Dealing With Racism: Understanding Why And A Solution

Third year political science major, Alexandra Wallace made an offensive video rant against Asians.  She’s now leaving UCLA, which has a 37% Asian population.  Smart, because she’d probably get seriously hurt, or harassed for the rest of her time there if she stayed.

My main question is, how could someone from a good school like UCLA post a public, racist rant on a forum which could attract millions of viewers as a political science major???  Aren’t poli-sci majors supposed to be super careful about their persona if they ever want to get elected into public office?  Maybe not. Look at all the politicians in office we have now.

WHY ARE THERE RACISTS?

* Lack of education. This has to be the #1 reason why people are racist.  If you only speak one language well, have never lived overseas, have never traveled overseas, and live in a very homogeneous environment, you don’t have the education or perspective to understand different cultures.  60%+ of Americans don’t have a passport, and we Americans are cursed with the fact that English is the main international language.  As a result, we don’t try as hard to understand other cultures because we don’t have to.

* We blame others for our problems. Alexandra is stressing due to finals and is taking out her anger and frustration on someone else.  We like to blame others for us not being able to get into college, get the job, get a promotion, or find love.  It’s easier that way.  Instead, we should STFU and try harder and focus on how we can improve ourselves.

* We have low self-esteem. The Girls Gone Wild producers are already calling Alexandra Wallace to see if she will audition, no joke.  Can you see why?  With the way Alexandra is seeking attention with her video and her entire ensemble, it’s not hard to believe she has very low self-esteem.

* We are inherently evil. Perhaps we are just born this way, and can’t help ourselves. It goes back to the nature vs. nurture question. I’m of the belief “nature” is but a 30% minority to why we are who we are today. Our parents and our environment is what really shapes us to be who we are. I don’t believe we are inherently evil and blaming our genes for being out of shape, not smart, racist is just a poor bullshit excuse.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE RACIAL TENDENCIES?

The first thing to do is to become introspective as to why you are a racist.  Ask yourself whether you lack the understanding, self-confidence, and general education.  If so, get busy because your racist tendencies will prevent you from getting anywhere.

Alexandra Wallace will NEVER have a career because her name will always be associated with her racial rant which any employer will find offensive. Do you think any Asian person who knows about Alexandra Wallace will ever want to hire her or give her a chance? Unlikely. If Alexandra decides to start a business, do you think an Asian person will buy any of her products except for the Girls Gone Wild videos? Unlikely. In essence, Alexandra has a large uphill battle, and potentially 2.5 billion enemies in the world.

If you are a racist, watch Dr. Martin Luther King’s full video and start contemplating before it’s too late.

After you’re done watching, really consider learning a second language well.  By learning a second language, you not only learn how to communicate with new people, you also learn so much about that language’s culture.  From learning honorific verb forms, to the origins of how characters are drawn, Japanese and Chinese are amazingly powerful languages that helps you from becoming a racist.  The languages are based on a concept called “filial piety”, where respect for one’s elders is tantamount.  Once you adopt filial piety, you will start not only respecting your elders, but also people from other cultures as well.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS FREE, BUT…..

We all have a right to say whatever we want in America.  It’s our 1st amendment right.  However, we should all be aware that our words have consequences that we must live by, forever.  It really is too bad Alexandra Wallace is racist, because she’s brought so much hardship and shame on herself and her family.

Perhaps someday, Alexandra will realize it’s probably better to keep her thoughts private, and be more understanding of other people.  I am very dismayed we consistently have so much hate in our community. We all have pet peeves, idiosyncrasies that may annoy others, and so forth.  But, for goodness sake, keep your evil to yourself and perhaps do some good!

Readers, why do you think people are racists?  Have you ever encountered racism growing up or in the workplace?  What did you do to address the issue?  Should Alexandra be forgiven?  Will she ever get a respectable job?

Alexandra’s video is no longer available, but here is a good spirited retort.

Regards,

Sam

 

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Charlie says

    Great post. Racism is still a big problem in our country whether we like it or not. Wow I didn’t know that some 60% of Americans don’t have passports – that is high!! Even if people don’t have the funds to travel overseas, they can always pick up foreign language study guides at the library for free. I think learning a second language is a great idea and we really should make it a requirement in all our schools.

