Penn Professor Amy Wax Under Fire For Speaking Hate Facts Receives Academic Courage Award

Penn Professor Amy Wax Under Fire For Speaking Hate Facts Receives Academic Courage Award

Penn Law Professor Amy Wax has been charged with spreading hate facts. Few modern crimes are more detestable to our elites, which is why a swift and predictable reaction against Wax has begun.

In August 2017 Wax published an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer in which she spoke forbidden truths. Many of our culture’s “maladies” are caused by “the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture,” she said. We could “significantly reduce society’s pathologies” if we embraced traditional values.

Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These hateful words were noticed at Penn, which forced a spokesperson to issue a statement. “The views expressed in the article are those of the individual authors. They are not a statement of Penn Law’s values or institutional policies.”

The spokesperson did not say what Penn Law’s values were.

Somebody’s Knocking at the Door

Wax might have got away with her crime if she had stopped there. She did not. She went on to hate-notice that with respect to immigration “Everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans.”

The Black Law Student Association sprang into action. They discovered an interview in which Wax said

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the [Penn Law School] class and rarely, rarely in the top half,” Wax said of her belief of the downside of affirmative action in universities. “I can think of one or two students who’ve graduated in the top half of my required first year course.”

“Outrage”, that ubiquitous emotion, was the reaction. A petition said Wax’s figures were “false and deeply offensive.”

Brave Cowardice

Wax’s serial hate facts were obvious to even the meanest intelligence, which included the intelligence of Ted Ruger, the Dean of the Law School. He decided punishment was in order. He charged that Wax “transgress[ed] the policy that student grades are confidential” and that Wax used “her access to those Penn Law students who are required to be in her class to further her scholarly ends without students’ permission.”

Ruger then forbade Wax from teaching her first-year course.

Wax did not reveal any student’s grade, nor did she use her access without permission to “further her scholarly ends”. No official figures to rebut Wax’s claim were then or ever produced. But hate facts are hate facts and their use cannot go unpunished lest others are encouraged to speak them.

Ruger probably hoped his punitive acts would silence Wax. He was wrong.

She later wrote that you should click here to read the rest.


  1. I really admire the smoothness of the transition links.

  2. Let’s all speak hate facts!
    1. Blacks are noticeably less intelligent than whites. American blacks have a mean IQ one SD lower than the white mean. School testing scores and graduation rates also prove this.
    2. Blacks are observably more violent than whites. Did you know that one in three black men in America is a convicted felon? (Please note that ‘White’ includes Hispanic/Latino in the linked chart.)

  3. The law school administration says that Wax’s claims are untrue. Also, in the interview that you can see here, she seems to admit to having just made up her claims about the class standing of the black students: her assertions falls apart in the face of the gentlest challenge (by an interviewer obviously smarter than she is). Since Briggs describes her claims as “facts,” I wonder what information he has that he can share with us that supports them.

  4. Ken

    This situation with the Penn law professor can be a case study in people pouncing on hot button topics to the exclusion of all relevant context.

    Prof Wax makes a personal observation that is clearly anecdotal, ““I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class” at Penn Law, and “rarely, rarely in the top half” of the class.

    If we assume she’s truthful, that statement is irrefutable — it reflects her observation of demographics … it does NOT reflect actual numbers (at least not at the face-value content).

    How meaningful is such a statement? Not much. For example, I can say that I have not seen ANY minority graduate from Penn Law…but then I’ve not seen anybody, minority or otherwise, graduate. What Prof Wax has seen, or believes she has seen, versus objective reality are two different things.

    As an anecdotal input, one would expect both sides (racists & non-racists, but put a blunt description of two extremes) would be very interested in accepting her anecdotal observations:

    – Racists — to support their views that minorities don’t perform, etc….
    – Non-Racists — because if the Prof is observing that certain minorities are not represented at the upper grade ranks at graduation might this be due to discrimination in other forms — grades, even acceptance into the program?

    One should expect non-Racists to wonder if the Prof’s impressions might be right — and those impressions reflect other discrimination occurring at Penn.

    But that doesn’t happen at all. The assumption is there is no discrimination accounting for her perceptions, and, that she is outright wrong — biased/racist. Even though those opposing her views cannot refute them; consider the petition:

    “Penn Law’s anonymous grading policy, and compromise the law school’s assurance that grades are maintained by the Registrar under strict scrutiny. In light of this policy, we would like to know upon what data Professor Wax relies, and whether such race-based data is even collected by the Law School.

    “Among other concerns, these statements: 1) are inaccurate…”

    If the petitioners can assert the Professor is wrong, but simultaneously lack insight into Penn’s anonymous grade data, how can they assert she is wrong? They cannot. The should be entertaining the possibility that she’s onto something…and the something she’s on to is not minority student’s showing inferior performance but that, maybe, Penn is still discriminating and that discrimination accounts for her observations.

    The absence of any data in this forces us (at least us outsiders) to maintain that as an option.

