Purdue University Northwest faculty are demanding Chancellor and CEO Thomas Keon to resign from his position after he mocked Asian languages during a commencement exercise.
Chancellor Keon a Victim of Woke Culture?
On Saturday, CEO and Chancellor Thomas Keon delivered a speech at a commencement exercise in Indiana attended by 833 students receiving their degrees.
Keon’s address at the conference took a unique spin. He referenced James Dedelow’s previous keynote speech, which included a discussion of an invented language used for the radio and within his family.
The chancellor then found himself the target of backlash after delivering a speech in which he attempted to mimic Asian languages, saying it was his “Asian version” of Dedelow’s remarks.
He failed to receive laughs from the crowd and has now been publicly condemned for perpetuating stereotypes towards Asians.
🔊🔊🔊 Caught On Tape
Purdue Northwest Chancellor mocks Asian language during commencement speech.
Staff behind him laughs.
Outrage prompts apology.#CNN pic.twitter.com/riUBGiyAn8
— shon gables (@shongables) December 17, 2022
In the following days, Purdue University attempted to defend Keon’s statements. Associate Vice Chancellor Kris Falzone said Keon was merely reacting to what the keynote speaker said and this was taken out of proportion.
However, others criticized the chancellor’s speech.
After the incident, U.S. Representative Grace Meng and the vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus stated in a press release that the racist imitation of Keon no doubt brought pain to the students and the faculty of the University.
Meng added they must keep calling out examples like this to keep it from becoming a norm in neighborhoods, schools, and the nation.
Purdue Publicly Apologized for His Actions
The university chancellor since then publicly apologized for his actions, rightfully stating it was an unintentional mistake, assuring the public that he did not intend to hurt anyone.
Keon further clarified that the comments he made during the speech do not reflect Purdue University’s institutional values or his personal values.
A chancellor at Purdue University has apologized after mocking Asian languages during a commencement ceremony speech.https://t.co/OVkDXzbBqJ
— NPR (@NPR) December 17, 2022
Keon pledges to address issues concerning the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with an interdisciplinary team, vowing further collaboration in meeting their demands.
He promises to meet directly with student government representatives for additional recourse.
Eight Purdue University Senate members released an open letter Friday, emphatically calling for the resignation of university president Mitch Keon, following his insensitive remark insulting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Causing “national and international outrage,” according to the statement, this inexcusable behavior not only went in direct conflict with Purdue’s values, but left many feeling disregarded at a time when racial injustice is already so rampant throughout society.
The open letter condemned Keon’s words, stating they are “not reflective” of Purdue’s core values – diversity and inclusiveness – while also accepting his apology.
While before standing at odds with each other over this incident, both Purdue faculty and students let it be known they won’t take these types of offenses lightly moving forward.