#Florida professor under investigation over ‘black privilege’ tweets

Florida professor under investigation over ‘black privilege’ tweets

June 4, 2020 | 3:52pm

A Florida professor who cited “black privilege” among several controversial posts about race amid the national protests over George Floyd’s death is being investigated over the messages, school officials said.

Recent tweets on the personal account of Charles Negy — a University of Central Florida associate psychology professor and author of “White Shaming: Bullying Based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling and Ignorance” — were being evaluated by school officials Thursday after students and alumni called for his ouster.

“Being actively anti-racist means calling out and confronting racist comments,” UCF said in statement Thursday. “We are aware of Charles Negy’s recent personal Twitter posts, which are completely counter to UCF’s values.”

Officials at the public university in Orlando were reviewing the matter while “being mindful of the First Amendment,” the statement continued.

In separate tweets Wednesday, Negy cited “black privilege” in one, while directly comparing African Americans and Asian Americans in another.

“Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege,” Negy tweeted. “But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback.”

In another, Negy tweeted: “Sincere question: If Afr. 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 ‘systemic racism’ exists?”

The professor’s tweets were protected as of Thursday afternoon, meaning users had to request access from him to view his posts.

Negy, meanwhile, acknowledged Thursday that his views are controversial, but insisted he’s protected by the First Amendment, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

“That’s the potential beauty of it,” he wrote the newspaper in an email.

Negy joined UCF in 1998 after earning his doctorate from Texas A&M University, according to his university webpage. He told the Sentinel he was unsure if UCF launched a formal investigation into his posts, although he insisted he wasn’t worried about its possible outcome.

“[Administrators know] that despite how unpopular some of my views are with some folks, they must actively protest the U.S. Constitution’s free speech,” Negy told the newspaper.

In addition to people calling for Negy’s firing with a #UCFfirehim hashtag on Twitter, more than 2,800 people have signed an online petition for him to be let go as of Thursday.


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