David Oh, Philadelphia Councilman wrote recently a letterWe are requesting the University of Pennsylvania review the “role of Professor Amy Wax with the university.” More recently, PennLaw Dean Ted Ruger announced that he will begin a formal sanction process against Wax. Erich Makarov (a 3L from UPenn) wrote a reply to Oh. This letter also addressed Ruger’s issues. Erich wanted me to publish his letter. I have done so:
Dear Councilman Oh,
Let me begin my letter by stating that I am an American second-generation of Eurasian descent. My parents were immigrants from the Philippines who fled a totalitarian, brutal regime. They arrived in this country with nothing. I am currently studying law at the University of Pennsylvania.
This is my humble request to you: Please inquire into the real situation at Penn Law. You’ve no doubt witnessed the media furore that followed Professor Wax’s interview with Glenn Loury. A Republican from Philadelphia will know full well that Twitter’s blue checkmarks and media reaction aren’t always the most reliable indicators of truth. This is exactly what we see. Let’s find out what’s certain to be true. Professor Wax can be provocative. She holds heterodox views. Unpopular views are not an issue for her as long as they’re true to her beliefs. These views may be offensive for some.
However, as her former student I can confirm that Professor Wax is pursuing the preservation and promotion of the private property rights and order upon which our nation was founded. They are at grave risk and constantly under assault, according to Wax. It is not something she has advocated. Racial policymaking is precisely what she opposes. She wants to impair American meritocracy and stop the equity-seeking, race-based system progressives want for the American people. Watch her complete interview with Professor Loury to hear many important points which are not being covered in mainstream media.
Professor Wax is most concerned about the fact that Asian-Americans vote overwhelmingly for Democratic Party. This concern is shared by me as a Philadelphia Republican. In American history, no political force has done more for Asian Americans’ rights, freedoms, and safety than the Democratic Party. Even more, the Democratic party’s agenda threatens the traditional liberal foundations on which the nation rests. Progressive prosecutors, anti-religious and militant politicians and an army of followers who hate genuine free speech make this party unsafe. They also attack our faith and try to penalize us for speaking out that they deem politically inappropriate.
Professor Wax observes how Asian-Americans vote in support of this agenda. This leads her to draw a limited but valid conclusion: there are some contradictions between the Constitutional Liberalism that she cherishes and the Asian immigrant culture. This issue is a matter for me to consider. It is America’s deteriorating institutions that I think has lead many to their demise. To blame are the curricula designed to make young people hate America and popular culture which denigrates traditional values and encourages conformity. Politicians who appeal to tribal instincts in order to divide groups for their common good and turn them against each other. All can fall victim to these immense pressures—race isn’t the cause.
Here’s the problem: Professor Loury made the exact same point immediately and strongly disagreed with Professor Wax during the interview. His respectful, excellent response was a rebuttal. He emphasized the fact that institutions such as schools and media were actually responsible for corrupting American ideals and not racial backgrounds. Guess what? Talking it out, Professor Loury managed to convince Professor Wax that she was open to these points and help her understand the problem. This is what’s at the heart of this issue. This is when two individuals with different views, perhaps controversial ones, can come together and speak openly to reach a better and more complete understanding of the world. It’s the core of American democracy, and the heart of every system of higher learning.
Although Professor Wax might say some things that are uncomfortable to us all, it is not the end of her search. Wax is looking for the truth. She’s searching for better ways to make America more like her parents. She is often unconventional in her ideas. Her ideas may even sometimes be wrong. However, is it going to really help anyone to take her income and her vast expertise from her?
Penn University students are anxious to hear from Professor Wax about their interests in neuroscience and legal solutions. For fear of ridicule and isolation, people are afraid to enter her classroom. They should not be denied the opportunity to ask her questions, debate her and challenge her in safe classroom settings. Penn Law allows students to complete three years without ever seeing Professor Wax. You don’t have to complete her classes. You don’t have to listen or read her writings. In the small spaces of elective seminars for 14 people and YouTube podcasts that cater to niche intellectual communities, she is a regular visitor. Students are not offended by Professor Wax’s actual presence, but rather her association with the university. It’s not about protecting students who are vulnerable; this is about cleaning up the public space to eliminate non-progressive viewpoints. Radical progressive students are determined to suppress any thought that isn’t on campus and I know this without a doubt.
Dear Councilman, I can understand the reason you wrote that letter to University of Pennsylvania. We hear awful things sometimes and conclude that others are trying to harm us. These people should not be able to hurt us. The flurry incensed talking heads make it appear that the entire world is against one woman. She is unjustly condemned. As a second-generation American with an Eurasian heritage and a Christian faith, however, I am able to assure that in times of trouble it will not be those who have blue checks and protesting students at college that defend your rights and property. It will not be people willing to accept unpleasant opinions in the name of higher principles that will support you.
All of us know Professor Wax made some unsettling observations in the past about Black Americans. Professor Loury is a Black man who invites Professor Wax to his program for civil and meaningful discourse. He’s able to forget about the discomfort that Professor Wax has caused him and finds common ground no matter where it is. This is how Professor Loury represents the American ideal. As Professor Loury, I hope you are able to conquer your inner discomfort.
Classic liberalism and Republicanism both believe that government must play a minimal role in society. Representative of Philadelphia’s government, you urge a private entity to investigate a Philadelphia employee, suggesting strongly that she be fired. This powerful action may make an impact. This is a powerful move, and it may have some impact. How would the founding fathers feel about statesmen urging a university not to fire a professor for saying something? A constituent, American and brother in faith, we ask you to reconsider the University of Pennsylvania’s request. It is impossible to create unity by ignoring those who disagree.