Connect with us

All Articles

Actual Wisdom: Gary Okihiro

Tonight’s Actual Wisdom: Gary Okihiro, Comparative Ethnics professor and expert on the Department of Social Formations, humility, and how many times a person can die. 

That Hawaiian shirt is all of the cools

1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.

Throughout my over thirty-year career, I’ve had to justify my field of study, comparative ethnic studies, repeatedly. Now I’ve got to justify my existence?

2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):

I am the sole member of Columbia’s Department of Social Formations. I serve as the department’s chair, secretary, faculty member, and dog walker of the department’s chair.

3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?

College administrators told me God was not pleased with interracial dating.

4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?

“My grandmother died.” But, four times in a single semester?

5. Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?

Easily, cheese. Oral sex teaches us humility. It is best performed on one’s knees.

6. Back in my day…

Back in my day, Columbia was a temple of pure learning. Since 1968, the barbarians have overrun the place.

7. Three things you learned at Columbia:

The core curriculum is God’s gift to (hu)mankind. God is not pleased when we tamper with the core. The core is God’s gift to (hu)mankind.

8. What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general?

Be extremely skeptical of advice.

Gary Okihiro via Gary Okihiro

Leave a Reply to Salonee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.



  • hmm says:

    @hmm clever answers. snarky bastard. but…does it only teach women humility? Or does he do it differently than I have…? Or have I been misguided?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous heteronormative much?

    2. dear guy, says:

      @dear guy, there are a lot of ways you can be on your knees (even if she’s not standing up)…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous he sassy as fuqqq

  • Former student of Okihiro says:

    @Former student of Okihiro I took Professor Okihiro’s “Intro to Ethnic Studies” class back in the fall of 2009. And he is one of the most brilliant and nicest professors I’ve been taught by during my time here. The intellectual content of ethnic studies is very politically charged but Professor Okihiro’s personality always made the atmosphere light-hearted, which made for a more honest and transparent dialogue for students to participate in. I wish I could take his course again. It was such a remarkable experience and changed the way I thought about race, class, etc. Please take his class. You’ll love it!!!!

    1. In his class now says:

      @In his class now And I can’t stand it. I am busy writing a paper on how my “whiteness” has caused me to have the best of everything, and passively accept all injustice and racism the world has ever had to offer. If you are a straight white male, this class demands that you apologize for your life.

      1. dang haha! says:

        @dang haha! you are basic as fuuuuck!!

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous Did I just laugh during finals week?! Thanks, stranger.

      2. Alexis Martin says:

        @Alexis Martin lemme read your apology when you’re done!!

        1. Salonee says:

          @Salonee yo, me too!

        2. Conrad Tao says:

          @Conrad Tao SNAPS. ALL THE SNAPS.

          1. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous sorry, I don’t speak Chinese

        3. Farts McDuck says:

          @Farts McDuck Why are we using our real names!? What’s happening?!

          1. Beyonce Pad Thai says:

            @Beyonce Pad Thai Never again.

      3. Andrew Morrow says:

        @Andrew Morrow As you should.

      4. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous u mad? STAY MAD.

      5. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous “…how my “whiteness” has caused me to have the best of everything, and passively accept all injustice and racism the world has ever had to offer.”

        Uhm, it has

        1. NSOP '13 says:

          @NSOP '13 Welcome to Columbia, where our community rejects prejudice and believes in being proud of who you are!*

          *As long as you’re not a cis-gendered, straight, white male

    2. I agree with you, says:

      @I agree with you, And I’d add that I don’t really understand how this is a Global Core class, since most of what we’ve talked about are minorities within the United States. I’m an international student, so I haven’t related to anything we’ve read except during the first month.

      1. Same as above, says:

        @Same as above, Sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to “in his class now”

      2. Xavier Lee says:

        @Xavier Lee There were four units of fifteen on so-called minorities within the United States. A unit on Asian-American Studies, Latino/a Studies, African-American Studies, and Native American Studies. In addition, there was a unit on white studies. The rest dealt with concepts from colonialism to labor migration to Identities/Subjectivities. Also, the last class, more than anything, justified why this class was global core and why the scope of this course, while grounded in the nation-state, has global implications.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This chinese guy seems pretty cool. What classes does he teach??

    1. Jokes? says:

      @Jokes? Is this supposed to be funny? Messing up the comparative ethnic studies professor’s ethnicity?

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous bro .. he’s Korean

    3. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous All these microaggressions, man. He’s Hawaiian.

  • CC'11 says:

    @CC'11 Keep fighting the good fight for comparative ethnic studies! I can’t look at you the same, though, after #5….

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous my mind blows up every time i try to take “don’t take people’s advice” advice

  • yeah. says:

    @yeah. how heteronormative of you. obvs, GYO is thinking outside of and beyond these social paradigms.

  • umm says:


    1. YEAH says:

      @YEAH forreal I thought I was going crazy when I saw the different fonts! COMIC SANS LOLOL

    2. Thanks you says:

      @Thanks you #BASED BWOG

  • UCSC Slug says:

    @UCSC Slug I will NEVER forget this joker.

    He got the students at UCSC all riled up to get him “hired” there but the joke was on them. He just used their fury to get a better gig Not At UCSC. He played them so good.

    Ah well if it isn’t on the Internet or if the Millennials don’t recall, it never happened, RIGHT?


    1. Gary Okihiro says:

      @Gary Okihiro You are merely a pawn in my quest for world domination (and interacial dating)

      1. MPD? says:

        @MPD? track

    2. Tastemaker says:

      @Tastemaker Well, necessarily. If it’s not on the internet, I don’t want to hear about it.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous brilliant man, wonderful professor, amazing human being.

  • Japanese Hawaiian American says:

    @Japanese Hawaiian American I thought his comparative ethnic study of Pearl Harbour was tragically ironic

  • Student says:

    @Student This guy changed my whole view on education and life. He’s awesome.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous This guy changed my whole view on oral sex. He sucks

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous LOVE THIS GUY. Intro to Comparative Ethnic Studies was a bummer while I was in it–mostly because I just didn’t want to do the reading. But I can honestly say it is one of the most valuable classes I’ve ever taken. DO IT.

  • Ethnic Studies Student says:

    @Ethnic Studies Student What I’ve learned from Okihiro’s class:

    The oral sex answer is oppressing me as a marginalized member of society, forced into subservience by the colonialist mentality of the fellatio-receiver.

    1. Your Girlfriend says:

      @Your Girlfriend Oral sex is a social construct.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous HE IS THE BEST.


  • kaneohe boy says:

    @kaneohe boy it’s called an aloha shirt

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    is it too late to bully them into letting me take a gap year? :( (read more)
    Academic Calendar Updates, Pre-Orientation Programs Canceled Or Modified
    June 29, 2020
    This is great news Columbia is opening up on schedule. (read more)
    Academic Calendar Updates, Pre-Orientation Programs Canceled Or Modified
    June 25, 2020
    EXPEL ALL RACISTS FROM COLUMBIA! Tod Howard Hawks, Columbia College, Class of 1966 (read more)
    Racist Messages In FIJI GroupMe Surface, Involved Members Asked To Disaffiliate
    June 25, 2020
    It is great Columbia will be opening on time in the fall. (read more)
    Academic Calendar Updates, Pre-Orientation Programs Canceled Or Modified
    June 25, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel