The National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) has called on University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School to suspend and investigate professor Amy Wax following her recent appearances on television and podcasts.
The student-led organization, along with the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) and the North American South Asian Law Students Association (NASALASA), denounced Wax’s “hateful rhetoric” in a joint statement released to their social media accounts. A tenured professor at the Carey Law School, Wax has a history of sparking outrage for criticizing the abilities and attitudes of minority groups in America.
In 2018, Wax was banned from teaching first-year courses following a comment she made about the academic ability of Black students.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the [Penn Law School] class and rarely, rarely in the top half,” she stated during a lecture in 2017.
In December of last year, Wax then made a guest appearance on “The Glenn Show” podcast in which she said, “The United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.”
Her anti-Asian immigrant remark led the Dean of Penn’s Carey Law School Theodore Ruger to organize a faculty review to sanction the tenured professor.
Most recently, on April 8, Wax appeared on Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Today” and stated that “Blacks” and “non-Western” groups have “a tremendous amount of resentment and shame against Western peoples for [their] outsized achievements and contributions.” She also specifically called out Brahmin Indian immigrants and referred to India as a “sh*thole.”
The national law student organizations wrote in their statement that the fact Wax has continued to be “permitted to teach, supervise, and ridicule minority law students for over twenty-one years is alarming.”
“Wax’s view of ‘western’ exceptionalism is rooted in white supremacist ideology; the illogical and racist assumption that the very existence of persons of color lacks merit or quality,” their statement reads. “Minority law students belong in the spaces they occupy. In the face of bigotry and racism, our national organizations will continue supporting minority law students to succeed in the study and practice of law.”
The organizations have deemed Wax “unfit to continue as a member of an academic staff” and suggest that the law school must suspend Wax and prohibit her from socializing with students, while they investigate whether her behavior complies with University Behavioral Standards by no later than August 15.
They have also asked for transparency into “the Law School’s tenure requirements, the University’s Behavioral Standards regarding faculty conduct, and the mechanisms by which students and the University can take action against professors who violate these standards” by no later than May 20.
Lastly, they have called on the school to ensure that there are alternative professors to teach the courses taught by Wax.
“For UPenn Law to finally pull the trigger and remove Wax from the school, I believe, would mean a great deal to the minority students at the school. Often, silence and slow action can be deafening,” NAPALSA President Dillon Yang told NextShark. “Along with the normal challenges of adjusting to law school, many minority law students additionally feel the rhetoric that they are ‘less than’ or do not belong.”
“To have a professor at your school continually reaffirm those feelings is more than problematic,” he added. “The fact that Amy Wax is still a professor at UPenn Law has implications beyond their campus – students around the nation hear her patterned demeaning remarks and see those remarks justified by UPenn’s inaction.”