Penn Law's Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class Over Comments on Race, Performance and Bourgeois Values, Attacks on Free Speech, Criticism of Affirmative Action and Diversity, Anti-Western Colleges


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Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets. She is the author of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at significantly lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action -- comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for "teaching excellence."

Professor Wax and I touched on her beliefs regarding bourgeois values, the comments on race and academic performance that got her ousted from teaching her first-year class, the ramifications of her case, Professor Wax's criticism of affirmative action and diversity, the state of free speech on college campuses, grappling with uncomfortable truths, the anti-Western nature of the modern academy and much more.

What We Discussed
  • Wax's transition from apolitical science student to conservative law professor
  • The merits of bourgeois values and the primacy of culture
  • What those who attribute societal outcomes almost purely to economics get wrong
  • Wax's observations on the relatively poor performance of black students in her classes, which triggered a series of events that would leave her removed from teaching her mandatory first-year class
  • Affirmative action and discrimination
  • Why Wax believes diversity is not an "unalloyed good"
  • Wax's response to critics who would argue her classroom is an "unsafe space" for minority students
  • The dangerous paradigm on college campuses of "safe spaces," "trigger warnings," "disinvitations" and "de-platforming," whereby offensive speech has been deemed an act of violence, justifying a physically violent response
  • The broader ramifications for society of anti-free speech college campuses
  • How Wax would like to see her case at Penn Law remedied
  • The anti-Western state of the academy in the West

Further Reading

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