A legal Chinese immigrant professor from Georgia Gwinnett College is facing harsh criticism calls for his termination following “controversial” remarks he made about illegal immigration.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Fang Zhou of the college’s history department used phrases such as “ghetto thugs” and “libtards” on social media, and said he has a sign in his office which reads “Deportation of illegal immigrants.”
Zhou said he “speaks truth to power” in his class and teaches about “the financial drain of illegal immigration on the economy and the high crime rates of illegal immigrants.” Upon completion of his course, Zhou said his students are “overwhelmingly against” illegal immigration.
Democratic Georgia State Representative Bee Nguyen, who’s of Vietnamese descent, posted some of Zhou’s comments on Twitter noting he was “sharing ‘inflammatory terminology'” and spreading “false narratives” about illegals.
She asked, “Are these the values supported by Georgia Gwinnett College?”
While we celebrate the passage of the Dream Act, this @GeorgiaGwinnett professor uses hostile terms “ghetto thugs,” “libtards,” & spreads false narratives about immigrants.
— Bee Nguyen (@BeeForGeorgia) June 6, 2019
“I have concerns about him teaching those things in a classroom,” [Nguyen said.]
Nguyen […] said she found the remarks particularly disturbing because of the college’s racial diversity. Nearly 70% of its students are African American, Asian or Hispanic. The lawmaker said she planned to write the college to voice her concerns. She noted U.S. House lawmakers passed a bill this week that would offer a path to U.S. citizenship for young, undocumented immigrants.
Some people who responded to Nguyen’s tweet said they have previously complained to the college about Zhou. The college sent the AJC its policies concerning freedom of expression for students and faculty but didn’t immediately respond to an interview request.
The college’s academic freedom policy allows faculty to speak without fear of censure, but reminds them that they “should remember that the public may judge [his/her] profession and [his/her] institution by [his/her] utterances.”
Zhou said he welcomes criticism: “Everybody has free speech.” He noted he doesn’t force his views on students and discusses other subjects in class. He also said he’s gotten hate mail from students who disagree with him.
Zhou’s RateMyProfessors.com page is overwhelmingly positive, and the three negative reviews don’t mention illegal immigration nor classroom indoctrination.
IMAGE: Sam Graham / Flickr.com