I have to admit. When I first saw Alexandra Wallace’s “Asians in the Library” YouTube rant, my initial reaction wasn’t outrage. Instead, I thought “Wow, that’s a really tight tank top.” Maybe it was cutting off the circulation to her brain?
But many of my friends in the APA blogosphere were outraged by Chesty McRacist’s rant, and in recent days, it became fodder in mainstream news outlets from ABC News to the New York Times. And now Snooki 2.0 is a multimedia personality! I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.” Hell, since the third year poli-sci major is both blond and vapid, Roger Ailes is probably drawing up a Fox News anchor contract as we speak.
And that’s been my issue from the jump. Sure the original video was offensive and stupid. But before a few days ago, no one knew who “Alexandra Wallace” was. Now? Everyone knows who she is. No such thing as bad publicity, ya know?
Fortunately, there are a couple of silver linings in the whole “Asians in the Library” flustercluck. First of all, it elicited this response from musician Jimmy Wong, which is probably the catchiest song of 2011 so far:
I hadn’t heard of Jimmy prior to “Ching Chong Means I Love You.” But now, his video and song is becoming a viral sensation in its own right. Seriously, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Jimmy’s YouTube channel. You’ll be glad you did!
The other YouTube response that is worth disseminating is this brilliant persona poem by my main man Beau Sia:
Instead of rebutting Wallace’s anti-Asian rant with a snarky rant of his own, Beau’s poetry not only explores what goes on in Alexandra’s mind, but contemplates the sense of entitlement and resentment that permeates much of the country’s discourse about race.
So thanks Alexandra Wallace. I didn’t want to link to your idiotic anti-Asian video, but your idiotic anti-Asian video has inspired some great work from some of our best Asian American artists. And for that, I’m grateful.