When spring break started, I was super excited to set the concepts and theories that I learned in class aside and just relax. However, I soon discovered a youtube video that got me thinking about these concepts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Johj5WEYzZo). I was very surprise by the content in the video. The video was made by a student, who is white, at University of California, Los Angeles. Basically the video was about the student’s frustration with her Asian peers. When I first saw it, I didn’t think much of it and I found it to be pretty funny. I watched it a second time and I felt pretty offended. I wasn’t sure if I should take her comments as something racist or not. I wasn’t really sure what she intended to say or truly meant. I was confused and I’m still asking myself if this video is something that needs to be addressed as much as it has been. Right when I realized that I was questioning my feelings on what she says in the video, I thought about the concept of micro-aggression. According to Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal, and Esquilin (2007), they described micro-aggression as a small behavior towards an individual or group that is either intentional or unintentional and it can also be seen as an insult. However, I felt that her message was very clear and something more than just a small insult or such. This student offended so many people that many of them started responding back to it. The student even received e-mails and threat messages so she is in great danger right now.
During my whole spring break, this video was constantly brought up and I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. It really made me think about things that I have learned and discussed with others in social work 280. In the video, the student mentioned that she has a problem with how Asian students always have their family members around in the dorms to help with laundry, dishes and more. Immediately, I thought about culture differences between me, an Asian student, and her. Many Asian cultures including mine are family oriented, and it is very different from the American culture where it emphasizes individual more. I wondered if she knew that. Or, did she need to be educated about our culture? I also thought about the social contact theory. The contact theory involves an individual to have contact with people who are different from them in order to reduce prejudice. According to the Marsiglia and Kulis (2009), “ prejudice is an expression of people’s unfamiliarity with each other and the inhumanity they carry within from an early age” (p 71). I definitely tried to figure out where she was coming from and asked myself if she really had friends from the Asian culture. I thought that University of California was very well rounded by Asians immigrants so I was definitely confused by her take on Asian people.
There were many things that she said and that really led me to question my feelings about her video. It’s been a week and I still can’t figure how to respond. I don’t completely understand my reaction to this video. This video really makes me question her thoughts on what “American Manners” and if she considered that we, too, are Americans. I still sorting through my feelings and thought about this video. I can’t figure how I am really feeling about this video. Should I be offended? Am I? How do I respond to her and not sound racist or deceive her? I am also still thinking about things that I have discussed in social work 280 such as conformity, discrimination, privilege, identity and more to help me to understand my feelings. Although I am confused about my feelings, one thing is clear: I hope that no one will be physical hurt from this video.
Marsiglia, F. F., & Kulis, S. (2009). Diversity, oppression and change: Culturally grounded social work. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.
Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri J. M., Holder, A. M.B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), 271-286
UCLA Girl’s Asian Rant. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Johj5WEYzZo
- ▼ March (4)