Law professor Amy Wax is planning to take on the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) after its law school’s dean suggested a “major sanction” following her “racist speech” targeting Black, Mexican and Asian communities.
Ted Ruger accused Wax of “inappropriate conduct” in the 12-page letter he sent to the Penn faculty senate on June 23, asking to convene a hearing and give the 69-year-old professor a severe sanction such as suspension or firing.
“Wax has repeatedly used the platform she was granted when she became a professor at the university to disparage immigrants, people of color, and women, including law students, alumni and faculty,” Ruger said in the letter obtained by Philadelphia-based organization Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a group advocating free speech.
“Much of her public persona has become anti-intellectual: She relies on outdated science, makes statements grounded in insufficiently supported generalizations and trades on the university’s reputation to amplify her baseless disdain for many members of the university community,” Ruger added.
In the letter, the law school dean alleged that Wax had told a Black colleague that it is “rational to be afraid of Black men in elevators.” Ruger also mentioned Wax’s answer to a question that a Black student once asked about whether Black people are inferior to white people.
“You can have two plants that grow under the same conditions, and one will just grow higher than the other,” the professor said to the student, who later revealed that she had to “box in” her feelings while Wax spoke.
The letter also alleged that Wax told her students that gay couples are not capable of bringing up children and that Mexican men are likely to assault women, even going as far as to say that the latter claim is as accurate as the stereotype “Germans are punctual.”
The tenured Penn law professor sparked outrage in December 2021 for saying that the United States is “better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration” during her guest appearance on the podcast “The Glenn Show.” She also criticized Indian immigrants in an interview with Tucker Carlson and said that India is a “sh*thole” country.
Wax then attacks Indian immigrants for criticizing things in the US when “their country is a shithole” and goes on to say that “the role of envy and shame in the way that the third world regards the first world […] creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind.” pic.twitter.com/dUL9coinS9
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) April 11, 2022
Following her series of controversial comments, the university announced in January that it would look into initiating a process to sanction Wax. A few law student organizations had also called on Penn Law to hold Wax accountable, investigate the matter and ultimately suspend her.
In addition to the remarks, Ruger’s letter also alleged that Wax once invited “renowned white supremacist” Jared Taylor to speak to her class and join her and her students for lunch.
FIRE defended Wax in a July 13 article, writing, “While members of the Penn community are free to denounce and challenge controversial statements, they cannot punish Wax for her expression without weakening free speech and tenure protections for all Penn faculty.”
In a GoFundMe campaign created on July 17 that has raised over $90,000 of its $300,000 goal for her legal defense, Wax said she is “committed to fighting Penn’s efforts to banish and punish me.”
“Penn’s actions represent an unprecedented and deeply destructive threat to the practice and traditions of free expression on campus and the tenure protections afforded to professors who express unpopular views,” Wax wrote.
“They are further evidence of the ‘woke’ takeover of our university system, which seeks to stifle and punish dissent and purge our campuses of any deviation from a narrow set of progressive dogmas.”
Featured Image via PCG at Harvard