A Response to Display of Intolerance at UCLA

by Stanford Asian American Activism Committee and Stanford Vietnamese Students Association

On Tuesday, November 27th at 8:30 A.M., an alarming photo taken from the Vietnamese Student Union (VSU) Office at UCLA became viral. It was a photo of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper with offensive clip art and the words “Asian Women R Honkie white-boy worshipping Whores!!!” (yes, with three exclamation points)  that had been anonymously tacked onto a VSU banner at the VSU office. The Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) and the Stanford Vietnamese Students Association (SVSA) decry this as an act of hate and stand in solidarity with the VSU at UCLA.

This picture serves as further evidence that we do not live in a post-racial society. It is also a strong reminder of the world that people of color—and especially womyn of color—live in. It is apparent that racism, sexism, and hate still exist–even in places where we think we are the most safe, such as our universities and community spaces.

Disturbed but not deterred, we know that there is still much work to be done. First, we need to remind the Stanford community and beyond of the continued relevance of community centers and ethnic studies. Now, more than ever, there is a need to support the development and sustainability of these entities. Second, let us have an honest and open discussion at Stanford about what it means to be tolerant, what it means to be an ally, and what it means to be a community.  Although this incident did not happen on our campus, it does not mean it has not and never will happen. It is clear that, explicitly or implicitly, bigotry and sexism remain alive and well everywhere.

Along with the VSU at UCLA, we do not and will not tolerate this incident. With dignity as well as with compassion, we hope that Stanford takes this seriously and that this moment becomes a teaching and learning moment—for justice, for education, and for empowerment.

In solidarity,

Stanford Asian American Activism Committee
Stanford Vietnamese Students Association

Victoria Yee ‘13  vyee@stanford.edu (SAAAC)
James Huynh ‘15 jhuynh93@stanford.edu (SVSA)
Uyen Hoang uyenphoang@ucla.edu (VSU at UCLA)

The Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) is a student-run, student-led grassroots organization of Asian Americans dedicated to progressive social change.  We recognize the existence of global and systemic inequalities and actively work to alter these systems of power.  We fight for the humanization of our communities through radical acts of love, consciousness-raising, and unified action across communities at Stanford and beyond.

Formed in the spring of 1993, the Stanford Vietnamese Students Association (SVSA) has served as a second family for all members, providing a support network as well as opportunities to increase cultural and ethnic awareness. SVSAparticipates in many on-campus activities, including its annual Lunar New Year Festival, Spring Culture Night, and High School Academic Conference. SVSA seeks to not only cultivate awareness, culture, and community among our members, but we aim to spread our message among the different communities at Stanford and beyond.

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12 thoughts on “A Response to Display of Intolerance at UCLA

  1. Way To Miss The Point says:

    I love these people crying “reverse racism!” Hopefully they realize that the whole reason that there is increased dating between Asian women and White men is because Asian men are stereotyped as less attractive and less masculine and lack media time, whereas White men monopolize screentime in hollywood (which is, hmmm, mainly made up of white people). Sorry, but until white men aren’t overly represented in positions of power, until violence statistics decrease, this *is* about women of color being subjected to racism and sexism.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I re-read their statement a couple times and no where do I see the authors of this statement blaming white males/treating them as punching bags.

    I’m disturbed that people in the comments section are making a bigger issue out of whodunnit, trying to point fingers, than to address the larger issue that this hate crime happened.

    I’m not saying that Asian women don’t date outside their rate in larger proportions than other groups. I don’t know if it’s true or not and I don’t care. But in no way is that just cause to display this embarrassing/disrespectful/hateful sign on a cultural group’s banner. It’s really sad that this is being overshadowed by people who are implicitly justifying it by saying “well it’s true” “asian women ignore their own men” “asian men are disgruntled.” smh

    • Nope says:

      Oh please. Assuming these activists define racism the “progressive” way (aka racism is something that can only be committed by white people against people of color) than it is quite clear who they are blaming.

      Anyways yes, this hate speech did happen. What do you propose be done about it? With any course of action taken, who did it and why is certainly relevant to addressing the larger issue. Most likely, it was in response to something, whether that be an inciting incident or years of frustration.

      For instance, if we have reason to believe that an Asian did it, well then there should be a dialogue among Asians on how to best deal with these issues. If we have reason to believe a white fraternity member did it (which seems far less plausible) than that community need to be addressed. And so forth.

      • haha says:

        Yes, who did it is important but the fact is that people below seem to be justifying the hate crime because of the observation that Asian women do tend to date outside their race in greater numbers. Or they’re feeling personally victimized and saying “Stop blaming white people and target Asian males instead.” Both are problematic.

        While an inter-Asian dialogue should happen (and probably is happening for all we know), it shouldn’t stop at that. Until someone steps forward, all of it is speculation about who did it, and instead of pointing fingers and scapegoating specific people, why don’t we address everyone, not just “Asians” or “a white fraternity.”

        Also, please don’t give me that bullshit about addressing only the person who did it (and the community that person comes from). It’s a microcosm of bigger issues. And if you really want to get to the root causes about white male/Asian female interracial dating, then it’s an issue that pertains not just to Asian males but to every community. Look at the media, which sexualizes Asian women and emasculates Asian men, and who controls the media?

        If you don’t find any relevance to it, you’re not thinking hard enough and your shortsightedness is not my problem. If a white person feels uncomfortable that this issue is even being addressed, that’s good because that person should feel uncomfortable. Just as Asian males should feel uncomfortable and Asian females should feel uncomfortable.

  3. WOW... says:

    Such a misinformed and sexist generalization about a whole group of people…this sign says more about the person who placed it there than about Asian women.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m an Asian guy and I wanna say that I feel like many of my Asian girl friends frequently say that they are into non-Asian guys or “white guys” (in their words). I agree that the statement’s rude and offensive, but it also brings up some suppressed distaste that I have for when those girl friends completely discount the Asian male population as not relationship worthy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Asian women DO ignore their own men for white guys though. True poster.

  6. Unfortunate... says:

    But it’s probably true that the flyer was posted by a disgruntled Asian (probably Vietnamese) male. The problematic sexism / racism / misogyny displayed here is unfortunately VERY common among Asian males, who are often left out in discussions of healthy and respectful sexuality by mainstream media.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This note seems to be insulting white guys as well (honkie white boy?) but as usual no one gives a hoot about that…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nobody is blaming anybody. The note was tacked anonymously, and we have no idea who this person is. Asian or not asian, the fact of the matter is that it is a statement of intolerance, ignorance, and incredible racism. Racisim or reverse racism, the problem is still the same, and needs to be recognized as so.

  9. Okay, but... says:

    What if an Asian posted that? It seems more likely to me that an Asian, and not a white person, did in fact post that (would a white college student refer to himself as a “white-boy”?). Many Asian men I’ve heard about are dismayed at how Asian women seem to prefer white men, hence a clear motive.

    Perhaps you need to look within your own community first, before instantly targeting the usual suspects- white males. We are not some punching bag for your reverse racism.

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