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Calls Escalate For Penn Professor Who Said U.S. Would Be 'Better Off With Fewer Asians' To Be Fired

Calls Escalate For Penn Professor Who Said U.S. Would Be 'Better Off With Fewer Asians' To Be Fired
NBC10 Philadelphia/YouTube

A University of Pennsylvania law professor was under fire for bluntly declaring the country is "better off with fewer Asians."

According to WPVI, Amy Wax made the xenophobic comment in a podcast interview with economist Glenn Loury during which she said the "danger of dominance of the Asian elite" was problematic.

Wax, who specializes in social welfare law and labor and family economics law, argued most Asian Americans were Democrats and questioned if “the spirit of liberty beat in their breast.”

She added:

"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."

Despite numerous complaints from students and staff about her, Wax maintains her position on the faculty because of her tenure with the University.

However, there is a growing demand for her to be removed from the institution, entirely, by removing her protections.

You can watch a news clip, below.

'Better off with fewer Asians:' Law professor's comments spark

Theodore Ruger, the dean of the law school, said:

"Like all racist generalizations, Wax's recent comments inflict harm by perpetuating stereotypes and placing differential burdens on Asian students, faculty, and staff."

Ruger added that Wax's views were "diametrically opposed to the policies and ethos of the institution."

In 2017, alumni of the Ivy League college petitioned for Ruger to take action against Wax, who didn't suffer any consequences after falsely claiming Black students didn't graduate at the top of her class.

The following year, the insitution condemned her for her hate speech. She was removed from teaching required classes but has kept her job at the University.

A Republican Philadelphia Councilmember, David Oh, was appalled after hearing Wax's anti-Asian comments and sent a letter to the University, asking:

"Is this your policy that you cannot do anything about someone who continues to make these kinds of statements that is not within the realm of why they have tenure?"

On Thursday, state and local lawmakers, along with members of the NAACP and Asian American Bar Association, demanded a trial to remove Wax's protections under tenure.

Democratic Senator Anthony H. Williams said at a press conference:

I am profoundly disturbed by such hateful comments made by tenured University of Pennsylvania Law professor, Amy Wax."
"In this country, in this city, must condemn hate whenever it surfaces, and that includes the world-renowned universities across Philadelphia."
"We must stand against any divisive rhetoric that denigrates a persons, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. America is supposed to be a place of hope and opportunity, where our human dignity is valued above all else.”

Williams was joined by Democratic Senator Sharif Street, who said, "There should be no space for Asian Hate in our society."

"Words can be insidious things and hateful speech if, unaddressed is like cancer that will fester and grow into greater acts of hate."
"Silence is complicity. I’m proud to join Senator Williams in his concern that the University of Pennsylvania do everything in its power to stop anti-Asian hate speech and all other hate speech.”

On Friday, Ruger said he is "actively considering" invoking a faculty senate review process that may lead to Wax facing sanctions for her repeated comments that have leaned towards "White supremacy" views.

Richard W. Painter, a law professor and former chief White House ethics lawyer, weighed in with a number of observations about the pending review.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ruger said:

“In my view, Professor Wax’s repeated conduct and behaviour and statements are both serious and have caused harm and are inconsistent with the norms and expectations of a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania."

He added:

“Any action that I would take in light of that harm and misbehaviour, even actions far short of stripping her tenure completely, require review through our faculty senate process and I am actively considering invoking that process to seek the university faculty’s collective judgment on what the appropriate standards of faculty conduct are and whether Wax’s repeated actions have violated that."

Ruger said he was considering taking action now because Wax’s “racist speech is escalating in intensity and in its harmful nature,” but it's unclear what the process will involve or how long it will take.

Ruger added that, in the past, Wax had discussed “western civilization” in a way that was at least “susceptible to nonracist interpretation.”

But Ruger said her recent anti-Asian comments “wholeheartedly adapted the vernacular of white nationalism and white supremacy.”

Wax currently remains on the faculty at the University teaching electives.