A video posted of a professor from a Huntington Beach college in California’s famous Orange County unleashing a racist tirade has drawn widespread outrage, with her employer pledging to rectify the situation.
Taren Olson, a professor in counselling at Golden West College was shown telling an Asian American couple to “go back to your home country” in a video posted to Facebook by Tony Kao. The video has been viewed more than 700,000 times since being posted a fortnight ago.
“I want to extend my sincere apology for the hurtful comments made in public by one of our instructors. I want to assure the community that these comments do not reflect the values of our College,” said Golden West in a statement posted to Facebook.
“You’re going to take my photo now. Wow, you disgust me,” Olson is shown saying as she storms off in the 29 second clip. “I want you to tell everyone why you told us to go back to our home country,” asks Kao, who wrote that the hurtful comments from Olson were unprovoked.
“You need to go back to your home country,” she replies. “It’s unbelievable … when we’re born and raised in the United States and you told me to go back to our own country,” says Kao, to which Olson replies: “I never voted … for you [to come here].”
California is one of the US’ most racially diverse states and is home to its largest Asian population of more than 6 million people.
“We want ALL students to feel welcome and safe at our College and in our community,” added Golden West’s statement.
“We regularly engage our faculty and staff in training to increase equitable teaching practices, as well as provide numerous cultural and club activities which create safe spaces for students, faculty, and staff.”
The LA Times quoted Coast Community College District officials as saying that “We’re very aware the community has deep concerns, and we’re not going to let this die.”
“We’re looking at past interactions with students and staff to see if it relates to the comments made on the video.”
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