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Black Lives Matter threatens to wreak havoc at Penn if conservative professor isn’t fired

Leader laughably claims students are afraid to speak out

Black Lives Matter is sometimes criticized for using illiberal methods to advance its goals. The movement’s top leader in Pennsylvania, Asa Khalif, isn’t shying away from that reputation.

He threatened to “begin disrupting classes and other campus activities with a wave of protests” starting Friday if the University of Pennsylvania doesn’t fire a professor it has already punished for comments about black student performance, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.

Khalif said Amy Wax is a “danger” to “Black and brown students” because the professor said “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the [law school] class, and rarely, rarely in the top half,” in an interview in September. She also discussed the “mismatch hypothesis” that affirmative action sets up students for failure because they aren’t academically ready for the elite institutions into which they were accepted.

The BLM leader claimed that Penn students told him “they are afraid to say anything about Wax due to potential reprisal,” according to the Tribune. He said the movement has to “speak for the students who can’t speak for themselves.”

It’s a stretch to say that Penn students are afraid of speaking out against Wax, considering Dean Ted Ruger has already called her a liar while himself refusing to provide the allegedly correct figures for black student performance.

The Daily Pennsylvanian says not only have “students and alumni largely expressed gratitude” for Ruger’s punishment toward Wax – stripping her of mandatory first-year classes – but the Black Law Student Association is demanding unspecified “concrete action” on “diversity and inclusion” at Penn Law.

The BLSA also has yet to provide hard evidence that Wax’s comments were “demonstrably false.”

Alumna Ayana Lewis, a former student in Wax’s first-year mandatory class who has long resented the professor, is apparently calling on Penn to have professors other than Wax teach her remaining classes. She told the Tribune: “We don’t think any student who wants to take the courses she’s teaching should have to take those courses if she’s the only one teaching them.”

Ruger’s action against Wax has emboldened both the “campus mob” and BLM while warning other professors not to speak “uncomfortable truths in a university setting,” Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and vocal BLM critic, writes in The Wall Street Journal.

The dean himself either lied or admitted he had no factual grounds to challenge Wax’s assertions when he said Penn doesn’t collect grade performance “by racial group.” Mac Donald noted that Ruger also misattributed one of Wax’s statements on students who shouldn’t “even go to college,” wrongly saying she was talking about Penn students.

While Wax should “correct that overstatement” about black students in the top quarter of the graduating law class, “the mismatch effect is absolutely real, at Penn and elsewhere,” Mac Donald writes:

In the early 1990s, the Law School Admissions Council tracked 27,000 students at nearly 90% of all accredited law schools. Of the 2,000 students attending the most “elite” law schools, 52% of blacks were in the bottom tenth of their class, compared with 6% of whites. Only 8% of blacks were in the top half of their class. Bar failure rates were also skewed; the LSAC data showed that 19% of blacks graduating from these elite schools failed the bar, compared with 3.5% of whites.

It’s time for Ruger to stop slinging accusations while censoring the facts, Mac Donald continues:

Mr. Ruger has accused Ms. Wax of a “conscious indifference” to the truth. The burden is on him to disclose the data that prove her thesis wrong. It is conceivable that to maintain plausible deniability about the effects of its racial preferences, Penn does not collect or analyze data on the performance of black law students. That information, however, would be easy to assemble.

The diversity industry has given notice: Discuss the costs of affirmative action, and you can be punished and publicly shamed.

Read the Tribune and Daily reports and Mac Donald’s op-ed.

MORE: Penn Law punishes Wax, won’t share black student performance

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg Piper served as associate editor of The College Fix from 2014 to 2021.