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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

UCLA girl should not be punished for racist remarks

“Ooooh ching-chong ling-long ting-tong!” said Alexandra Wallace, mimicking a stereotypical Asian dialect that, according to her infinite wisdom, disrupts the UCLA library every 15 minutes.

Wallace is infamously known as the “UCLA girl,” making the headlines after posting a YouTube video offensively lashing out on her Asian classmates for using cellphones in the library in the middle of finals week. She refers to herself as “the polite, nice American girl my momma raised me” and targets Asian Americans as people who lack American manners.

However, Wallace does exemplify a point—a rather small one, that is. Students in the library should not be using their cellphones, especially during finals week. She chose to rant about a generic issue, attach it to a general race, Asians, and generalize about that race.

In return, she received a punishment far worse than her crime. Her phone number and address were publicized, and as a direct result, she left UCLA due to the hate-ridden messages and calls she received.

Wallace never meant for her video to be internationally known and offend so many people (but she should have seen the consequences of her actions—she is studying political science.) What she said was wrong, but honestly, there are plenty of other racists out there.

All in all, we should just leave the poor girl alone—if her video hadn’t already destroyed her chances of attending a prestigious graduate school, not to mention tainting her future employment chances, her leave from UCLA certainly will.

Instead, we need to focus on educating ignorant people such as Wallace about cultural differences. If we take the low road and use her as the face of most Americans, then we too are fueling racism. The cycle of racism and hatred will never end unless if our generation starts seeing everyone as individuals rather than groups of racial stereotypes.

Opening individuals up to a variety of cultures would result in a decrease of racial slurs and remarks. People would be able to see that humans, no matter what ethnicity or color, are all the same and should not be viewed as different or, in this case, lacking manners.

Scorning Wallace will only increase her contempt for the Asian race; she will blame them as the reason for leaving UCLA instead of acknowledging her mistake and apologizing for it. Wallace should not be reprimanded so severely. Ironically, it would have been better to give her a second chance to educate herself about different cultures.

Granted, Wallace falls short of the “the polite, nice American girl” definition that she applies to herself in her video. Although the initial reaction may be to revile Caucasians like her in retaliation, one would be just as ignorant as Wallace. People simply need to calm themselves, see the bigger picture of how culturally uneducated others are sometimes and strive to help others. Then perhaps one day we can all truly end the attitudes displayed by Wallace in the video.

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