will live up to a cookie-cutter image but apparently enough people have to create that stereotype in the first place -- but once again, it's her view and hers alone. Are there a lot of Asians at UCLA? Oh, hell yes. In fact, one of my best friends in the world, who's of Vietnamese descent, graduated from there and used to rattle off the familiar joke that UCLA stood for "University of Caucasians Lost Among Asians." (For those keeping score, USC was "University of Spoiled Children.") Do Asian students tend to have certain cultural quirks? Of course they do. Would these quirks irritate the hell out of you if you didn't grow up with them in your own household and now had to deal with them almost 24/7? Depends on who you are, but it's certainly possible.

So should Alexandra Wallace be punished in some way for bitching about her experiences with Asian students? No, actually. She's entitled to believe what she believes and to voice those beliefs.

Just like all the Asian and Asian-American kids who'll make response videos mercilessly mocking stupid, overly bubbly California bleach-blonds with big boobs will be entitled to that.

Besides, at the rate things are going, the Chinese students will eventually own Alexandra's ass anyway.

* * * * *

Update: Well, if you thought there might be any surprises in store with regard to this little controversy, you can sleep easy tonight knowing that it's following its story arc down to the letter so far. Needless to say, Alexandra Wallace has now issued an apology via the Daily Bruin for her thoughtless comments. It reads as follows:

"Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate. I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I'd like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand."

So, that settles it, right?

Of course not.

She's apparently received several death threats and with the worldwide circulation of the apology by outlets across the internet there are already the obligatory indignant comments from journalists and the public demanding to know, "Is her apology enough?" "Why didn't she specifically say she's sorry to Asians both at UCLA and around the globe?" and "OMG, Why wasn't I included in her apology since I was so offended?!?!"

Look, the kid said she's sorry. Drop it. Of course there's an argument to be made that her apology isn't all that sincere because, well, it was demanded of her and continues to be. Forcing someone to say he or she is sorry kind of negates the power of the consequent apology, and yet people do it constantly these days, pretending that it will somehow salve their deeply offended sensibilities. And speaking of offended, guess what? Alexandra Wallace doesn't owe a pound of flesh -- or in this case ten minutes of contrite public self-flagellation -- to every fucking person who took offense to what she said in her idiotic little screed. It's ludicrous to allow everyone who claims to be aggrieved to dictate what her punishment should be and to whom it should be directed. She said something dumb and she now says she's sorry. Once again, you're not gonna get any more satisfaction than that so knock it the hell off and go back to your life. Which apparently consists largely of looking for things to be unnecessarily pissed off about.


L. said...

Wait, wait, wait. Us blondes don't have more claim to America? You mean the only benefit to my genetics is the ability to sunburn through my hair? This is some serious bullshit.

VOTAR said...

apple juice

Chez said...

You know, L, it dawned on me recently that throughout my entire life I've only dated one blonde. She definitely defied the bad stereotype but, yeah, just one.

So I think it's high time again. The line of applicants forms to the left.

Chez said...

And yes... apple juice.

J. Dack said...

This is why I can't get along with anyone. Even the ranks of my supposed liberal allies on the left are full of whiny, over-reactive fucking people who do shit like champion free speech and then call for punishment of a loud mouth racist who didn't actually break any rules.

This chick should shut up, but nobody has a right to make her, let alone expel her.

slouchmonkey said...

Honestly, who was listening to Chesty McChesterton anyway?

J. Dack said...

Also I should probably say, before anyone jumps on me, yes I know the school can technically kick her out if they deem it a violation of their code of conduct.

But that doesn't make it right. IMO.

CNNfan said...

OFF TOPIC: Have you heard, they're shutting down facebook on March 15th?

Anonymous said...

Good post, that just about sums it up. What she said was stupid and racist, but more the former than the latter.

Her stupidity itself is almost punishment enough.

Having her stupidity displayed for all the world to see and being ridiculed for it is more than sufficient punishment.

Riles said...

