If you were a state leader, what would you tackle first? The multibillion-dollar, perpetually red-ink plagued California budget? The U.S.court-ordered release of more than 30,000 Golden State prisoners? Carmageddon?
Well, if you're Monterey Park Assemblyman Mike Eng you bear hug the toughest job, then you strangle it to the ground and choke-hold it until it ... oh, hell, you just write a letter about some non-issue, essentially.
That's what Eng did this week when he ...
... expressed his utter disgust over Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout, a Chinese delivery scheme cooked up by UCLA students and sourced from the kitchen of the Palace Restaurant in nearby Brentwood.
Background: "Ching chong ling long" were the words uttered by one Alexandra Wallace, white girl extraordinaire and now ex-UCLA student who famously ranted via YouTube against Asian American students in Westwood and used that term to mock Asian languages.
But, as tends to happen these days, many Asian Americans flipped her script, remixed her video, and even produced ching chong ling long t-shirts.
And, it seems to us, Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout was born in that spirit.
Except that Eng, an Asian American who reps a largely Asian assembly district in the San Gabriel Valley, is incensed.
His letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and related press release (forwarded to the Weekly) expressed "concern" and requested that UCLA take "appropriate action" against these heathen delivery kids (little bastards, trying to make an extra buck in between classes).
"Stereotypical phrases such as these perpetuate misunderstandings about Asian Americans and intensify hurtful sentiments toward this community," Eng says.
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Sure, we empathize. If UCLA students came up with Fat Beaner Burrito delivery service, we'd order a No. 3 combo. Then we'd be hurt. But we would expect our leaders in Sacramento to keep their eyes on their own entree which, in this case, includes some pretty serious problems like, say, the friggin' through-the-roof (and rising) tuition that many of their constituents' kids have to pay to go to UCLA! Maybe?
So get back to work Mr. Eng.
[Spotted at San Marino Patch].