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Purdue Northwest chancellor sorry for mocking Asian language in speech | US education

The chancellor of Purdue University Northwest has apologized amid fierce backlash for mocking Asian languages ​​in an opening speech last week.

Thomas L Keon spoke at the school’s winter ceremony in Hammond, Indiana, last Saturday. Before Keon spoke, graduates were addressed by James Dedelow, a radio host, who said he sometimes used a “made-up” language on the air and with his family.

Keon then approached the lectern and said, “Well, all I can say is,” before uttering a series of made-up sentences.

“That’s pretty much my Asian version of his,” Keon said, referring to Dedelow, to the laughter of several attendees.

Images circulated online, sparking widespread outrage.

“What the hell is this Purdue Northwest?” tweeted Phil Yu, a Korean-American blogger. “Imagine attending your lover’s graduation and needing to hear this shit.”

Stephanie Chang, a member of the Michigan State Senate, wrote: “I got used to hearing this kind of ignorance growing up and yes, into adulthood… but not from a high-ranking education leader.

“It’s 2022. Come on.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, former director-advisor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund, tweeted: “The professor smiling and nodding next to the chancellor and the one smiling behind him – have they issued any apologies?

“What’s going on in Purdue Northwest? … This is a question for the Supervisory Board.”

Keon apologized for his comments. In a statement on Wednesday, he said: “I made a comment that was offensive and insensitive. I am truly sorry for my unplanned, off-the-cuff response to another speaker, as my words have caused confusion, pain, and anger.

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“We are all human. I made a mistake and I assure you that it was not my intention to be offensive and my comments do not reflect my personal or our institutional values…I will learn from this and assure you that Purdue Northwest and I will take action to prevent such avoid missteps in the future.”

Not everyone was convinced.

I fill wrote: “The ‘apology’ – ‘I didn’t mean to offend. We are all human. I made a mistake’ is wholly inadequate. Is the Purdue board satisfied with this as the end of the matter when the Chancellor of Purdue Northwest disgraces the school in this way?

Grace Meng, vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said: “This fabricated and false apology for what he described as a ‘mistake’ is a farce. Further action needs to be taken – was this the first time he or Purdue has dealt with their students and the AAPI [Asian American Pacific Islander] community this way?”



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