The University of Central Florida (UCF) has fired a professor after his controversial tweet about “black privilege” last year during the Black Lives Matter protests led to widespread calls for his termination.
Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology at UCF, tweeted, “Black privilege is real: Besides affirmative action, special scholarships, and others set aside, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege.”
In another tweet, he wrote, “If African Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?”
The university was quick to clarify with a counter tweet apologizing for the professor’s behavior clarifying that they run “completely counter to UCF’s values.”
Being actively anti-racist means calling out and confronting racist comments. We are aware of Charles Negy’s recent personal Twitter posts, which are completely counter to UCF’s values. We are reviewing this matter further while being mindful of the First Amendment.
— UCF 😷 (@UCF) June 4, 2020
UCF was forced to launch an investigation into Professor Negy’s classroom conduct after a group of students and faculty gathered on the campus last summer demanding his immediate termination.
The probe revealed Negy was creating a “hostile” environment for students by trying to deter them from filing complaints against him. The professor also failed to report a sexual harassment case reported by one of his female students against a teaching assistant.
UCF has accused Professor Negy of “discriminatory harassment” and has notified him of his termination, effective January 25.
“I disagree with almost all of the allegations, and that’s all I can say right now,” the professor told Orlando Sentinel.
Despite students and faculty members calling the posts racist, sexist, and transphobic, university spokesman Chad Binette clarified that Negy’s social media posts had no role in the university’s decision to fire him.
“None of the findings in the investigation are a result of Dr. Negy’s comments on Twitter, which are protected as free expression,” Binette explained, adding, “At UCF, we support the rights of everyone in our campus community to freely express their opinions, even those we do not support.”