A math professor from Laney College in Oakland, California was suspended after asking a student to anglicize her name because it ‘sounds like an insult in English.
Vietnamese student Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen believes she became a victim of discrimination when professor Matthew Hubbard told her that her name sounded like an ‘insult.’
Nguyen’s sister shared the exchange between her and the math professor on Instagram where it quickly went viral. Professor was immediately put on leave after the conversation was made public, the New York Times reported.
“Could you Anglicize your name. Phuc Bui sounds like an insult in English,” Hubbard wrote.
The student then replied: “Your request for me to “Anglicize” my name feels discriminatory and I will move forward with filing a complaint with the Title IX Office if you can not refer to me by my given birth name.”
But the professor went on and wrote: “Your name in English sounds like F*** Boy. If I lived in Vietnam and my name in your language sounded like Eat a D***, I would change it to avoid embarrassment both on my part and on the part of the people who has to say it.
“I understand you are offended, but you need to understand your name is an offensive sound in my language.”
Nguyen’s sister shared the exchange on Instagram and wrote: “So I’m disgusted and disappointed. Honestly, I really liked laney college but this teacher had the ignorance and audacity to tell my sister to anglicized her name is disgusting. Anglicized means to make English in form or character.
“As a professor, he should be trying to learn her name and culture and not try to white wash her name. My sister graduated high school thinking she can finally be able to use her name. But this is fucking disgusting. I really hate cussing on social media but the fact that this white professor had the audacity to ask her to make her name easier is disgusting.
“If you read the last page, he’s calling my sister’s name an embarrassment and that it’s sounds like an insult. I love that my parents want to keep my culture alive by keeping our Vietnamese name.
“If you can’t say it then ask. In addition, Hubbard said that English is his language. But also forgot that my sister also spoke English and that’s not his language.”
The President of Laney College, Tammeil Gilkerson, said that the professor was placed on administrative leave. “While our mission has been bold and unrelenting, we also recognize that our college and its community is a reflection of broader society, and we must actively fight ignorance with education.
“We do not tolerate racism, discrimination, or oppression of any kind.”
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