  2. krantcents says

    More than likely, her parents and friends are racist! No one ever told her her comments are inappropriate. Her parents did not model positive behavior. They probably demonstrated bad behavior in jokes, comments and how they treated people. Children learn behavior from parents and adults from the way they conduct themselves. As an adult, I won’t tolerate racism. I usually ask people to not use disparaging words. As a teacher, I try to model positive behavior and show the students how to behave. Alexandra should not be forgiven until she changes her behavior. I suspect that she will not learn much from this, but I doubt it will have a long term effect on her career.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I’m really curious about her parents, b/c as I wrote, I believe nurture plays a predominant part in a child’s development, and less so nature.

      I beg to differ on her long term effect on her career. Every single employer Google’s an applicants name, especially for a serious job. She needs to change her name… but what if the person at the name changing office is Asian and knows her? Of course it will leak out what her new name will be. There’s no escape.

  3. david M says

    Thanks for posting – I think many people, myself included, can learn from these videos and your post.

    Why are people racist? I think people are racist because it is a great way to have a cop out for not doing better in life. It not my fault its the asian, jewish, islamic people fault.

    It is true we Americans need to travel more, even when we do travel were do we go – Canada, the carribean and all inclusive resorts in Mexico. We need to see that people all over the world are wonderful people!

    In November 2001 my wife and I went to Malaysia which is an Islamic country – we met many Europeans – we did not meet any Americans. I have been to Vietnam, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, Cambodia, China Hong Kong and Thailand in Asia – about 99.9% of all of the people that I have met have been WONDERFUL people.

    Is she going to find a good job – this is America – she is now a celebrity! She is probably going to end up making much more money because of her racist rant – sad but true!

  4. Darwin's Money says

    Yeah, this chick’s an idiot; her name will forever yield a front page google search result for racist idiot. She might as well change her name if she ever wants to have a career, seriously.

    But, it’s just a microcosm of what people all over the world sincerely feel. You don’t think there’s racism in Europe? Or even in Africa depending on how light or dark someone’s skin is? It’s everywhere. She just happened to be dumb enough to post this on the internet, but across UCLA and every other college, the same conversation is going on.

    I agree that education and exposure to others is the key barrier. When you know someone personally who’s black, Chinese, Italian or whatever, it feels much more “wrong” cracking a joke or even voicing a stereotype because you know it’s not the truth. But if you’ve never met someone from a different ethnicity or culture and it’s all you’ve ever heard in your house and school? After a while it sinks in.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Yes, racism is everywhere. We’re entitled to think what we think. I just wish more people would travel, learn more languages, meet new people. That way, as you said, if you actually understand the culture of others, you won’t likely attack them and make ignorant statements, especially publicly.

      So perhaps we should ask ourselves who is to blame for racism if nurture is what shapes us most. I’d like to hear about her parents.

  5. The Saved Quarter says

    Thanks for posting the response song – brilliant! “I know you don’t know nothin’ about tsunamis, and I just want to make sure you know it’s not a type of sushi. And I came here to say that I’m Chinese, and that’s a whole ‘nother country.” Heehee!

    I think racism is complicated, there’s no single cause and no single solution. I would guess that Alexandra didn’t think she was racist when she made the video and is having to come to terms with her own position as a racist “nice American girl”. She knew she was making inappropriate statements because she said upfront, “you know I’m not politically correct.” Which is a nicer way of saying, “you know I don’t pretend I’m not a racist, and I don’t think all people should be treated equally.”

    I also think it’s human to have racist or xenophobic thoughts, to think that others who live differently aren’t quite as “normal” as “us”, but it’s also human to override those thoughts and realize that normal is fluid and people are people. I know that I’ve had racist thoughts, not something I’m proud of, but I turn them away at the door and don’t give them a spot to rest in my brain, and damn sure don’t make a video to broadcast them! The more people speak out against racist thought, speech, and actions, the closer we come as a society to inclusiveness.

    • Financial Samurai says

      It really is a brilliant and catch song! Good on Jimmy for making light of the situation.

      Everybody has had racist thoughts! Just not everybody is stupid enough to broadcast it to the world, especially a world where the population is 37% Asian as is the case at UCLA!

  6. Sandy @ yesiamcheap says

    Okay I might get some backlash for this, but I didn’t find her video as offensive as I had expected having heard about it. Perhaps I’m so used to hearing some really effed up things that it’s water off my back now? Most people will look at me, hear me speak and never think that I am not from the counrty. Because of this I have heard some pretty racist stuff. She’s a moron for not thinking before posting this to the internet. Am I surprised? No. Do I think that more people think 10X worse things that she does? Abso-effing-lutely. Make it right? No. Makes me upset? Nope.

