The Sound of Art & Empathy: Ching Chong

No To Racism

Photo by Ammon Beckstrom — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Racism and idiocy usually go hand-in-hand. Have you ever wondered what would be the best response?

The answer lies in art.

Recently, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles posted a racist rant on YouTube. The target of her rant? She was angry at Asian students trying to call home after the tsunami from inside the university library. The student’s original posted rant received more than 1,000,000 YouTube views. After receiving threats, the student issued an apology through the student newspaper, the Daily Bruin.

Of course, it’s bad enough that a student at an internationally recognized university of high achievement such as UCLA would hold such views. It’s even worse when the student feels compelled to share her stupidity with the world.

The UCLA rant was a perfect storm of our online world today: anger + ignorance + stupidity + solipsism + online access.

However, before one starts to miss those innocent days of cat videos, there’s another side to this story and that’s the power of art.

One young composer, Jimmy Wong, took the racist student’s rant to inspire a perfect piece of music. His song, Ching Chong (It Means I Love You) transforms her anger and idiocy into something funny and inspiring.

Listening to Wong, one can’t help but feel better about our world where an artist’s creativity and culture will always trump someone’s xenophobia and racism. Maybe even the ranting student will learn that the world works better when we turn away from anger, embrace empathy and celebrate art.

The perfect response. Ching Chong, indeed! We love it.

- Bill Reichblum

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2 Responses to “The Sound of Art & Empathy: Ching Chong”

  1. Leatrice Ellzy
    April 6th, 2011 10:07

    Bill… thanks for posting this. I love it!

  2. Amelia Silver
    April 6th, 2011 21:24

    New depth of meaning to “ugly American” -
    the song was charming! It reminded me of the Flight of the Conchords…..

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