New Delhi: A prominent American professor has come under fire for making racist remarks against Indian professionals, including women, who live in the United States.
Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania Law School — whose academic focus is on social welfare law and policy, the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labour markets — told Fox News that “Brahmin women think they are better than everybody else… and yet, their country is a shithole”.
Wax then attacks Indian immigrants for criticizing things in the US when "their country is a shithole" and goes on to say that "the role of envy and shame in the way that the third world regards the first world […] creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind." pic.twitter.com/dUL9coinS9
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) April 11, 2022
The professor, who allegedly has a history of making unfavourable comments against certain ethnicities, said: “The Brahmin women who come from India, and they climb the ladder, they get the best education, we give them every opportunity and they turn around and leave the charge on we’re (the United States) racist, we are an awful country, we need reform…they are taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a shit hole.”
Wax reportedly over the past five years has frequently enraged students with racist remarks. She has called into question the academic ability of Black students and recently said the United States would be better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.
The University had condemned her speech and in 2018 removed her from teaching mandatory courses. However Wax has managed to keep her job and the prestige of working for an Ivy League institution.
Ted Ruger, dean of Penn’s law school, earlier this year said he was “actively considering” invoking a faculty senate review process that could lead to sanctions against the 69-year-old tenured professor.
“In my view, Professor Wax’s repeated conduct and behavior and statements are both serious and have caused harm and are inconsistent with the norms and expectations of a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania,” he said.
Wax in the interview also criticised Asian and South Asian Indian doctors at Penn Medicine, who she said, “are on the ramparts for the antiracism initiative for dump on America”. She also accused Black and Asian people of harbouring “resentment and envy” against westerners for their “outsized achievements and contributions”.
The interview has angered many. People did not hold back from calling out Wax for her “white elitism propaganda”. Some even pointed out how such ideas from a college professor are a contributing reason for increasing hate crimes in the United States.
“Caste” “Brahmins” “3rd world” “shithole counties”…yup, in 2022!pic.twitter.com/I0rtMNf2l2
— Aseem Shukla (@aseemrshukla) April 12, 2022
Her academic journey
Wax graduated from Yale University in 1975 and then went on to attend Oxford University, as a Marshall Scholar in Philosophy, Physiology and Psychology. Marshall Scholarship finances postgraduate “young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom”.
The scholarships are awarded by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and are largely funded by the British government. Every year, upto fifty scholars are selected at the graduate level at a UK institution in any field of study. Created in 1953 in the wake of World War II, by the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a “living gift” to the United States, the goal of the scholarship was to strengthen the relationship between the two countries for “the good of mankind in this turbulent world”.
After Oxford, Wax attended Harvard Medical (M.D. cum laude with distinction in neuroscience) from 1976-81 and Harvard Law School (first year) in 1980-81. She then went on to practise medicine from 1982-1987, doing a residency in neurology at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and working as a consulting neurologist at a clinic in the Bronx and for a medical group in Brooklyn. Wax formally completed her legal education at Columbia Law School, while working part-time to put herself through law school.
Wax currently is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, having joined the law school’s faculty in 2001. She received both the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course, and the Harvey Levin Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2015, she received a Lindback Award for Distinguised Teaching, making her one of three Penn Law professors to have received the award in 20 years.