  7. Bob says

    Best part: Infers that all Asians are Japanese. I didn’t know that…guess we learn something new each day.
    Worst part: “Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong.” That annoying. Really, really annoying.

    Should Alexandra be forgiven?
    I actually don’t think there’s anything to forgive. I already know there are plenty of people out there with racist thoughts and tendencies. All this video tells me is that this particular UCLA student is one of them. Clearly, she has a thing against the Asians at UCLA, but if her remarks were to be made against other students in general, I could more or less agree. She doesn’t like how her apartment complex is swarmed with outsiders on the weekend. She thinks young people should work on being more independent. People in the library should be more considerate of others when using their phones.

    Will she ever get a respectable job?
    I don’t think this video would necessarily preclude her from getting a respectable job, but it calls into question certain qualities an employer may desire (open mindedness, tolerance, a hint of common sense). I think people can change if they want to. Whether or not this student does will be up to her.

    • Financial Samurai says

      If the employer Google’s her name, I think they will have to pass b/c there are thousands of qualified people in every job. Why take the risk and ostracize the existing employees once they find out who she is?

  8. Dan B says

    The people here seem to have a rather low threshold for defining that video as a “racist rant”. Insensitive? I agree. Stupid to post online? Absolutely. But a racist rant? Come on people, why don’t you show this girl some tolerance yourself. I think what she said was almost fair comment.

    Learn an Asian language properly & then move to anywhere in Asia for a little while & observe what is said of you, to say nothing of what most Asians say about each other. I don’t care if you’re white, black or blue? In fact if you’re black & consider what she said to be a racist rant, then I’d suggest you not follow my advise because you;re not going to like what you hear in Asian countries at all. Or any Chinatown for that matter.

    I live in California. My parents are both Asian. They & their parents were born in, (& lived most of their lives in) Hong Kong. I was born there as well & lived in Asia on & off for 14 years. I speak Cantonese. You people need a reality check if you think that’s a racist rant!

  9. BD says

    Yakking on your cell phone in the *library* is freaking RUDE, no matter what color your skin is. I wonder why this isn’t addressed in your post? It isn’t anyone’s race that’s the issue, it’s their manners, which, if everything she said is true, is definitely a problem.

    Yes, she should not have made a rant like this because everyone hearing it focuses on race instead of the actual problematic mannerisms that’s she’s addressing. As a student tho, I feel for her, especially with the library part. I hate it when *anyone* is rude and loud in the library while I’m trying to quietly study. :/

  10. Suzan says

    Jimmy’s video is hilarious!

    Like The Saved Quarter, I also guess “Alexandra didn’t think she was racist when she made the video and is having to come to terms with her own position as a racist…” Americans are more careful when using the phones in public.

    I had an experience on a train in Asia not too long ago, when a woman sitting next to me answered her phone. She must be talking to someone she knew well, because she was talking, laughing and shouting at the same time. All the other passengers were very quiet. When she finally finished, I asked her if she was from xxx, a country where I have lived before. She said “yes”, with some embarrassment. She seemed to realize that she had talked too loud. I didn’t want to embarrass her, so I said I knew it because I had lived there (her country) before. We exchanged some pleasantries until one of us got off the train.

    Indeed, learning a second language or travel overseas helps us know another culture. But “when in Rome, do as the Romans’ do” will help us adapt to the new environment faster and our presence to others more pleasant.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I feel like stabbing myself when someone yaps incessantly on the bus too and from work. I can’t stand it and wonder how some can be so clueless and rude. However, am I going to pinpoint one particular race? No, bc it is ignorant to say only that only one race does so.

      Maybe Alexandra is secretly just auditioning to gain fame and be on TV and has a secret brilliant plan which is working!

  11. Mx3 says

    Yes, it is rude to be loud in the library regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. If this had started out as a rant against people being loud in the library and then given the same specific cell phone example, the rant might not have been taken in quite the same way.

    It seems to me that she must be getting a big lesson now in facing up to the consequences of her actions. Perhaps we will see a public apology video from her in the future. Only time will tell.

  12. Mike Hunt says

    Well, in Thai:

    Ching Chong – means ‘Pee pee’

    Ling Long – Ling is monkey, so maybe ‘long monkey’?

