Earlier this week, UCLA student Alexandra Wallace recorded a rant in which she complained about Asian students using cellphones in the library; about Asian students needing to ‘use American manners.’ Wallace posted the video on YouTube, where—a result not anticipated by the three-year political science student—it has been seen by over two million people so far and ‘become the subject of nationwide condemnation and the catalyst of a debate about racial intolerance and free speech,’ says the New York Times.
Here is some of what Wallace said on the video:
“The problem is these hordes of Asian people that UCLA accepts into our school every single year, which is fine. But if you’re going to come to UCLA then use American manners.
“So it used to really bug me but it doesn’t bother me anymore the fact that all the Asian people that live in all the apartments around me — their moms and their brothers and their sisters and their grandmas and their grandpas and their cousins and everybody that they know that they’ve brought along from Asia with them — comes here on the weekends to do their laundry, buy their groceries and cook their food for the week. It’s seriously, without fail. You will always see old Asian people running around this apartment complex every weekend. That’s what they do. They don’t teach their kids to fend for themselves. You know what they don’t also teach them, is their manners.”
Wallace has taken down the video, which can still be seen online. Please note that that the original contains offensive language.
UCLA has condemned the video, the Los Angeles Times reports. The University’s chancellor, Gene Block, released a statement on Monday in which he said that the video is “thoughtless and hurtful” and called for more civil discourse. Says UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton:
“We’ve seen the video and it includes comments that we find offensive. They are contrary to the values of UCLA.”
Wallace has released this statement to UCLA’s student newspaper, The Daily Bruin:
“Clearly the original video posted by my 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.”
In view of the widespread use of YouTube among college students—Wallace’s surprise at the reaction to her video seems a bit disingenuous.
Wallace may face disciplinary action from UCLA.
Photo by Neeta Lind.