Racism in the 21st century

By SpencerRoush

Young generations are growing up in a society more tolerant of races, genders and lifestyles than at any time previously. But banishing racism from our society’s cultural repertoire has proven unattainable, even for those young people who’ve witnessed more tolerance than any other generation in recent memory.

It’s easy to forget racism is rampant among youth while attending Columbia because of its diversity. I’m sure it happens occasionally, but it’s safe to say many students chose this college because of its tolerant and multicultural community.

However, many Columbia students were reminded of the nonsensical hatred of racial groups after watching the viral YouTube video of 20-year-old University of California, Los Angeles student Alexandra Wallace venting about the “hordes of Asians” at her university.

This video calls for everyone to question just how tolerant this young generation really is and how they’re influenced.

Wallace’s three-minute, anti-Asian rant was prefaced with a comment about how she isn’t a politically correct person, but that didn’t make up for what was about to come out of her mouth.

She sat in front of her webcam with a valley girl-intonation saying she didn’t appreciate hearing all of the “ting ling tong ding dong” in the library while Asian students talked loudly on their cell phones after hearing devastating news from Japan. Wallace explained hearing upsetting news is not appropriate in a library setting. I’m not Asian nor do I have family in Japan and this offends me, so it’s hard imagining how the people she targeted feel about her insensitive remarks.

In the video, she also said she didn’t like when Asian students have their large families visit, do their laundry, buy them groceries and cook them food on the weekends. One, this is a generalization and two, why would this bother anyone? Having a tightly-knit supportive family is nothing to be ashamed of or push away; it’s something to be coveted.

Wallace removed the video once she started receiving negative feedback, but by that time, it had already gone viral. Her father reportedly said his daughter was going to create a blog, and this would be one of many videos. He certainly didn’t discourage her from forging on with this hateful diatribe about other races that annoy her.

She made these comments and thought it was OK. She also posted the video for everyone to see, only furthering how acceptable she thought her remarks actually were.

While this is only one video and one person making repulsive statements, it should serve as a reminder to people who think racism was abolished with slavery. It’s here, and the Internet makes it even easier for people to post their opinions about it.

Racism is usually a mentality passed down from generation to generation, so even though our society as a whole is more civil than 50 years ago, there is still much to learn about tolerance.

For those of us at Columbia who have the luxury of living in a bubble of diversity and widespread acceptance of lifestyles, it’s a time to rejoice in this

rare community.