A Georgetown University law professor referred to one of his Asian students as “Mr. Chinaman” during a class last week.
While looking around the classroom to stimulate discussion, Professor Franz Werro asked an Asian student, “What about you, Mr. Chinaman?”
“Sorry to not catch your name,” he said. “Maybe you can remind me of your name.”
‘It’s Not Funny’
A video clip of the incident has been viewed 100,000 times, sparking an online discussion regarding the professor’s use of racial slurs in class.
Pro. Werro(https://t.co/GdLZbMTKXH) of @GeorgetownLaw #GeorgetownLaw has a very racist way of conducting his law school "cold call." #LawSchool #Lawyers #Racists #StopAsianHate #education #WashingtonDC pic.twitter.com/EKM7oUdHVg
— SensenSz (@choose_ur_term) February 11, 2022
Social media users have expressed their shock at Werro’s casual racism. One commented, “As an educator, he should know better.”
“It’s not funny. What are you going to do about this Georgetown Law,” Twitter user @lilynorchids wrote.
The Asia Pacific American Law Association at Georgetown has condemned the incident and demanded alternative class options for Asian students in Professor Werro’s class.
Student and social media backlash has prompted Werro to issue a public apology.
“I apologize that I used an offensive term in class yesterday. 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,” Werro told news website Above the Law.
“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.”