    Ting Tong – Slang for ‘retarded’

  13. Mike Hunt says

    By the way I want to say that the Japanese are the most racist people in the world, they think all other races are not as good.

    In Thailand there is overt racism. All White people are referred to as “Farang” without regard to where they are from (Europe, America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, etc).

    Anyone who is Arab, Indian, Pakistani, Middle East are referred to as “Kaek” which translates to “guest”. They are not revered.

    All black people are referred to as “Khon Dum” or black person. There was a problem with Nigerians doing scams and selling drugs so some bars put up signs that say “Blacks not welcome”!

    I didn’t think the rant was too bad. She overdid it a bit when she did the Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong thing but all her complaints were legit. Not having manners in the library is uncool, so is the extended family running about. When I went to grad school there were a lot of Chinese and they would cook all the time and the stinky smells (mothballs, meats, ginger) would get stuck in the hallway- not very polite in my opinion.

    Anyone who has traveled around the world would realize that there is a lot of racism out there… but no need for any of us to proliferate it right? Let’s all be more accepting to others and celebrate our differences. I wish the Asians at UCLA would give her a break…

    And the rule of thumb is you can make fun of a race as long as you are from that race- strange but true.

    -Mike

    • david M says

      I have been to Japan and Thailand more than 10 times each and the people of both countries – are some of the most wonderful people that I have ever met.

      I guess the biggest problem I see with her comments is that I don’t think it is only asians that talk in libraries – maybe we should hire someone to look into this! Her comments become rasist because she is saying they talk when “her people” do not talk which is most likely not true.

  14. Moneycone says

    If only everyone traveled to a different part of the world, they would learn a little more about humanity and how now matter what the color of your skin is, people have the same needs and emotions.

    And ‘there is racism everywhere not just America’ is no excuse for this kind of behavior or justification for this behavior.

    I actually feel sorry for this girl.

  15. JT McGee says

    “Lawyer’s are scum,” “used car salesmen suck,” “telemarketers are the most annoying people in the world.”

    I’ve said all those things before, and they all make claims about a group of people based on my own experiences with only a few people. It’s the same error in logical thinking, but because none of them were to do with race, no one has ever railed on me for saying those things. Why not? Aren’t they equally awful?

    Why does race earn a offensiveness level of its own? Really, I’m just curious as I see what she did as stupid, but I’ve made just as erroneous comments with small sample errors that are just as factually inaccurate. I’ve assigned the whole a label, based on my experiences with few. Make that a headline.

    It’s 2011 and most people have come to the conclusion that race doesn’t matter. The ones keeping race an issue are the people who 1) make money promoting news of the problem and 2) the minority of people who are actually racist.

    It’s time for everyone else who claims not to be racist moves on from making racism a big deal in the first place. I am an individual, and a human. Anyone else want to be an individual and a human with me?

    • The Saved Quarter says

      Maybe “used car salesman” isn’t as offensive is because being a used car salesman is a choice. He can quit his job and become a zookeeper and no one will think he sucks anymore. An Asian person can’t decide not to be Asian and take it off at the end of the day.

      Also, I don’t think that mot people have come to the conclusion that race doesn’t matter. I think that for some people, race matters very much because they still see its effects on a regular basis. Those of us who think it’s not a big deal are likely to be white, in mainly white communities, I think. I include myself in this. Until recently, I thought the same thing – race isn’t a big deal anymore. Only in discussing race with friends who are not white have I understood that race and racism is an ongoing issue in our country. Mexicans and Muslims are the new blacks in that regard.

      • JT McGee says

        Just because you can find employment elsewhere doesn’t mean that you should be judged by the actions of the people who also work in your chosen field.

        Why do minorities have a monopoly on race issues? Isn’t there some argument to be made that those in the majority race have equally as much interest in race relations, especially since the creation of “affirmative action” policies?

        This isn’t a divisive issue, though we can surely make it one–and it seems we enjoy making it one by institutionalizing it.

        • JT McGee says

          For the record: Despite living in an area most people might consider to be generally “more racist,” we actually have a very diverse city, and with plenty of difficult cultures. Maybe I’ve just managed to avoid the worst people, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find any one who genuinely discounts someone simply for the color of their skin.