    HOWEVER, Penn’s Ruger wrote:

    “As a teacher, however, she is not free to transgress the policy that student grades are confidential, or to use her access to those Penn Law students who are required to be in her class to further her scholarly ends without students’ permission.”

    That statement from Penn’s high authority sure looks like what the Prof said comports with the data Penn maintains.

    PERHAPS the Prof did “transgress the policy that student grades are confidential” and used that grade data as a basis for her statements (which might account for the dramatic pause in the video Lee Phillips shared — after all, she’s not going to say in public she violated school policy by basing her statement on confidential school/student data!).

    Which still begs the question, “why the apparent class rankings are as they are said to be? — Are they as the prof said, and if so, why??”

    If I was a school administrator, and I wanted to suppress minorities and was doing so, one tactic is to exploit confidential grade demographics and when anyone begins to out my efforts at discrimination to react via a petition, etc. as was done here. Play on the broader politically correct emotions and divert what might be revelation of ongoing discrimination by asserting racism by the whistle-blower.

    I have no idea whatsoever if that’s what’s going on, but the limited info I’ve seen here makes that a very distinct possibility — that Penn might be selectively using activist anti-discrimination tactics to discriminate, by creating an uproar that looks away from such discrimination before it is even considered, might possibly be occurring.

  5. JH

    It is true Wax did not reveal any student’s grade, but she has revealed the relative standing of black students in her class or she has seen, which violates the university rules. She may discuss such matters amongst certain colleagues, but definitely not publicly. In my opinion, she needs to issue an apology to all her black students, regardless of whether here statements are true or not.

    Damn, Wax didn’t mention who are among the bottom 25% according to what she has seen. I bet there are white people in the bottom 25% (as I seriously doubt there are more than 25% blacks in the law school).

    What is wrong with having a relative standing of being among the middle 50 percent? What is the class standing of George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States?

  6. Thanks, Kent, but that paper is paywalled, and I’m not paying $42 for it. There’s a discussion of the question here … the numbers seem shonky. Among other things, it’s based on a report that’s nearly 30 years old …

    In addition, if the numbers were true, then McChuck’s claim is assuredly false because he claims that one in three black men is a convicted felon … and misdemeanors are much more common than felonies.


  7. I didn’t really expect Briggs to have anything, but I checked back anyway.

  8. DAV

    BJS Tables are not pay-walled. For example,
    Table 3.2. Gender and race of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, by offense, 2006
    The distribution of felonies is similar to the FBI table.

    According to this:

    Offenses can be grouped into three general categories.
    The most serious are felonies, the penalty for which can include a term in a state prison.
    Next are misdemeanors, the penalty for which can include up to one year in a county jail.
    The least serious are infractions (mostly traffic offenses), for which the maximum penalty does not exceed a $100.00 fine plus court costs.

    Prison seems to imply felony.

  9. DAV

    Then there’s

    One-Third of Black Men Have Felony Convictions

    In “Growth in the U.S. Ex-Felon and Ex-Prisoner Population, 1948 to 2010,” Sarah Shannon and colleagues estimate that one-third of black men had a felony conviction in 2010—a significant increase over the past 30 years and far above the rate for white men.


  10. Marc Meinzer

    While teaching reading at perhaps the worst public high school in the American state of Ohio [why would kids in secondary school need to be taught to read?] I heard anecdotes of other faculty members being reprimanded for observing aloud that few of our “students” could anticipate eventual acceptance to a medical school. This was a building [South High School] where if you were teaching in grades 9 or 10 each of your classes would have about 30 kids, but those with grades 11 or 12 would get maybe 7 kids per class, indicating that the graduation rate there was perhaps 25%. The building was subsequently closed and repurposed as a storage facility.

    Not only was virtually nobody bound for the professions there, but in reality, owing to social promotion the rolls there were overwhelmingly clogged with persons not even remotely qualified to be in an academic high school at all. Yet, were anyone to suggest at a board meeting that more kids belonged in vocational training that speaker would inevitably have been shouted down by all the parents embarrassed by their children’s total lack of academic ability. And finally, I found that even at the Lilly white suburban parochial school I started at, that roughly one-quarter of all exam scores would’ve been failing grades if not for liberal use of curved grades in which the average score was raised to the level of a C+ for political expediency vis a vis the parents. After eight years of this nonsense I quit teaching to become a deck-hand in the merchant marine [merchant navy], a more promising career since advancement to officer’s rank was open to all by examination. The Coast Guard’s third officer unlimited tonnage licensing exam is of course not curved upward to spare the feelings of the lazy or incompetent.

  11. Ray

    I live in Fairfax, VA, and there was recently a scandal in the Washington DC, and Prince Georges county schools with the teachers doing some affirmative action on student grades, AKA, grade inflation. An estimated 1/3 of the high school students should not have graduated. DC and Prince Georges county, MD, are mainly black. This is why a high school diploma is now just a worthless piece of paper and college diplomas are on the way to becoming worthless.

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