On NPR today I heard the story of the video blogger of UCLA student who recently ranted about students talking on their cell phones in the library, a source of irritation to her.
Explained like that, it doesn't sound so bad-- but she didn't just vent about people on their cell phones. She vented about Asians on their cell phones. And she "quoted" them: "Ching Chong. Ling Long. Ting Tong."
She later apologized publicly. And NPR reported she actually left UCLA.
I get it-- I mean I get that it can be disconcerting to be concentrating and interrupted by high-volume conversations in an unfamiliar, foreign-to-you language. There must be other languages that are equally foreign-sounding, right? Why single out the Asians? (And for that matter, with the number of Asian races and languages, I suppose we can't say calling out an entire continent is really singling them out, can we?)
NPR also covered this great song (called, as the title of this blog post is, "Ching Chong (Asians in the Library" and it's over on You Tube-- with more than 2 million hits to date) and the creator of the song, Jimmy Wong. He pokes some serious fun at the UCLA student (even calling her by name), and her stereotyping.
Lots of people are slinging names at the UCLA student. But I think Jimmy Wong has the right attitude. He has already forgiven her.
I hope my own kids will be so gracious when they are older.
Strike that. I hope my kids won't have a reason to be . . .
In the mean time, head over to You Tube and check out his song.