Profs called racist for saying ‘all cultures are not equal’

  • Two law professors have been accused of racism and homophobia over an op-ed lamenting the “breakdown of bourgeois culture” and arguing that “all cultures are not equal.”
  • At the University of Pennsylvania, home to one of the professors, students have produced two open letters condemning the op-ed, calling it "steeped in anti-blackness and white hetero-patriarchal respectability."

Two law professors have been accused of racism and homophobia over an op-ed lamenting the “breakdown of bourgeois culture” and arguing that “all cultures are not equal.”

The professors, Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania and Lawrence Alexander of the University of San Diego, co-authored an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Paying the Price for Breakdown of the Country’s Bourgeois Culture," which quickly prompting outrage among students and alumni.

"Offense is largely manufactured…This is another way to arrogate power, by claiming you’ve been offended."   

One public statement, issued by 54 University of Pennsylvania students and alumni, denounces Wax’s arguments as stemming “from the very same malignant logic of hetero-patriarchal, class-based white supremacy that plagues our country today.”

[RELATED: Prof: ‘All white people are racist,’ ‘all men are sexist’]

“These cultural values and logics are steeped in anti-blackness and white hetero-patriarchal respectability, i.e. two-hetero-parent homes, divorce is a vice, and the denouncement of all groups perceived as not acting white enough i.e. black Americans, Latino communities and immigrants in particular,” the statement elaborates.

Additionally, several student groups published an open letter condemning the professors for their comments, describing them as “racist and homophobic statements” before criticizing the two for using a “falsely ‘objective’ rhetoric” that serves as the “intellectual home” of Richard Spencer’s “incitement of moral panic.”

[RELATED: Clemson prof: All Republicans are ‘racist scum’]

“More important than a single professor’s views, however, is the university’s persistent silence on such views, which creates and maintains a hostile environment for marginalized students on campus,” the statement continues, concluding with a list of several demands, including the “convening of a committee with student representatives to develop a formal policy for censuring hate speech.”

Additionally, the student groups demand a “formal, centralized Diversity and Inclusion office” with full-time staff, and an anonymous “digital grievance submission form specifically for racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.”

Campus Reform reached out to several of the student groups behind the statement, though only the the Latin American Graduation and Professional Student Assembly replied, declining to comment.

Wax and Alexander, however, have continued to defend their views, with Wax telling The Daily Pennsylvanian that she does not “shrink” from her use of the word “superior” in describing certain cultures.

“Bourgeois values aren’t just for white people,” she continued. “The irony is: bourgeois values can help minorities get ahead.”

[RELATED: ‘If you’re white, you’re probably racist,’ student scolds peers]

Similarly, Alexander echoed Wax’s defense in an interview with Inside Higher Ed in which he explained that “there’s not a racist claim in it” in reference to their article.

“Offense is largely manufactured,” he continued. “This is another thing people can cite in order to claim power…This is another way to arrogate power, by claiming you’ve been offended.”

Campus Reform reached out to both Wax and Alexander for additional comment on the matter, but neither replied in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mstein81

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Matthew Stein
Matthew Stein | Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent

Matthew Stein is a Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He is a junior in the honors program at Swarthmore College, with a major in Economics and minor in Political Science. In addition to his work for Campus Reform, Matthew reports for The College Fix and serves as a CAMERA fellow. His work regularly appears on Fox Nation, Drudge Report, and is cited frequently by many others. 

20 Articles by Matthew Stein