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Korean-American Professor Claims He was Forced to Teach Math Because ‘Asians Are Good At Math’


A professor from Korea sued a university, claiming that its officials forced him to teach math because "Asians are good at math," news reports say.

Seung-Whan Choi, a Korean-American international relations professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, has filed a lawsuit against the school for alleged discrimination because of his ethnicity, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Choi claimed he was "systematically harassed" by his peers and that he was forced to teach subjects he wasn't qualified to teach, the Huffington Post reported. He was denied fair raises unlike his peers, and was expected to be "very submissive" to his department head, who is white-American.

Moreover, the lawsuit claims that department officials forced him to teach a statistics class because "Asians, especially Koreans, are very good" at math. Additionally, Choi claims he was pressured into teaching a class in Korean politics, a field he has had no formal training in.

In his lawsuit, Choi also claimed that his colleagues have accused him of lacking in academic contributions and not providing sufficient service to the department. A quick check of Choi's curriculum vitae which is posted in UIC's website, however, reveals that he authored two books in 2016 and had 35 scholarly articles published.

Choi said his department officials "don't like Korean-Americans," and added that he does not have any future with the department. He said he is frustrated and at times doesn't want to go to work sometimes because of the "dirty politics" in the department.

He also claims that the situation has affected him badly, hurting his ability to be a good husband and father. He suffered from physical illnesses, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.

Choi believes that the years of discrimination was a result of a complaint he filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010 after he was fired for an undisclosed reason. After the complaint was filed, he was reinstated in 2011 but was treated unfairly ever since, the lawsuit claims.

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