        • Nico says

          Just because you ignore racism it doesn’t make it non-existent. The people who make claims like yours belong to the priveleged majority in this country who almost are never made to feel conscious about their race. Bluntly speaking, white people. You have no experience what it’s like to be a non-white in this country. Our society is still racist and you have racist tendencies just like everyone else believe it or not.

  16. Pat S. says

    Yikes. I’d have to say misdirected anger. Maybe self deprecation on some level. Upbringing. A need for attention. A lack of consideration for the future… bad call either way, and sad.

  17. JoeTaxpayer says

    I think the lesson here is what Jimmy did in his video, point out how foolish racists really are, and mock just the way he did.
    Was she racist? Sure. But I suppose there’s worse, people who physically harm others and talk far worse trash. Sad for her if this kills any chance of employment. On the other hand, I wish Jimmy a great future.

  18. Patrick says

    As much as I wish there was no racism in America as long as there are groups like NAACP and people like Rev Jesse Jackson racism will never die.

    • Sandy @ yesiamcheap says

      I guess you see them as a cause of racism and not a result of it? I’m not American, but I know enough history to suggest you take a second look back not that long. Say, 50-60 years or so?

      • Patrick says

        Like a good deal of groups in America they may have been formed for good cause in the beginning, but they have most definitely outlived there usefulness. I am a student of history, and I truly feel bad about anyone who was subject to abuse, racism and segregation 50-60 years ago. However; it is 2011, no one under the age of 40 has dealt with those issues and groups such as the NAACP and people like Jesse Jackson make trouble and refuse to let real change occur.

        No one alive in America today was ever a slave, or ever owned a slave, it is time we get on with the issues of the day. I had the privilege of serving in the US Army with individuals from every ethnic background and I have friends today who are stationed all over the world. The successful Soldiers get ahead due to hard work, perseverance and following the Army Values. They don’t need a special group going in front of Congress or the American people trying to make people feel guilty for actions conducted decades ago.

        As far as this video, it is quite evident that this girl lacks a real world education but it is also evident that she is a product of her environment. If she had been raised properly and taught life skills in school, such as how to approach someone in a public place and politely ask them to stop their inappropriate behavior, then she wouldn’t have resorted to ranting on Youtube. Of course, this is the same country where one football star goes to prison for killing dogs while another football player gets his drivers license suspended for killing a person while intoxicated. I cannot answer for every injustice, no one can, but it is each person’s responsibility to make their society and community better, something this young lady has failed at miserably.

        • Sandy @ yesiamcheap says

          My first comment attests to the fact that I wasn’t offended by her video in a “racist” way. I just thought that she was stupid for posting the video on the internet. I go on rants myself, but I am never so dumb as to post a video of myself on a rant.

          With regards to your comment “it is 2011, no one under the age of 40 has dealt with those issues” I sincerely beg to differ. While no one alive has been a slave, racism takes form in different ways.

          My comment above regarding the NAACP was only regarding their formation. Whether they have outlived their usefulness is a different matter entirely and deserves to be debated, but this might not be the correct forum. We would also need to call into question the need for other groups including the ACLU, NOW (National Organization for Women), the ADL (Anti Defamation League), etc., etc., and a host of other groups that have been formed to represent one particular group of people with similar agendas.

  19. Kyle says

    I thought the whole reaction to this video was incredibly overblown. Making death threats over a youtube video? Come on, people. I also wouldn’t classify her comments as “hateful” by any stretch of the imagination. Move along everybody, nothing to see here.

  20. youngandthrifty says

    Wow, interesting discussion.

    I loved Jimmy’s video, that song was stuck in my head for an entire day. It was a very articulate and appropriate response to some pretty harsh words Alexandra Wallace said.

    I think the most harsh part of it was that she posted this on such a public medium, like You Tube. What was she thinking? Did she think people would applaud her and say “ooh you’re so right, Alexandra! They’re so annoying, I agree!” I have no idea what was going through her mind when she uploaded that video. Maybe she was too busy thinking about how her cleavage looked wearing that shirt.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Lol, maybe bc u know she was checking herself constantly and adjusting before she clicked play. I think she’s gonna be a star! Her parents should be so proud. Now for a screen name…..

  21. Kevin @ Thousandaire.com says

    I hadn’t watched this video until now because I didn’t want to hear a bunch of racist comments. Then I finally watched it and really can’t see the big deal.

    Racism is judging a group of people by their appearance; this girl was judging people by their actions.

