By Ira Mellman, VoA News
Washington, DC – March 27, 2011 – An online rant against Asian students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has caused an uproar on campus and beyond. The video was posted earlier this month by third year political science student Alexandra Wallace.
She prefaced her rant against Asians on her California campus by saying she knew she was not being politically correct. “The problem is, these hordes of Asian students that UCLA accepts into our school every single year, which is fine, but if you’re gonna come to UCLA, then use American manners,” she said.
Particularly, Wallace took issue with what she said were Asian students speaking loudly on their mobile phones while she was studying in the school library.
Wallace also ranted about how many calls were being made by the Asian students following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“I swear they’re going through their whole families, just checking on everyone about the Tsunami thing. OK, I know that’s horrible, a feel bad for all people affected by the tsunami but if you’re gonna go call your address book, you might as well go outside because if something is wrong, you might really [get upset] in the library where everybody’s quiet,” she said.
Although Wallace took her video offline, it had already become viral with over a million views.
It quickly drew a response from the chancellor of the University, Gene Block.
“This has been a sad day for UCLA, and a disappointing one for me personally. The student in the video referred to, I quote, our school. The university described in the video is not the university I know. Students, staff and faculty that I speak to every day take pride in having one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Our campus reflects the many communities of California and our world. And this greatly enriches the UCLA campus experience,” he said.
However, no action was taken against Wallace. The UCLA student newspaper quoted Janina Montero, the vice chancellor of student affairs, as saying the video did not violate the student code of conduct and that the university does not punish free speech.
Speech that many find disagreeable is usually legal in the U.S.. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that members of a U.S. church could continue anti-gay demonstrations at military funerals. The court said they were protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution detailing the right of free speech.
Alexandra Wallace’s rant drew thousands upon thousands of responses. Some were earnest in their disgust of what she had done, while others were bigoted and some were funny.
Actor and songwriter Jimmy Wong posted his response on the internet, saying, “Hello Alexandra Wallace. I am not the most politically correct person, so please, do not find offensive. Thank you!”
Alexandra Wallace issued an apology for her posting. Through a family friend, she told the student newspaper that she had offended the UCLA community and Asian culture. She recently withdrew from classes at UCLA, citing death threats.
Credit: This article originally appeared on the Voice of America web site athttp://voanews.com and was broadcast on VoA radio