8 Asians

Before I get started on this lovely open letter, for those of you who don’t know, Alexandra Wallace is a UCLA student who posted the above YouTube video yesterday about her rant on Asian students making too much noise in the library and other things. Not too long after, she became the target of a whole LOTTA angry Asians who accused her of being racist and declared that her video was hate speech. Some have posted her contact information for the whole world to see and others are demanding for her to be expelled. In the midst of this sea of anger, here is my take.

Dear Alexandra Wallace,

I want to make sure that you know right away that this is not another hate mail. By now, you have probably received a whole lotta hate mail from a whole lotta angry Asians on your campus as well as nationwide in regards to your YouTube video.

I want to let you know that I am not going to call you a bitch, whore, or slut as many of my colleagues are doing. Because that’s degrading as hell. Nor do I think you need to expelled from UCLA. Nor do I think your rant is hate speech. And do I believe that it is just for people to post your contact information up for all the world to see? Hell no.

But I DO have a few words to say.

I’ll give you this, Asian parents do come to support their kids and yes, they do come a lot during weekends to help them out. Now, I’m not quite sure if they bring their entire family members including their grandma and cousins and whatnot from Asia, but I see your point even if it’s very ignorant. I do wonder though, do you rant about this because your own family doesn’t visit you? Are you feeling jealous of the Asian students that do have their parents visiting them? Just curious..

To your other point about Asians talking on cell phones: Okay fine yes, a lot of Asian people do talk on their cell phones loudly and yes, it annoys me too.

While a lot of Asians do talk loudly on their cell phones, this issue affects ALL people, not just Asians. Therefore, it is a tad unfair that you are targeting only Asians as the only culprits. Then again, you ARE in UCLA so when you’re surrounded by Asians, then yes, you will vent about what you immediately experience. And you did mention that at the end so okay, I got you.

I do want to debunk some of these ideas you have about Asian people though.

First of all, Asians don’t go “chingchonglinglongtingtong” because come on, that’s just ridiculous. The only Asians that remotely sound like that are Chinese and hell, they don’t even sound like that. If you want a good idea what Chinese actually sounds like, check out my friends at 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors who gives a lesson in “proper” Chinese mockery. You can check it out yourself.

Now you bring up the point that you are studying political science. Okay, I want to say, good for you! But if you are indeed studying political science, then you should be aware that the concept of “Asian” isn’t just about the typical yellow Asians you think Asians are but they also encompass Southeast Asians like Filipinos and Thai folks and South Asians like Indians and Sri Lankans. Being Asian is pretty freakin’ huge. Also, when you bring up “American” manners, keep in mind that American is not the term you think it is. It does not mean white, even though mainstream media may tell you differently. The complexity of what it means to be an American is ever changing and as someone studying political science, you should also be aware of that.

You almost crossed the line when you bring up the tsunami that hit Japan but in the end, I am going to have to agree with you on that one too. The library is a place to study in peace and if tragedy does happen, you do take that outside. I think that’s common sense because after all, you want your own private space when you deal with the hard news and also respecting the other people around you. I’m going to sound like a dick to my fellow Asian Americans for saying that but it’s true. So I give you that one.

Despite what many of my colleagues are saying, I am glad that you are being honest about how these issues bug you. You are speaking your own truth and it would be wrong of me to want to shut you up because I think it’s offensive. Which, to a degree, I think it is. But I can’t give you a hard time when I myself have my own rants about white people and it would be a hypocrite for me to say that you can’t have your own rants. For a rant, I do commend that you are talking about “random Asians” but not about your friends who happen to be Asian. I respect that you don’t pull out the “chink” or the “gook” word and it is because of that I do not believe this video is racist. It’s incredibly ignorant, yes, but hate speech? No.

But darling, I do need to remind you that once something goes up on the internet, it stays up for the WHOLE WORLD to see. While you did your best to take it down, there are more than two versions out right now that will haunt the living crap out of you. I seriously don’t envy your position as a UCLA student since over 40% of the students that go to your school are Asians. By Monday morning, you are going to have to face them and sooner or later, you will reap what you sow. While I understand that you had to rant, this video will bite you in the ass and this may actually affect career opportunities because in this day and age, the very people you are mocking, these “loud Asians”, they may be your employers who will hire you. So for your own sake, you better hope that they don’t see this video.

I hope you understand this very important lesson and that is to cool down and think before you even post a blog or video up on the internet, especially if you’re filled to the brim with emotions. At least talk about it to your friends and hear what they have to say. Because that is the smart thing to do.

I don’t want to end this letter with a downer so I will depart with a gift to you. Enjoy and I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
Edward Hong

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