    Yes, saying “Ching chong…etc” demonstrated that she doesn’t know any words of any Asian language and was a bit rude, but people are blowing it out of proportion. I can’t imagine being offended as an English-speaking American if someone from another language was trying to imitate a white American and made nonsensical noises that were meant to sound like English words. It displays their ignorance of my language, but doesn’t mean they are racist against me.

    She even said at the end, “Even if you’re not Asian, you shouldn’t be talking on the phone in the library… I’ve just never seen that happen before.”

    That’s a judgment of a behavior, and then a statement saying that she’s never seen a different race carry out that action.

    Imagine if the rude people weren’t Asian, but were jocks or cheerleaders or computer nerds or frat boys or any different group of people that wasn’t a racial association. Pretend they were jocks; she would have done the same video but changed “Ching chong ling long” for “Let’s go play some football and hit on cheerleaders”. I don’t think anyone would have found that very offensive. She’s not racist; she’s pissed off at rude people in the library.

    • Bob says

      “Even if you’re not Asian, you shouldn’t be talking on the phone in the library… I’ve just never seen that happen before.”

      Well…you know…that’s because libraries are part of our domain (Indians’ too, but they’re also technically Asian). Gosh…I’m surprised she was there in the first place to make such an observation. Must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere…

      • Kevin @ Thousandaire.com says

        As far as I’m concerned, your comment is more racist than her video. You are making a generalization that white people don’t use the library. You have formed an opinion on an entire race of people, whereas her anger was directed specifically against actual people who just happened to be Asian.

        I’m not offended by your comment but I do find it to be racist. I have seen libraries with many more Asians and Indians than white people, but I wouldn’t look at a random white person and make a judgment about whether I think he does or doesn’t go to the library based only upon his skin color.

        • Bob says

          See…that’s what I love about my previous comments. They can be construed as racist remarks, yet they’re logical progressions of a basis upon which a person could argue why Alexandra’s remarks were not racist.

          “Even if you’re not Asian, you shouldn’t be talking on the phone in the library… I’ve just never seen that happen before.”

          Let you and I pretend that neither of us are racist. We will make the assumption that a certain percentage of students, regardless of racial background, will be impolite and take long, loud calls in the library. If we trust that Alexandra is perfectly on the level and that she’s only observed Asians taking calls in the library, we recongnize that this is an improbable event if 1) the library has a proportional mix of Asians relative to the the general student body and 2) Alexandra has observed a moderate number of phone calls. This improbability becomes more probable when A) the ratio of Asians to non-Asians in the library rises above 37:63, B) Alexandra has spent a limited amount of time in the library, limiting her to the number of calls she has observed, or C) some combination of A and B. If one takes Alexandra’s comment about never having seen a non-Asian talk on their cell phone in the library seriously, the scenarios I laid out are not unreasonable.

        • Nico says

          A comment that might have completely jokingly implied that the libraries belong to Asians is now worse racism than anything Alexandra Wallace spewed. You’re fucking joking right?

  22. Everyday Tips says

    You know, some people are raised to be ‘racist’. I grew up in a very racist area. However, as I grew older, I formed my own ideas and opinions. You can’t just blame your upbringing because you do have your own mind. This girl is in college for goodness sake, where she should be exposed to all types of experiences. That is when you can shed any preconceived notions you may have been raised with.

    This girl is a fool.

  23. retirebyforty says

    Her biggest mistake was to post the video on youtube. Come on, I thought these young’uns are suppose to be more social media savvy.
    The tsunami comment was not cool. How would she like it if she has to deal with similar situation. The ching chong wasn’t that bad, Rush Limbaugh’s was a lot worse.

    • Financial Samurai says

      With the events of the Tsunami, I was shocked with her insensitivies. I don’t understand it. Again, it’s as if she has never traveled overseas and doesn’t have perspective.

      At least what she’s doing is helping highlight how much more work we need to do bring more understanding.

      There was NOT ONE report of looting or violence in Japan after the disaster. That should make us proud.

  24. Buck Inspire says

    Way to bring awareness to an ugly subject. This is a great example of thinking before doing. She’s insecure, wanted some attention, and now she will go down in history for this. Too bad her friends and family didn’t reel her back in. Hopefully we can all grow from this event. I wonder if she makes a new video apologizing for her mistake, would people forgive her? Will be interesting to see how she deals with this backlash.

