A Call for the Peralta Community College District to Terminate Matthew Hubbard

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To the Peralta Federation of Teachers and the Peralta Board of Trustees,

We, the friends, family, allies, and members of the Peralta Colleges community, call on the Peralta Federation of Teachers and the Peralta Board of Trustees to take swift and appropriate action in the case of Laney College professor Matthew Hubbard for his racist actions against Laney student Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen.

More than 33% of Laney’s student body identify as Asian or Pacific Islander and 84% are non-white. It is inexcusable that any professor in a community as diverse as Laney’s would be unwilling to learn the pronunciation of a student’s name or would try to force a student to go by any name other than their own. There is no place for this level of ignorance in any modern school setting and Mr. Hubbard has demonstrated that he does not deserve the privilege of teaching the brilliant and diverse student body that makes Laney what it is.

Hubbard’s email exchange showed a blatant disregard for Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen’s cultural identity and is yet another sign of the drastic, systemic changes required of us as a society in order to deconstruct institutionalized racism. In order to make these systemic changes with the diligence they require, the governing bodies of our country’s higher education system need to make explicitly clear that racist speech and actions by professors, or other faculty, toward students or fellow faculty members will not be tolerated.

Mr. Hubbard’s actions against the Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen violate the Peralta Board of Trustees Policy 3430 Prohibition Of Harassment and his reputation at Laney College has shown that he is not fit to represent the College. Therefore, should an investigation by the district find that Mr. Hubbard did send racist emails to his student, we urge the Peralta Federation of Teachers and Peralta Board of Trustees to terminate Mr. Hubbard from his position immediately.

Mr. Hubbard’s termination will send a clear message to the administration, faculty and students of the Peralta Community College District that district leadership will not tolerate bigotry in any form. During this reckoning of our country’s racist history and systemic bigotry, we need these loud and clear messages more than ever before.