Months after it went viral, the effects of Alexandra Wallace’s video rant about Asian students at UCLA refuse to go away.
Earlier this summer in June, Westwood restaurant The Palace Restaurant partnered with a student business (UCLA Munchies) to form a takeout service named Ching Chong Ling Long. The name was a direct reference to the Alexandra Wallace video Asians in the Library.
Reaction to the video was mixed. Daniel Chen and Kedar Iyer, the students behind UCLA Munchies, insisted that the name was not meant to be hurtful, but rather as a joke similar to the parodies and remixes that came out of the Asians in the Library video.
However, Assemblyman Mike Eng of Monterey Park did not find the name humorous in the least. In a letter to Chancellor Gene Block, he stated, “Stereotypical phrases such as these perpetuate misunderstandings about Asian Americans and intensify hurtful sentiments toward this community.”
The Asian Pacific Coalition–a group of 24 Asian American Pacific Islander organizations at UCLA–shared a similar view. APC released a statement about the takeout service, saying that “ching chong ling long” has historically been utilized as a slur against the Asian American community, and to use it in a take-out service is insensitive and hurtful. “[The phrase] is not and will never be an ‘acceptable joke,'” the Coalition said in its statement.
APC called for the business to change its name and to publicly acknowledge the racial insensitivity of the name. The owner of The Palace Restaurant, Rachel Lee, responded by taking down the website and changing the name of the service to C2L2. UCLA Munchies, however, has stated that it has plans to partner with another Chinese restaurant in the fall. The new partner must be willing to keep the name “Ching Ching Ling Long.”
No formal steps have been taken to discipline Chen and Iyer, since they cannot be punished for what they choose to name their service. However, the UCLA administration is making efforts to contact the two students in order to discuss the situation, and is still waiting for a response.