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Tetsuro Shigematsu responds to "Asians in the Library" video

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Here on the west coast, our university populations are racialized as Asian, similar to those at the University of Los Angeles.  It’s no wonder that the now-viral video, posted last week, of a UCLA student on an anti-Asian racist tirade, complete with glib comments about the tsunami in Japan, is making the rounds at UBC.

You might think that Tetsuro Shigematsu, the Vancouver-based creator of ShiggyTV, would be pissed off.

The video is well crafted and precise, disarming (with humour) the attempts to distract from issue by focusing on alleged “death threats.”

Unlike many other response videos made since last week, this one doesn’t resort to gendered insults -- except that we’ll never eat egg rolls again. ShiggyTV’s response is sophisticated because it tackles racism without resorting to other forms of oppression, like sexism and classism.

While others are making dubsteps of the so-unbelievable-as-to-be-

catchy lines from the original video, “Barbie girl barbie girl barbie girl” is just as catchy as “Oooohh, ching chong ling long ting tong.”  Which sounds like “white supremacy in the library” rather than “Asians in the library.”  Let’s call it what it is.

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