Tenured Penn Law professor Amy Wax — who is currently under a faculty investigation for her "increasing" promotion of white supremacy — reignited controversy, claiming that Black Americans and “non-Western groups” are resentful towards "Western people."
In an April 8 interview with Fox News television personality Tucker Carlson on his show “Tucker Carlson Today,” Wax also criticized Indian immigrants to the United States for judging and expressing disapproval of the U.S. She claimed that she believes “at some level, their country is a shithole.”
“I think there is just a tremendous amount of resentment and shame of non-Western peoples against Western peoples for Western peoples' outsized achievements and contributions. I mean, it’s really unbearable,” Wax said in the interview. “I was actually, leaving aside American Blacks, who I think do feel that resentment and shame and envy, I mean it's this unholy brew of sentiments.”
Penn Law Dean Ted Ruger and Penn Law spokesperson Meredith Rovine wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian on April 11 that they will withhold public comment on the controversy until the faculty review process of Wax has concluded, in adherence to University policy.
Wax and Carlson also spoke about her December interview with Brown University professor Glenn Loury, where she ignited a national online firestorm by claiming that “the United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration."
Four weeks after those racist remarks, which she doubled down on in January, Ruger announced a formal faculty investigation to determine whether Wax’s public conduct has impacted her classroom teaching.
Ruger wrote in a Jan. 18 statement that Wax’s conduct has led to multiple complaints from University community members since at least 2017, which have cited Wax’s comments as a “cumulative and increasing” promotion of white supremacy.
Wax reiterated to Carlson that Asian, South Asian, and Indian doctors at Penn Medicine are “on the ramparts” of what she claimed are anti-racism initiatives that denounce the United States as a racist country.
Penn Law third year Apratim Vidyarthi, a lead student organizer of efforts to have the University hold Wax accountable, said that Wax and Carlson’s recent remarks were “really upsetting” and contribute to a narrative that Black Americans and immigrants do not belong in the United States.
In January, Vidyarthi and other Penn Law students started a petition that garnered over 2,500 signatures calling for Wax's suspension while the University investigates her, and demanding the University take further steps to advance equity and inclusion.
“There are a lot of students at Penn Law and at Penn who are immigrants, either first-generation or the children of immigrants,” Vidyarthi said. “It clearly seems that Wax doesn’t think that any of those people are deserving of full rights and privileges and liberties that this country has to offer.”
According to University policy, once a complaint against Wax is submitted to the Faculty Senate, the Senate will decide whether to hold a trial, where evidence against Wax would be presented and a panel of five faculty members would ultimately vote on whether to sanction Wax.
“Penn can definitely do a lot more to support the communities that Wax is advancing, and I don’t think that’s being discussed enough,” Vidyarthi said.