A safety official at New York City’s Queens College is in hot water for allegedly using an anti-Asian slur and other offensive remarks toward several ethnic groups.
Deborah Huggins, who was recently appointed Queen College’s interim public safety director, allegedly made the anti-Asian comment about Frank Wu, who became the institution’s first Asian American president in April 2020. Huggins is African American.
“Corona on 12. I’ve gotta get my nails done by the ch*nks,” Huggins said in reference to Wu’s 12th-floor office, according to an ongoing petition.
Huggins also allegedly told Muslim employees to stop wearing head coverings and barred employees of certain ethnic groups from microwaving their food due to “offensive” smells. In yet another instance, she allegedly said “I hate house rats” in the presence of a Hispanic security guard and seemingly implied that he was one, according to the employee.
The allegations came to light in the petition launched by public safety officers from the City University of New York (CUNY) system, which Queens College is part of. The petition seeks the reinstatement of the college’s former security director, Anastasia Koutsidis, who was allegedly dismissed after being “unfairly cast” as a racist.
The claim against Koutsidis emerged following an alleged winter break incident that involved an African American “woke woman” who felt that Koutsidis did not take the matter seriously enough, according to the petition. Wu was allegedly harassed into accepting calls to dismiss Koutsidis.
The petition against Huggins described her as having “far less qualifications” and also claimed that complaints about her racist and offensive remarks had fallen on deaf ears at Queen’s College.
Both Huggins and Koutsidis declined to comment on the issue, according to the New York Post. As of this writing, the petition, which seeks to amass 1,000 total signatures, has so far received 501 signatures.
“Anastasia has only led the Public Safety Department in [a] positive direction. She reinstated the bike patrol and officers to hold a firearm, sent multiple officers to training, added extra cameras and swipe card access and… created a positive, non-hostile working environment for the officers,” the petition noted.
The officers at Queens College and the entire diverse college community will not be safe if we are lead [sic] by Lieutenant Huggins,” the petition continued. “We are in fact very much afraid and completely uncomfortable with Lieutenant Huggins [sic] leadership.”