June Chu, a Yale dean who champions cultural “diversity,” was forced to apologize after writing a racist Yelp review where she characterized the customers of a local Japanese restaurant as “white trash.”
Chu, who was appointed dean of Yale’s Pierson College residential hall in June 2016, stunned both university officials and students with her elitist, racist Yelp reviews.
In one review of a Japanese restaurant, Chu—who’s Chinese-American—said only “white trash” would appreciate the mediocre food:
To put it quite simply: If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you! This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of the imagination and perfect for low-class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over-salted and greasy food.
Chu then jabbed at the Japanese restaurant’s lack of authenticity by pointing out that its employees were not Japanese. “Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese,” she scoffed.
In another racist review, June Chu invoked her Asian background to dismiss an eatery’s Japanese rice cakes as sub-par:
Remember: I am Asian. I know mochi. These are not good and overpriced. They are ice cream mochi 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 mochi is, this would be fine for you.
In her review of a local movie theater, Chu called the employees dumb and fat-shamed its customers. “So what they have there is barely-educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese,” she wrote in screenshots captured by the Yale Daily News.
Chu, who has since deleted her Yelp account, apologized to the students of Pierson College residential hall in an email, the Yale Daily News reported.
“I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” Chu wrote in the email. “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 decided not to fire Chu because she’s so “terribly sorry” for being a pompous, racist elitist.
“I’ve not asked for her resignation,” Holloway said. “She’s terribly sorry, and I think she’s doing exactly the right thing by saying, ‘I’ve learned from this, I want to stand by all of you and I hope that you’ll stand by me as well.’”
However, some students weren’t so forgiving. “I will never be able to look at her in the same way,” one student said. “She needs to formally apologize in person to the college.”
The student said Chu should step down as a residential adviser: “Dean Chu is trained in human development and psychology, so should clearly understands 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.”
Kelsang Dolma, a Yale undergrad who’s Asian, said she’s “disillusioned” by Chu’s racist rhetoric, especially since she had looked up to her as a role model.
“It is always so refreshing to see an Asian-American woman in leadership positions, and many of my female and POC [people of color] friends were eager to see what she would do for us,” Dolma said. “This incident has left me and other Piersonites disillusioned.”
June Chu has a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California at Davis and was previously an assistant dean of undergraduate students at Dartmouth College.
Chu has been placed on leave amid growing public outrage. Yale officials have since discovered that she wrote other offensive Yelp reviews under a different name.
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