UCLA Asian American Studies and Center Respond
The administrative and faculty support we have received from UCLA Asian American Studies Department and UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
UCLA Asian American Studies Department and Center Response:
The Asian American Studies Center and Department at UCLA decry the video “Asians in the Library” apparently produced by a UCLA student.
As many have observed, including an insightful critique by UCLA’s Asian/Pacific Coalition, this rant — beyond the action of an individual — is clear evidence that we still have much work to do before we can claim to live in a “post-racial” society. The Asian American Studies Department and Center call upon the UCLA administration to take immediate and specific action regarding the student in question, but more significantly, to respond institutionally since the video addresses larger issues of campus climate and culture.
“Asians in the Library” is a travesty on many levels, representing an attack on Asian and Asian American students and their families and undermining UCLA as a global university with deep ties to communities and institutions in Asia and other parts of the world. It entails a “new racism” by foregrounding students who speak Asian languages and have different family traditions, as it insidiously groups and attacks UCLA’s American-born as well as our international students of Asian ancestry. As the only University of California campus without a diversity requirement, UCLA surely needs to implement a diversity requirement that will expose every student to the task of living civilly with people of different origins, backgrounds, orientations, and beliefs, whether they are born here or come from abroad.
Asian American Studies at UCLA emerged from the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s and 1970s to enrich the experience of the entire university by contributing to an understanding of the long neglected history, rich cultural heritage, and present position of Asian Americans in our society. This type of prejudice and use of derogatory words cannot be tolerated at a campus that claims that “Diversity is a core value of UCLA.”
Professor Lane R. Hirabayashi, Chair
UCLA Asian American Studies Department
Professor David K. Yoo, Director
UCLA Asian American Studies Center