  25. Forest says

    Well reading this post was the first I heard of this whole mess, silly silly girl indeed!

    I’m a relatively calm person but racism really can make me boil up but I am getting better the more I travel. Oddly the more I travel the more I encounter new racism but to call another nation very racist would be racist wouldn’t it, so I won’t go making generalisations here (falling down a rabbit hole!).

    For me it just seems to be fear or lack of knowledge of the unknown and I agree with you 100% that nurture is the tool that shapes us. I was never racist but I certainly did not understand the world as much as I do now that I have traveled a lot more (not saying I am all knowing and all seeing).

    Since I just came back from an Arab / Muslim country it’s amazing how much I have had to deal with people telling me what Arabs and Muslims are like and how blatantly (but in denial of it) racist a lot of American’s seem to be but yesterday I went to an elementary school to talk about Egypt and the Arab world and it was encouraging how non-racist and interested in other cultures the 9 year olds were so hopefully this younger generation will be more open to the world as a whole…. We probably have the internet to thank for that.

  26. DoNotWait says

    I love the song! That guy really sings well! Anyways, racism is almost always a misunderstanding. The thing is, we will probably never get to the point we understand every body out there… Mainly because we don’t all have the same cultural values and education. Maybe we should just accept difference and respect that difference.

  27. Squirrelers says

    This nonsense happens all the time, and it’s highly unfortunate. Frankly, there are examples way worse than this one.

    One such example is a passenger who was middle eastern in ethnic descent and dress that was removed from a Southwest flight for “suspicious ” behavior. All she did was speak on the phone, but a flight attendant deemed her suspicious and they removed her. Tons of people applauded this, despite her being a US citizen and totally innocent. The action and general applause the airline got for that is totally racist. Thing is, many ate just blind to it and either don’t see their own racism or make excuses (ie all people of a certain background can’t be trusted, better safe than sorry, etc).

    In some ways we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go still. I’m all for maintaining American customs and ways here, as its our country. Some assimilation should rightfully be expected. But we shouldn’t expect people to change overnight and should show basic respect to all without generalizations.

    • Financial Samurai says

      That is quite unfortunate for that passenger. Maybe people just really really hate people talking on the phone in public. I hate it on the bus, but I don’t cast a broad brush that only certain type of people yabber away.

  28. ajc @ 7million7years says

    I have 5,000 years of culture and tradition because of my particular ethnic background. I feel sorry for those who don’t.

    The solution to racism is education mixed with a healthy dose of travel … you can’t hate those that you meet face-to-face in their own homes.

  29. Chubbuni13 says

    Interesting points… personally, I think that all people are inherently racist. There’s been a lot of research in the field of evolutionary psychology that’s gone into this fascinating (but admittedly politically incorrect) view of racism. Satoshi Kanazawa and Alan Miller have written a great book that details the reasons for racism and other charged questions in “Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters”.

    I also thought it was funny that the author recommended learning the idea of filial piety in East Asian culture. As someone with Korean and Japanese heritage who’s married to a Chinese wife, I can tell you that some of the most vitriolic statements regarding race I’ve ever heard were in our native languages with friends and relatives who hail from the referenced countries.

    If anything, American culture teaches us (at least ostensibly) not to be racist… or at least not to show it off as blatantly as Alexandra Wallace did. If I agree with one thing in the post, it’s that she’s going to have a hard time finding a job after this.

  30. First Gen American says

    I do think all forms of discrimination still exist. I grew up with an extremely racist, sexist, insert anything-ist dad. He seemed to have an issue with everybody..different religions, races, sexes, etc. I’m sorry to say that some of his ignorant beliefs rubbed off on me and it wasn’t until he was gone for a few years that I learned how wrong he was. Thank goodness he was out of the picture and that I had some brave people tell me that some of the things I was saying were inappropriate. (I literally didn’t even realize I was doing it. Those high school jobs were such a godsend. I learned so much.)

    My dad’s issue which is not on the list: Entitlement. He felt entitled to a better life than other people because he felt he came from a higher class of people than folks from other countries. He even felt that way about my mom…that he married beneath his level. Self Esteem may be there too. He was the black sheep loser of his family so he needed to put himself on a pedestal above the people around him.

