Oakland Professor Tells Viet American Student ‘Your Name in English Sounds Like F**k Boy’

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A professor at Laney College was put on administrative leave after asking a Vietnamese American student to “anglicize” her name because it “sounds like an insult in English.”

Instagram user @diemquyynh shared the exchange her sister had with Professor Matthew Hubbard through an email on Instagram on Thursday.


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So I’m disgusted and disappointed. Honestly, I really liked laney college but this teacher had the ignorance and audacity to tell my sister to anglicized her name is disgusting. Anglicized means to make English in form or character. As a professor, he should be trying to learn her name and culture and not try to white wash her name. My sister graduated high school thinking she can finally be able to use her name. But this is fucking disgusting. I really hate cussing on social media but the fact that this white professor had the audacity to ask her to make her name easier is disgusting 🤮🤮🤮🤮. If you read the last page, he’s calling my sister’s name an embarrassment and that it’s sounds like an insult. I love that my parents want to keep my culture alive by keeping our Vietnamese name. If you can’t say it then ask. In addition, Hubbard said that English is his language. But also forgot that my sister also spoke English and that’s not his language.

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In the post, Hubbard asks Quynh’s sister, Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen, to anglicize her name. The freshman student refused his request and instead told him that she would file a complaint if he “can not refer to me by my given birth name.”

Hubbard continued to discriminate Nguyen.

“Your name in English sounds like F**k Boy. If I lived in Vietnam and my name in your language sounded like Eat a D**k, I would change it to avoid embarrassment both on my part and on the part of the people who have to say it.

“I understand you are offended, but you need to understand your name is an offensive sound in my language,” he added. “I repeat my request.”

Quynh says her sister is still in disbelief following the professor’s email.

“My sister is angry and in shock because of the treatment,” Quynh told NextShark. “This is her first time experiencing ignorance and direct discrimination of this kind.”

Prior to the exchange, Quynh explained that her sister was “emailing him to turn in an assignment that was due for his class.”

“He corrected her work and then followed with an email for her to ‘anglicize’ her name,” she added.

“He was very quick to reply with the second email making it clear that he did not respect her name and identity at all, and wanted to continue to uphold his request.”

In another post, Quynh shared a short clip of Hubbard referring to her sister as P Nguyen, adding, “I wanna [know] why he can’t just ask my sister how to pronounce her name.”


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Update: he now refers to her as P Nguyen. I wanna why he can’t just ask my sister how to pronounce her name

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Many social media users called out Hubbard and Laney College in the now-viral tweet from user @aybarlyy.

Another user also called out the Peralta Community College District where Laney College serves.

Hubbard is now under administrative leave as Laney College investigates the incident, according to a statement.

“On the surface this incident is obviously disturbing and comes after decades of discussing and working to combat structural racism, xenophobia, and violence in both the Black and Asian Pacific Islander community,” the statement reads.

“While our mission has been bold and unrelenting, we also recognize that our college and its community is a reflection of broader society and we must actively fight ignorance with education. We do not tolerate racism, discrimination or oppression of any kind.”

Feature Image (left) via @ConfidenceOfVic, (right) via NeoBatfreak (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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