As big of an institution it is, you’d think the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) would take immediate action against someone who has consistently brought shame on their school. For not the first time, a law professor from UPenn has come under fire for sharing her racist and xenophobic ideology. Amy Wax, who formerly made headlines for writing racist editorials and citing Wikipedia as a scholarly source to claim Black students are more likely to fail in law school, has made headlines again—this time for her anti-Asian rhetoric.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely, in the top half,” Wax said in a 2017 interview with Loury, according to The Washington Post.
In conversation with Glenn Loury on The Glenn Show, the same venue where she infamously spoke against Black people, Wax claimed that not only was “less Asian immigration” better for the U.S., but also that “fewer Asians” in the country would be great. Meaning she wasn’t only against more Asians coming to the U.S., she also had a problem with those already here. Her reason? She says they’re more likely to vote for Democrats.
In this episode, which aired on Dec. 20, Wax discussed U.S. immigration and shared her ideology that immigrants do not share the same values of the Western world and are thus a threat—an idea she also shared in a recent speech.
“But as long as most Asians support Democrats and help to advance their positions, I think the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration. There needs to be more focus on people who are already here, and especially the core (and neglected) ‘legacy’ population, and a push to return to traditional concepts and institutions and Charles Murray’s ‘American Creed.’”
“I confess I find Asian support for these policies mystifying, as I fail to see how they are in Asians’ interest. We can speculate (and, yes, generalize) about Asians’ desire to please the elite, single-minded focus on self-advancement, conformity and obsequiousness, lack of deep post-Enlightenment conviction, timidity toward centralized authority (however unreasoned), indifference to liberty, lack of thoughtful and audacious individualism, and excessive tolerance for bossy, mindless social engineering, etc.”
Additionally, she claimed that the U.S. should also be concerned about how both South Asians and other members of the AAPI community impact American culture.
“It’s just harder to assimilate those people or to have confidence that our way of life will continue if we bring a lot of people in who are not familiar with it. These are not original ideas on the [political] right,” Wax told Loury. “This might result in a shift in the racial profile of people who come in. Obviously, we’ll have fewer people from Africa. We’ll have fewer people of some parts of Asia, and it’ll be more white—not that many white people want to come to the United States.”
“[We] have to distinguish mass-immigration, which we’re getting from the Hispanics, south of the border, which I think poses different questions and challenges from the Asian elites that we’re getting,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that the influx of Asian elites is unproblematic. I actually think it’s problematic. …I think it’s because there’s this…danger of the dominance of an Asian elite in this country, and what does that mean? What is that going to mean to change the culture?
But her rant didn’t end there. She even targeted immigrants who stand up and speak against racism in America, piggybacking on the racist ideology that if you don’t like what’s happening in the country you should leave.
Her comments come as no surprise as she has consistently made comments against POC individuals and voiced her views on the country’s need to favor white over non-white people in the immigration system. But this time they went viral because even Loury’s audience had an issue with them.
"Let us be candid: Europe and the First World, to which the United States belongs, remains mostly white for now. And the Third World, although mixed, contains a lot of non-white people," she said at the inaugural National Conservatism conference 2019, according to Vox. "Embracing cultural distance nationalism means in effect taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer non-whites."
Not to mention, she has gotten away with such comments for numerous years— despite facing backlash. What’s different this time is that both students and faculty alike are calling for Wax to face consequences.
Due to Wax’s comments, Penn Law School Dean Theodore Ruger not only issued a statement but reminded individuals that the professor was no longer allowed to teach required courses but only instruct electives at the school.
In his statement issued on Monday Ruger called Wax’s comments “anti-intellectual,” “racist,” and “white supremacist.”
"Like all racist generalizations, Wax's recent comments inflict harm by perpetuating stereotypes and placing differential burdens on Asian students, faculty, and staff to carry the weight of this vitriol and bias," he said.
"As we have previously emphasized, Wax's views are diametrically opposed to the policies and ethos of this institution," Ruger added. "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. This reality sharpens and deepens our commitment to support our community as we continue to work to advance equity and inclusion."
IMHO she should be completely removed from the university especially given the depth of her comments and the university’s claim that they are opposing their values. I mean this isn’t the first time the dean had to acknowledge her commentary and the harm it causes. After her comments on Black students, he had to issue a statement then as well denouncing the false claims of their lack of success. That is also when she was banned from teaching core classes at the university— despite this, her commentary continues so clearly it has no impact on her.
According to ABC News, students have expressed anxiety and worry on campus after hearing her comments.
Outside of the school social media backlash has also been strong. Even Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump chimed in.“It helps explain the situation this country finds itself in that an Ivy League university allows the morally and intellectually bankrupt racist #AmyWax teach the next generation of American lawyers. There should be consequences for this kind of hateful rhetoric @pennlaw,” she tweeted.
I understand tenure is in place, but something more substantial should be done. Any ideas on how Penn Law can handle this? Clearly, they are ill-equipped, as Wax continues to spread her hateful rhetoric online and on TV.
Click here to see the petition students have crafted in efforts to impact Wax’s tenure status.