Freedom of speech is also the freedom to prove yourself a flaming idiot in public. As someone who's been writing Notes From the Field for a long time, I know this more intimately than most. Now UCLA student Alexandra Wallace knows it as well.
Earlier this week, the third-year poly sci major posted a YouTube video rant against Asian students using their cell phones in one of the campus libraries. Apparently, they were calling to find out about the safety of friends and relatives following the tragic tsunami in Japan, but more important, they were interrupting Wallace while she was cramming for a final.
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Here's part of what she said, word for word:
Every like 15 minutes I'll be like deep into my studying with my political science theories and arguments and all that stuff getting it all down like typing away furiously blah blah blah, and then all of a sudden like when I'm about to like reach an epiphany ... and overhear from somewhere, "Ohhh, ching chong ling long ting tong ... Ohhh." Are you freakin' kidding me? In the middle of finals week.
Yes, she did that ching-chong bit in a bad Charlie Chan accent.
The reaction was about what you'd expect. The video went immediately viral. Outrage, calls for the girl's head, death threats, and an untold number of YouTube video responses, dance mixes, and spoofs followed shortly thereafter. Even UCLA Chancellor Gene Block took to YouTube to express his displeasure at Wallace's rant.