The dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pennsylvania this week condemned the racist remarks made by one of his professors, calling them “anti-intellectual” and “xenophobic”.
Penn Law Professor Amy Wax, December 20 podcast episode hosted by Professor Glenn Loury of Brown University, called Asian immigration to the United States “problematic” and said the country was “better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration” as the Most Asian Americans support Democrats.
“[We] have to distinguish the mass immigration, which we get from Hispanics, south of the border, which I think poses different questions and challenges than the Asian elites that we get, âshe said. âThat’s not to say that the influx of Asian elites is not a problem. In fact, I think it’s problematic.
Wax added that she believed there was “danger of Asian elite domination” in the United States.
âWhat will this mean to change the culture? Is the spirit of freedom beating in their chest? she said.
âAs long as most Asians support the Democrats and help advance their positions, I think the United States is doing better with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration,â Wax said.
In a January 3 statementTheodore Ruger, the dean of the law school, denounced Wax’s comments, which he said were rooted in xenophobia and white supremacy. But Ruger added that there are few steps the university can take to respond to Wax’s remarks, as she is a full professor and her freedom of speech is also protected by the First Amendment.
âThe same principles of academic freedom that allow current scholars to engage in a critical and belated analysis of this nation’s historical and structural discrimination – despite the zealous efforts of some to censor such discourse – also apply to professors like Wax who express xenophobic and white supremacist views, âsays Ruger.
Ruger added, âThe fact that Wax’s speech could be copyrighted does not allow this law school to ignore the real damage that speech is causing. As we pointed out earlier, Wax’s views are diametrically opposed to the policies and ethics of this institution. They serve as a persistent and tangible reminder that racism, sexism and xenophobia are not theoretical abstractions but are real and insidious beliefs in this country and in our building.
Wax’s sights have already made him dive into hot water, and in a 2017 episode of the Loury podcast, Wax said the performance of black students at Penn Law was lower than that of white students at college.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduating in the first quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half,” she told Loury, who is black, at the time.
Following Wax’s comments, Penn Law alumni have filed a petition Ruger to take tougher action against Wax, including removing her permanently from the clerkship committee and banning her from teaching the required courses for first-year law students.
The following year, Ruger said in a press release that Wax spoke “derisively and inaccurately” of the school’s black students, who he said were “extremely successful” both inside and outside the classroom.
Ruger also said Wax will no longer teach compulsory first-year courses and is only allowed to teach elective courses.
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