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Penn Law Professor Calls for ‘Fewer Asians’ in the U.S.

January 5, 2022

The controversial University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax has drawn fresh ire for making racist remarks, this time targeting Asians, The Daily Beast reported.

“I think the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration,” she wrote.

The remark followed Wax’s provocative appearance on the Dec. 20 edition of The Glenn Show, a podcast hosted by Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury. During a discussion about identity and immigration, Wax said it was difficult to welcome people with different values into Western society.

Specifically discussing “Asian elites,” she asked, “Does the spirit of liberty beat in their breast?” She defined the “spirit of liberty” as “people who are mistrustful of centralized concentrations of authority who have a kind of ‘don’t tread on me’ attitude … who are nonconformist in good ways.”

By contrast, “Asians tend to be more conformist to whatever the dominant ethos is,” she noted, citing “wokeness” as the prevailing elite ideology.

When Loury posted an email from a listener who took issue with Wax’s characterization of Asian immigrants, she doubled down: “I find Asian support for [Democratic] policies mystifying, as I fail to see how they are in Asians’ interest. We can speculate (and, yes, generalize) about Asians’ desire to please the elite.”

“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,” she added.

In a statement Monday, Penn Law School dean Theodore Ruger called Wax’s remarks “anti-intellectual” and “racist,” asserting that her “xenophobic and white supremacist views … are diametrically opposed to the policies and ethos of this institution.”

In 2018, Penn removed Wax from teaching required first-year law classes after she appeared in a video saying she’d never “seen a Black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely, in the top half,” a claim Penn denounced as false, according to The Washington Post.

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Susan H. Greenberg

Susan H. Greenberg is a senior editor at Inside Higher Ed. A career journalist and educator, she joined the publication in August 2021 after eight years in Vermont, where she freelanced and taught writing at Middlebury College and Champlain College. Prior to that, she spent 22 years writing and editing for Newsweek magazine, where she covered everything from international affairs to arts and culture. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and River Teeth, among others. She has taught English and journalism at Phillips Academy, where she served as an advisor to the student newspaper. She holds a B.A. in English from Brown University and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia. The mother of three nearly adult children, she is very much enjoying her newly empty nest.

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