Posted on November 29, 2023

Amy Wax: The Most Fearless Academic in America

Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, November 29, 2023

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Amy Wax has been a tenured professor at Penn Law School since 2001. Yesterday showed, once again, that she must be the most fearless academic in the United States. I should know; I was there.

Prof. Wax has been horrifying her employer, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, for years. In 2017, for example, she co-wrote a commentary for the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which she argued that some cultures are better than others, and called for a return to a “bourgeois culture” that expects citizens at least to graduate from high school, get a job, stay out of jail, and get married before having children. Penn Law itself compiled a list of furious responses, and felt compelled to issue a statement saying that her views were “not a statement of Penn Law’s values.” The law school barred her from teaching a mandatory first-year course.

Prof. Wax continued to speak her mind, and last summer, the school resorted to the most drastic action it could take: a formal investigation to determine whether her “intentional and incessant racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic actions and statements” were serious enough to require a “major sanction” that could include stripping her of tenure and firing her.

The letter from Dean Theodore Ruger of the law school initiating the procedure shows how easy it is to terrify the people who run elite institutions. It lists many examples of Prof. Wax’s alleged “persistent racist and bigoted on- and off-campus statements” along with complaints from people whom she reportedly made to feel “debased” or “unsafe.” The letter had a special interest for me. On the first page of what amounts to a 14-page indictment, Dean Ruger wrote:

Finally, Wax’s decision in 2021 to invite a renowned white supremacist, Jared Taylor, to be the featured guest speaker in a regular meeting of her Law School course, and to have Taylor as her guest at a lunch with her students who were expected to attend, crosses the line of what is acceptable in a University environment where principles of non-discrimination apply. [This invitation] caused profound harm to our students and faculty, and her escalating pattern of behavior raises risks of increased harm and escalating damage going forward.

The disciplinary procedure launched against Prof. Wax — the equivalent of a full-blown trial — threatened to bring a humiliating end to a distinguished career. It was immensely time consuming and expensive; her defense required countless hours of legal representation. And on top of all this, Prof. Wax was undergoing an exhausting series of treatments for cancer. I hardly expected that she would invite me to back to speak to her class on “Conservative and Political Legal Thought.” I didn’t know Amy Wax. In a bold gesture of defiance — and as an assertion of her deep convictions about the propriety of what she had done — she scheduled me again for this fall.

This led to fury not only in the pages of the Penn newspaper but in national media. BIPOC student-grievance groups howled for the school to “bar Taylor from stepping on campus.” The student-council president pronounced herself “very confused about what he [Taylor] can offer to a class. . . . He exists in circles of neo-Nazis.”

But there seemed to be no confusion in the minds of the protestors who were on hand yesterday for my talk. At the entrance to the building, they had set up a table to distribute hand-lettered signs to the demonstrators they expected to come: “Fire Amy Wax,” “Fuck White Supremacy,” “White Supremacy No Place Penn,” “Penn’s Morals are Lax Until They Fire Amy Wax,” etc.

The class itself — a one-hour-and-45-minute seminar — went smoothly. I explained race realism and white advocacy to an intelligent and sometimes critical group of students who, so far as I could tell, showed no signs of feeling “debased” or “unsafe.”

By the time the class was over, 70 or 80 people had gathered in the hall. They jeered and hooted as each student left the room. This was disgusting. Demonstrators were welcome to bellow at me or at Prof. Wax, but it is contemptible for students to try to humiliate fellow students for going to class.

Prof. Wax and I were the last to leave and were rewarded with a spirited chorus of banality: “One, two, three, four, Amy Wax, there’s the door. Five, six, seven, eight, Penn Law tolerates hate.”


Most people would have scurried down the corridor away from the crowd. Not Amy Wax. I wish I had a video of what happened next. She took out her cellphone camera, and walked right up to screaming protestor after screaming protestor, taking pictures of their faces and the signs they were holding. She walked from one end of the group to the other and back again, no more than a foot or two away from people howling for her head. I smiled and waved at the crowd until Prof. Wax returned to my side and we walked back to her office.

In the current climate, I would have hesitated to get that close to hopped-up lefties — and I could turn my back on them and never see them again. Prof. Wax works there. Those demonstrators know where her office is and what her hours are. She defied them with as much dash and elegance as anyone could have.

I took home a poster as a souvenir.

But I also took home something much better. Of all my tangles with demonstrators — and there have been many — there has never been one that gave me so much pleasure, thanks to Amy Wax.