I was generally more irritated by people like Alexandra than I was by the city's considerable Asian population.

SO...you do admit that the Asians irritate you. DXM should fire you immediately.

Chez said...

Nah, not really. One of my favorite things about Japan is that you can get sushi anywhere. Especially since last Friday.

Chez said...

Okay, so knowing my sense of humor this shouldn't need a clarification but just in case: No, people, I don't think there's anything inherently funny at all about what's going on in Japan right now.

kanye said...

Chez' clarification was meant for all you newer folks; those who've found their way here recently via the Banter Brigade.

The rest of us have long known what a heartless prick this man is.

btw--I'm not buying this video as real just yet, but if it is, and her last name is in fact Wallace...icing, meet cake.

Le Penseur said...

Don't forget the radioactive wasabi Chez.

Anonymous said...

Can we stop firing people for being honest with their opinions? I mean seriously...I would rather deal with a racists fuck that was open about being racist than some asshole that thinks as long as they don't use a slur they can't be a racist, ignorant cunt. Like the fucking British...I hate those fucks...but at least they don't hide this shit like Americans like to do.

Fucking PC bullshit is basically allowing assholes to mask their shit in a bunch of fucking buzz words so people can't call them out on their own hatred.

Liz said...

I am a bit puzzled as to what she said that was so offensive that she has received death threats. Isn't interesting that a stupid little girl can raise such a ruckus. I guess the whole "racist free speech" thing only applies if you are a 300 pound bag of rancid ass named Rush.

Benoit from Ottawa said...

Anonymous @ 3:27

Could you please pepper it up a little more? It makes your argument so much more convincing.

Liz said...

Slouchmonkey, I spent the whole video hoping a big ole titty would break free. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

POTRZBE said...

I thought for sure it was a parody of a parody. She had all the ditz factors in place: Blonde, chest, and my personal favorite: statements come out as questions. We went to, like, dinner? I had, like, the tacos? They were, like, really good? All done in a vacuous sing songy voice.

Kat said...

Good lord, if I had to apologize for every stupid-ass thing I said in college, I'd still be begging for forgiveness.

On behalf of all trolls, however, I'd like to call for Charlie Sheen's apology. Trolls have been working hard to reform their glum party-pooper image, and Mr. Sheen's remarks were incredibly disparaging and unhelpful.

em said...

GOD. I couldn't even make it through that video. I'm part Asian, and I'm not offended, am pretty sure my dog is smarter than this girl anyway and she's entitled to her opinion.

Also, I'm not saying she deserves the death threats, buuuuuuut is anyone surprised she's getting them? She put it up on YouTube. Just sayin'. Y'all know the type of stuff people write on there.

Alanna said...

A) She looks like Huntington Beach trash that hangs out on Main st and frequents Fred's.
B) Living in SoCal and complaining about Asians is like living in the Heights and complaining about Dominicans. Sorry, fucking deal or get out.
C) I was rearended in a horrid accident by an Asian driver of an '88 Toyota Previa on Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa, CA a few years back. Do I now avoid most Asian male drivers behind an minivan? Yes.

This shit is so dumb I dont even know where to start.

oh, and, blessed are the brunettes for we shall inherit the earth.

Stephen said...

Did Mel Brooks ever receive death threats...I mean besides for Dracula: Dead and Loving It?

This is insane. This country needs to grow it's sense of humor back.

em said...



Guys, feel free to reach that epiphany she's talking about.

VOTAR said...

Well to me this is pretty simple.

In my book, an apology is not something you say, it's something you do.

Ms. Wallace wants to apologize to asians? One word,


tru dillon said...

I thought the video was funny. Guess I am incorrect also. It was just stupid and funny. Why is it ok to call her a typical blonde bimbo white girl? We are all racist, sexist and homophobic. Get over it.

tgt said...

Nobody hit the interesting part of this post. I demand more alternate school names. I went to "U Must Be Chinese" or "U Made Bad Choice."