    Such an important topic and I think the best solution is to just be constantly mindful of our actions and do our best to understand other cultures as well as embrace the benefits diversity can bring to our workforce and our community. Also if you hear people saying something dumb speak up. They may not even realize what an idiot they are, especially if they are young.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Thanks for your great insight! Entitlement is a biggie. What makes us believe we are more entitled that another race is Baffling to me. What makes one religion kill millions for their belief of righteousness is also fascinating to me.

      Glad you have formed your own thoughts and views! It’s hard to break out of tha mindset with our environment shaping our minds for so many years growing up!

  31. Jack says

    Interesting post. However, I can’t agree completely with it. I’m an Asian-American who grew up and went to college in the Pacific Northwest, and I know that Asian-Americans have their gripes against white people. For you Asian-Americans out there pointing your finger at Ms. Wallace, how many times have you joked or made fun of white people or heard your Asian-American friends do the same using the following comments: “White people are dirty because they don’t take their shoes when in the house”; “White folks have no cultural manners; they always put soy sauce on their rice and sugar in their tea”; “White people have no respect for elders, they just put them in a nursing home”; “White people don’t love their kids, they kick them out of the house at 18″

    Before anyone (especially Asian-Americans) starts jumping on the Alexandra-Wallace-is-a-racist bandwagon, we should take an “introspective” look into ourselves when we talk about other people, especially when the webcam is off.

      • AmericanDebt Project says

        Agreed. When I was in college, someone discovered a personal homepage for a freshman girl that had a lot of scandalous photos of her. This was in 2003, pre-facebook days so the whole school was blowing up about it. She ended up transferring out the next term. I think the main point about this Wallace chick is she was stupid enough to post something without thinking about the consequences. We all do it sometimes, and some actions have much worse outcomes than others. For example, I wanted to have an anonymous blog so I wouldn’t have to censor myself, but even with being anonymous I don’t say EVERYTHING that crosses my mind. I would have no readers and just be a big hater. There is a balance in life we have to achieve between speaking our mind and being totally insensitive/careless.

  32. Financial Independence says

    I think it is purely cultural differences. There clash between west and east.

    West is atomized society of individuals, while Asians are still fairly interconnected and go like a herd together.

    You can treat it with education, but clearly there are differences between the societies.

    The differences will stay and get worse over the period of time. This is one of the set backs of globalization. It will take a few hundred years to overcome.

  33. Nico says

    @Dan B
    Racism in Asia is wrong and racism in America is also definitely wrong. What is the point of this comment? Just because YOU didn’t find this video offensive it doesn’t mean the rest of the Asian-American community is overreacting. Why the heck are you even holding Americans tithe same standards as Asians? Racism from Hong Kong and America are derived from totally different historical and cultural roots.

  34. Nico says

    @Kevin @ Thousandaire.com
    Yeah because our society has such a disgusting, discrimatory history against jocks and a video expressing jock-hate would be such a disheartening reminder to all jocks in this nation that they are still being discriminated against in the most distasteful way. Aquire some common sense please. Mocking Jock-speak is NOT on the same caliber as “CHING CHONG LING LONG TING TONG”. Also, being an Asian (whether you like it or not) defines the very realities of your life in America. And you of course don’t have a choice in the matter. Can you with a bold face claim the same for jocks to even he slightest degree?

  35. Billy says

    I think racism is learned. I am a man of mixed heritage and I have encountered racism from people of many different races. I have also learned racism from my parents. The emotional wounds of learning this sick thinking has affected my life greatly. Especially on days when I am not feeling very secure or comfortable in my own “skin” I find that people who are generally racist are people who as mentioned in your opinion piece are un-educated, insecure or are just blaming others for their own unhappiness which makes me sad because they may be unaware of how they are affecting others around them. I know this Korean guy at the corner store that I frequent who I have felt treats me differently because of the ways he talks about people with darker skin. On a good day I just nod and move on, on a not so good day I tend to take it personal. By him acting like a racist I do not trust him. He’s hot n cold. But I understand this sick behaviour because I have those sick messages in my head as well. It really is sad. However I work hard on changing my inner self-talk and learning to practice the principles I hold true such as tolerance, patience, acceptance, compassion and so on. Not easy to do cause I am human and bound to fail sometimes. But I keep working at it. Hopefully this shop keeper can learn to be more aware of his self-talk and learn to change it. It would help! =)

    • Financial Samurai says

      Billy, I think you are right. The environment shapes us, and I don’t think we are born racist. It comes from our parents and our friends and perpetuates itself down for generations until someone wakes up and says, racism must stop.

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