A Georgetown University Law Professor was caught calling a student “Mr. Chinaman,” on camera, MEAWW reports.
Professor Franz Werro used the phrase to call on a student he did not know the name of.
In a viral video, Werro is seen sitting at his desk during a lecture on February 10, The Daily Beast reports.
“So any other surprise or…? What about you, Mr. Chinaman?” he asks and points to a student in front of him.
“Sorry to not catch your name,” Werro adds. “Maybe you can remind me of your name.”
The incident was first reported by Above the Law. The law news website says that Georgetown law’s dean, Bill Treanor, released a statement on February 11. In his statement, he recognized that the term Werro used was a slur.
“I met with student leaders from APALSA and the Georgetown China Law Society today and remain committed to having an open and honest dialogue about this incident,” Treanor said. “The faculty member has expressed his commitment to that dialogue and has issued a sincere apology to his class.”
Werro issued his own apology statement as well, according to Above the Law.
“I apologize that I used an offensive term in class yesterday,” he said. “The statement I made was just after the break in the class, during which I had enthusiastically noted the great diversity of languages spoken by members of the class. As a non-native English speaker myself, I did not appreciate that it was a derogatory term, as I now understand it is. I am very sorry I used it. I am committed to educating myself because I want all students to feel welcome in my classroom.”
Students from the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at Georgetown said they appreciated Werro’s apology but felt it lacked empathy, MEAWW reports.
The student organization also drafted a letter to the dean explaining why the term was offensive. In the letter, they expressed hope that the administration would mandate implicit bias training. They also asked that the adminstration take disciplinary action against repeat offenders.
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