Posted on April 21, 2022

Black, Asian Law Students Call for Professor to Be Suspended Over Racist Remarks

Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, April 20, 2022

Several national law student associations are calling for Amy Wax, a University of Pennsylvania Law School professor who for years has espoused openly racist rhetoric, to be suspended from campus and prevented from speaking to students.

The National Black Law Students Association, the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and the North American South Asian Law Students Association jointly released a letter on Wednesday, shared first with NBC Asian America, condemning Wax’s comments. In recent interviews, Wax has said that the U.S. would be “better off with fewer Asians,” and that “Blacks” and Asians are resentful of Western success.

“That Wax has been permitted to teach, supervise, and ridicule minority law students for over twenty one years is alarming,” the letter said. {snip}

The message, co-written by student leaders, enumerates action Penn can take to remedy the situation, including removing Wax from all teaching duties and investigating if her grading of students of color has been fair during her two decades at the school.

The investigation should be completely transparent to students, the letter says, and Wax should be suspended from campus grounds during the process. According to the law school’s website, she’s currently teaching two courses.


Richard Garzola, chair of NBLSA and a second-year law student at Georgetown University, said Wax isn’t the first professor accused of racism to teach at a law school. But her comments are cutting and feel intentionally harmful, he said.

“She was using verbiage from the late 1800s or early 1900s, speaking about students as ‘the Blacks,’” he said. “I wonder, when is that cloud of tenure going to stop protecting folks at legal institutions?”

In an interview with Tucker Carlson last week, Wax called India a “s—hole” and said South Asian American women should be more grateful to be in the U.S. She also doubled down on her previous anti-Asian rhetoric.


They said they released the letter in order to put pressure on Penn to take more action than they have to this point.

“As descendants of enslaved ancestors, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and persons holding multiple identities among these, we reject Amy Wax’s hateful rhetoric that we and our communities are dangerous, inferior, do not belong, have made fewer contributions, and are inherently less able to utilize the law because of our skin colors or heritages,” the letter reads. “Minority law students belong in the spaces they occupy.”