Posted on December 4, 2023

Asian Student Defends Penn Law Professor Who Faces Ouster

A.L. Lee, Atlanta Black Star, December 4, 2023

An Asian student is standing up for a University of Pennsylvania law professor who faces losing her tenured position due to racist viewpoints that sparked massive protests on the Ivy League campus in recent weeks.

Despite her growing reputation for sparking racial controversies by suggesting the superiority of white culture, professor Amy Wax has found an unexpected advocate in Charlie Cheon — a third-year law student who wrote a letter to school administrators late last month expressing support for his beleaguered teacher.

It remains uncertain, however, if Cheon was aware of Wax’s controversial statements, including the assertion that the United States would be “better off with fewer Asians” and her remarks that “Blacks” and Asians are resentful of “Western peoples’ outsized achievements.”

For now, Wax — who has taught at Penn Law since 2001 — remains on the university staff despite growing calls for her to resign due to racist comments and writings that have stirred anger among students and a wide range of cultural and social justice advocates during her long tenure.

Previously, the National Black Law Students Association, the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and the North American South Asian Law Students Association released a letter in April 2022 calling for Wax to be ousted from the campus and barred from talking to students after she made openly made racist remarks in and outside a lecture hall.


In the latest episode, the university said it had initiated a legal process to fire Wax for alleged disparaging statements she’s made during her time at Penn, which recently prompted the professor to launch a legal defense fund that faces accusations of promoting itself as a tax-deductible charity, potentially violating federal tax laws.

Wax ignited the most recent firestorm when she twice invited white supremacist Jared Taylor to speak in front of her Conservative Legal Thoughts class, adding fuel to the broader uproar over her teaching methods while also sparking massive campus protests and complaints to academic administrators.


Not everyone was on board with the backlash, however, as Cheon filed a complaint with Penn administrators about the escalating tempest.

“I write to you to express my sincerest displeasure with regards to the way some students are handling the invitation of a guest by Professor Wax,” Cheon, who is Asian, says in a letter posted to his YouTube channel in late November. “I was quite incensed to see flyers posted all across the school smearing Professor Wax’s character. In my opinion, this — along with the fact that some of her students in the Conservative Legal Thoughts class were harassed (boo-ed and hissed at) — shows an effort to intimidate, indicating a lack of respect for civil discourse.”