As the dean of Yale University’s Pierson College, June Chu is responsible for advising about 500 students and fostering “a familiar, comfortable living environment” in keeping with the university’s residential college system.
Chu’s biography states she has a PhD in social psychology and touts a long career in which she has “sought to help students not only succeed academically but to support their holistic academic experience and multifaceted identities.”
But the administrator’s seemingly supportive and culturally sensitive persona has been marred since Yale students came across her Yelp account. Images of Chu’s controversial Yelp reviews began circulating among Pierson students in recent months and were published by the Yale Daily News on Saturday.
The problem wasn’t so much what she said about the New Haven eateries and businesses she reviewed but rather her comments on the people who frequented them.
The posts, published over the course of the last few years, referred to customers as “white trash” and “low class folks” and to some employees as “barely educated morons.”
“If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you!” Chu wrote in a review about a Japanese restaurant, which she said lacked authenticity but was perfect for “those low class folks who believe this is a real night out.”
“Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese,” added Chu, who identifies in one review as Chinese American. In another restaurant review she said, “I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.”
In a 2015 review, she called a movie cinema’s employees “barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese and also try to add $7 plus $7.”
…Others on Twitter pointed out an article Chu wrote for Inside Higher Ed regarding the importance of cultural sensitivity. One Twitter user said reading the article was “satisfyingly ironic.”
“When we advise students about their academic pathways, we must understand diverse students’ practical concerns as well as their distinct cultural value systems,” Chu wrote.
“Many studies continue to indicate differences between white American college students and those from ethnic minority groups,” Chu wrote. “Thus, when we as advisers only advocate following one’s passion, we should ask of ourselves if we are microaggressors, telling students that is the only right way to engage in education.”
— Philip Terzian (@PhilipTerzian) May 16, 2017
— Sully Bach (@sullybach) May 17, 2017
A typical day for June Chu consists of waking up early in the morning to teach a spinning class at Pottruck Fitness Center, advising students on their majors and staying up late to answer their emails.
After seven years at Penn, Chu — the director of the Pan-Asian American Community House — will be leaving her post to become the assistant dean of Undergraduate Advising at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
* Context is everything. I imagine that lots of white Yalies have the same attitudes towards the same types of whites she is referring too – though if they posted similar comments online no one is going to bother to go poring through them.
Kind of imagine Ms. Chu is unlikeable on a personal level. Anyway.
What is interesting though, is that it would be entirely reasonable for Asians (the Korean/Japanese/Chinese we actually mean when we use this word) have similar attitudes towards whites as whites have to blacks.
Or maybe not. Whites are more prone to … bad behavior than Asians are, but it isn’t the same wide gulf you get between Sub-Saharan Blacks and everyone else.
And that, more than the IQ gap, is the crux of the whole thing. When whites go to hell, you get West Virginia. When blacks go to hell you get Detroit. Or Birmingham. Or Gary, Indiana.
Anyway, if I met an Asian who had a contemptuous attitude towards me due to the color of my skin… I’d be tickled pink (literally I guess). Masses of Chinese in suburbs across California with thinking the same way? Blase about it.
It’s when these Chinese get into positions of power, whether governmental, Wall Street or the like, where they might affect my present or my future that I start getting mad.
If it is any consolation I feel the same way about white Yalies.
I know my tribe. I have Assabiyah. Whether we are dumb as rocks, deserve nothing, it doesn’t matter. Whether Germanic nice whites from the Midwest or Mormons are in my tribe? Doesn’t matter. We are my tribe. And that is all that matters. The sentiments in Horatio At The Gate matter; The Bell Curve doesn’t.
I know the first law: It’s one for all, and all on one.
Now maybe it’s that Dunning-Kruger effect. But I sit by my keyboard and think of all kinds of interesting things and strategies. Maybe we aren’t so dumb when push comes to shove. Dunno.
HBD is well and good. Whatever. But if you don’t understand things at a basic level, like the fact that even the most stupid, illiterate moron in your tribe is worth more than the sum total of all educated elite college grads… then you understand nothing.