Penn State Prof Claims Affirmative Action Office Told Him That ‘There Is A Problem With The White Race’

Haika Mrema | June 29, 2023
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Former Penn State University at Abington professor Zack De Piero has resigned and filed a lawsuit against the school for alleged “discrimination against him on the basis of race” and the university’s “retaliation” against Piero for “condemning Defendants’ race-based dogma and discrimination.” 

A four-year English and composition professor at Penn State, De Piero claims he chose to resign because he was “forced to work in an abusive environment.” 

“I envisioned a long, productive career at Penn State as a composition instructor and educational researcher, but the experiences of the past 2+ years have taught me that, at Penn State, I'm unable to stand up for essential principles — for civil rights, for workers' rights, or for educational excellence — without professional penalties being imposed,” De Piero stated in the lawsuit. 

Lawyers from the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) have listed multiple examples where Penn State discriminated against him for being white. 


“When he complained about the continuous stream of racial insults directed at white faculty in the writing department, the director of the Affirmative Action Office told him that ‘There is a problem with the white race,’ that he should attend ‘antiracist’ workshops ‘until you get it,’ and that he might have mental health issues,” the lawsuit reads. 

Additionally, De Piero and all other “writing program faculty” were told to watch racially extreme training videos with titles like “White Teachers Are a Problem” where featured speaker Asao Inoue targeted his “white colleagues” calling them the problem when speaking about “white supremacy.”  

De Piero claims he was also forced to “ensure consistent grades for students across ‘color line[s]’” as a requirement of his profession, according to the lawsuit. Essentially, the university told Piero to overlook failing academic performances from Black and Hispanic students for the betterment of “social justice” and “antiracism.” 

Related: Massachusetts College Tells Students To Drop 'Gendered' Language Like 'Mother/Father'

The lawsuit states, “Not only was Penn State deliberately indifferent to the racially hostile environment for De Piero, Penn State actively treated De Piero as the problem, suggesting mental health treatment and disciplining him for bullying when he dared to complain."

“As a result, De Piero’s only option to escape the hostile environment was to leave Penn State.”

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