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Chinese-American Yale University Dean called out for 'White Trash' Remarks

May 18th 2017

Yale University

A Chinese-American dean at Yale University who has advocated cultural sensitivity in the past has had to apologize for her own insensitive remarks about white people. In her reviews of gyms, cinemas, and restaurants on the Yelp website, she mused on food that she presumed “white trash” would like to eat while also denouncing employees she called “barely educated morons.”
 
Dean June Chu of Pierson College at prestigious Yale University had to eat her words that had been circulated for several months. They were revealed by the Yale Daily News, which took the trouble of publishing screenshots of Chu’s remarks. 
 
Chu wrote of a Japanese restaurant, “To put it quite simply: If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!” She added, “This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of any imagination and perfect for those low class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”
Chu identifies herself as a Chinese-American on the website. She referred to a Japanese rice cake in one review. She wrote, “Remember: I am Asian. I know mocha. These are not good and overpriced. They are ice cream mocha which are small in size and easily become freezer burned if not stored well … I guess if you were a white person who has clue what mocha is, this would be fine for you.”
 
Regarding the employees at a movie theatre, she wrote that they are “barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese” while trying to do simple math problems. “Unfortunately it’s this or the Hanover Nugget but heaven forbid the Nugget get movies which pander to the masses,” Chu wrote. “You’ve got no choice and like a fool I remain in line with all the other idiots.”
 
Chu sent an email to Yalies and apologized for her “insensitive” reviews. “I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” Chu wrote. “My remarks were wrong. There are no two ways about it. Not only were they insensitive in matters related to class and race; they demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community.”
 
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway said he has not asked for Chu’s resignation. However, others were not so kind. A student told the Yale Daily News, “She needs to formally apologize in person to the college. Dean Chu is trained in human development and psychology so [she] should clearly understand the gravity of her actions, yet the fact that she would put such things on the internet shows that she really should not be in a position of advising students.”
 
Chu holds a doctorate in social psychology from the University of California-Davis. She has since expressed concern about her remarks. She wrote that she fears that her remarks may keep students to come for “the support that I offer to all Pierson students.”

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