Laney College in Oakland confirmed that they are aware of allegations of “racist and xenophobic messages” from one of their faculty members about the pronunciation of a student’s name.
According to an email chain, which was later posted onto social media, professor Matthew Hubbard had asked student Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen to change her name as it “sounds like an insult” in English.
“Your name in English sounds like F**k Boy,” Hubbard adds. “If I lived i Vietnam and my name in your language sounded like Eat a D**k, I would change it to avoid embarrassment both on my part and on the part of the people who had to say it.
“I understand you are offended, but you need to understand your name is an offensive sound in my language.”
The emails were posted onto Instagram by the student’s sister along with a video of the professor only referring to the student as P Nguyen.
“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.
“I love that my parents want to keep my culture alive by keeping our Vietnamese name. If you can’t say it then ask.”