Penn Law’s Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class


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.

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 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.”

I had Professor Wax on the Big Ideas podcast to discuss among other things:

  • 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, triggering her removal 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 anti-academic freedom 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 growing illiberalism
  • How Wax would like to see her case at Penn Law remedied
  • The anti-Western state of the academy in the West

You can listen on iTunes (and everywhere else podcasts are found) or download directly here.

Full transcript here.

There are 5 comments.

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  1. KentForrester Moderator

    It saddens me to see what universities have become—a place where political correctness, group think, and “diversity” (but only of skin color, not of ideas) trump all other values.

    It’s going to take more professors with Amy Wax’s guts to change things.


    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor

    To quote Kate McMillan from Small Dead Animals: “What’s the opposite of Diversity? University!”

    • #2
  3. MichaelHenry Inactive

    Penn Law should be embarrassed by the treatment of Professor Amy Wax by the law school administration and other law professors. A law school should be a hotbed of diverse opinion and argument. It is staggering how closed-minded leftists are unable to consider any opinion other than their own. Why are they so angry all the time, anyway? 

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster

    MichaelHenry: Why are they so angry all the time, anyway? 

    Haven’t you heard? They’re victims. Only they’re not victims of lawlessness, they’re victims of life. There’s no court for life, there are no collective jails for social injustices. Individuals are made to pay from time to time but that doesn’t change the world in total, so you become angrier and angrier. And you want more and more people to share your anger. And then it becomes a mob.

    Mobs don’t propose legislation, mobs propose mass revenge and retribution. But mobs elect people and then the political life of the nation becomes consumed by those notions of revenge and retribution. And here we are.


    • #4
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron


    You can tell Amy that I remember it all too well. We were the Sputnik generation and everything counted as we were beating the Russians to the moon, then we were competing our way into college, and then suddenly the world turned upside down with the first quota-based affirmative action ruling. With the full modern intersectionality reality, one needs like the handbook of chemistry & physics to look up the proper conversion table.

    Test scores:

    Black 65   =  White 75   =   Asian 85

    Don’t forget to interpolate for the 47 different genders.

    Anyone with a microgram of self-respect left for their own professional ethics finds this kind of distortion nauseating. There isn’t enough Pepto-bismal in the State of Pennsylvania to make this go down easy. Hey, how about a class action suit by the Asian kids. It would make the whole psycho-victim mongering mob sweat. At least one could enjoy oneself a little.



    • #5

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