UBC Apologizes for ‘Yellow Privilege’ Documents

December 8, 2020

The University of British Columbia has apologized for sending out documents entitled “Yellow Privilege,” which claimed East Asians benefit from advantages that other people of color do not, according to Canada.com.

“We sincerely apologize for this communication and its impact, in particular to members of our Asian communities,” a UBC official stated in an email, according to Canada.com. “We recognize the email and its content have even greater implications in the midst of a pandemic that has spurred a climate of increased negativity towards Asian communities.”

“This is so victim blaming,” says a post by an anonymous account that uploaded the document to Reddit. “I can understand why he wants to raise awareness towards Asians being racist to black people. But sending this out during a pandemic, when Asians are getting attacked for this virus, and Asian businesses are vandalized and closed down? Let the community have a chance to recover first.

The documents infuriated Asian students and amused some white supremacists. “They’re [black people] admitting they’re intellectually inferior and trying to brush off their own inferiority by blaming it on White and Asian privilege LOL. I got nothing against the Asians, I drive a Hyundai, Dylann Roof style, cheers. But can we get some English names beneath the Asian words on those restaurant signs please, especially in Vancouver,” wrote one White supremacist.

The document stated East Asians, in particular, receive advantages from being both the oppressor and the oppressed. Citing academic research, the document stated this was linked to the idea of a “model minority.” Asians are widely considered in Canada as “’hard-working,’ or ‘smart’ and are ‘successful’ from our ‘innate talents.’ It’s shaped how we view ourselves as the Asian community and of other minorities,”

“This (document) is completely unacceptable to see. I’m a little horrified to see this, both as a former RA and in my current role. Glad to see actions are being taken to report this incident,” says one post on Reddit, from Georgia Yee, the vice-president of academic and university affairs for the UBC Alma Mater Society.

Another example of the “Asian Privilege Theory” from the University of Illinois Chicago

One Canadian commenter who identified herself as of African descent stated, “Asians steal everything! Just like white people. Two of the most thieving races the world has ever seen. Charles Patterson invented the car years before Henry Ford or Kia. He was Black and his idea was first stolen by a White man and then from his little brown nose friend, the Asian man. Now they profit off BLACK ideas. Great people, don’t you think? That’s privilege! Check yourself!”

Feature Image via US News

Slideshow Screenshots via Canada.com

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