Alexandra Wallace

12 Apr

Please watch this video:

The internet has created a space where people can hide behind a camera and a false identity in order to make statements that they may not feel as though they could say in public space without retaliation or unpleasant remarks. This shield of anonymousness proved to be nonexistent for Alexandra Wallace, a UCLA student.

In the wake of the 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit and crushed Japan on March 11, 2011 many people were in fear for their families, their lives, their history and their government. For them, it may have echoed the fear and terror what we felt on September 11, 2001.

It was only natural that individuals felt the urge to communicate with one another and ensure their safety and the safety of their families: 27,800 people have been pronounced dead or missing since the Tohoku Tsunami. It’s safe to say that there were many people who were worried for these missing individuals.

Fear has been known to produce high amounts of adrenaline in humans which can result in extremely emotional responses to stimuli often causing the subject of fear to act on instinct and perhaps forgetting their surroundings or current situation.

This is why the individuals who were touched by the catastrophic tsunami had chosen to answer their phones in the library– they acted on instinct as a result of fear.

“So being the polite nice American girl that my momma raised me to be, I kind of just gave him … ‘It’s the library, like we’re trying to study, thanks!’ And then it’s the same thing five minutes later. But it’s somebody else, you know? I swear they’re going through their whole families, just checking on everybody from the tsunami thing. … Like, you seriously should go outside if you’re going to do that.”

Alexandra Wallace’s racist remarks did nothing but solidify her as an individual who has been taught to practice colorblind tactics. Colorblindness asks us to forget our cultural differences from one another and to not consider how our race, or origin or cultural background affects us personally and makes us unique and different.

The origin of the individuals who shared the space of the library uniquely shape them as individuals who are touched in wake of the tsunami.

While not directly related to the tsunami situation, I want to bring attention to the ideals of Japanese and Chinese parenting that shaped some of the unwarranted statements made by Alexandra Wallace. Ms. Wallace found it extremely unnerving that individuals would have their parents over to help make their food and do their laundry and continue to assist them, despite finally being out in college. This relationship is very closely tied to filial piety, a virtue strongly tied to Buddhism: respect for elders and ancestors. Parents take very kind and close care to their children in consideration that once their children have become successful adults, the children will then care for them in return.
This ignorance to different cultural norms and reinforcing notions is more evidence of Alexandra Wallace’ s ignorance and practiced colorblindness.

Chancellor Block of UCLA released a statement of apology for the remarks that were made:

After posting these remarks on the internet, Alexandra Wallace had become the face of racism at UCLA and was being tormented for her statement, receiving death threats to both her e-mail and phone. Her finals were rescheduled to undisclosed locations after individuals posted the location of her whereabouts on the web. Although UCLA has decided not to provide punishable consequences for her action– Ms. Wallace has since discontinued education at UCLA.

Despite the anger of many UCLA individuals– some have taken this situation and created a parody based on her actions:

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