Professor Says He's Sorry for Offending Wisconsin's Hmong Community

February 24, 2007

A law professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison was in full apology mode this week, as he attempted to repair the damage caused by his classroom remarks that many Hmong students and others called offensive stereotypes, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The professor, Leonard Kaplan, a 33-year veteran of the law faculty, was trying to explain how the American legal system can hurt minority groups like the Hmong, according to the law school’s dean, Kenneth Davis, who also apologized.

In the incident, Mr. Kaplan seemed to say that the Hmong people had a penchant for criminal violence, according to The Capital Times. Many Hmong people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group that was allied with American forces during the Vietnam War, settled in Wisconsin after the war, and a recent murder case inflamed racial tensions there.