Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alexandra Wallace

With over 5 million views in the past week, Alexandra Wallace's rant condemning Asians for their phone etiquette in the library sparked numerous video responses, ranging from parodies of her made up Asian language to serious responses addressing her insensitivity towards Japanese tsunami victims. She has since deleted her YouTube account and removed the original video, but numerous repostings have popped up, like the one above.

Wallace issued multiple apologies, recognizing that her comments were offensive and ill-informed. Her ignorance is not due to a lack of exposure to APA culture at UCLA, where the APA community make up 37% of the student population. What do you think caused her to formulate her perceptions, even though she has Asian friends? Do you think a video like this could appear here at SU, where the APA population makes up less than 8% of the student body?

What is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?

Asian Pacific Americans are people who currently reside in the U.S. whose heritage hails from the continent of Asia and the neighboring Pacific Islands. You might know some APAs. Sure, they may be Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. But the Asian Pacific American identity also includes people from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Micronesia, India, or Laos—namely, not your typical “oriental” countries.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is about paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

Syracuse University's Office of Multicultural Affairs and co-curricular funding brings you APA Month this April 2011. This year's theme "Speak Out" is about making the invisible visible, encouraging students to advocate for social issues affecting their own communities and recognizing those who do so.

Here on this blog, you will find articles and videos all throughout the month of April, exploring what it means to be Asian Pacific American. Even if you are not of APA heritage, we hope it will help you discover your own cultural identity. Feel free to take a look around. We encourage anyone and everyone's comments. Only with conversation will we better understand each other and our hope is that you will carry this conversation long past APA month.