Pro­fes­sor’s post on Warm­bier leads to dis­missal

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

The Univer­sity of Delaware has dropped an ad­junct an­thro­pol­ogy pro­fes­sor af­ter she said that Otto Warm­bier, who died af­ter be­ing im­pris­oned in North Korea, “got ex­actly what he de­served” as a “clue­less white male.”

“The Univer­sity of Delaware has an­nounced that Kather­ine Det­twyler, who last taught in the spring as an ad­junct fac­ulty mem­ber, will not be re­hired to teach at the Univer­sity in the fu­ture,” the school said in a state­ment.

Ms. Det­twyler was not em­ployed by the univer­sity when she posted a June 21 com­ment blast­ing the 22-year-old Warm­bier, who died June 19 af­ter suf­fer­ing a se­vere brain in­jury as he served a 15-year sen­tence of hard la­bor for re­mov­ing a pro­pa­ganda poster at his ho­tel.

“Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warm­bier got ex­actly what he de­served?” asked Ms. Det­twyler in her since-deleted Face­book post, cap­tured on Cam­pus Re­form.

She said Mr. Warm­bier, who was vis­it­ing the coun­try with a group as a tourist, “acted like a spoiled, naïve, ar­ro­gant US col­lege stu­dent who had never had to face the con­se­quences of his ac­tions,” and blamed his par­ents.

“His par­ents, ul­ti­mately, are to blame for his grow­ing up think­ing he could get away with what­ever he wanted,” Ms. Det­twyler said. “Maybe the US, where young, white, rich, clue­less white males rou­tinely get away with rap­ing women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it’s Otto’s par­ents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives.”

The post touched off a firestorm on so­cial me­dia that in­cluded calls for her fir­ing. The Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion re­leased a state­ment call­ing her com­ments “as­sump­tive and of­fen­sive,” ac­cord­ing to the Univer­sity of Delaware Re­view.

In its state­ment, the univer­sity said that her re­marks “in no way re­flect the val­ues or po­si­tion of the Univer­sity of Delaware.”

“The Univer­sity of Delaware is com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing our stu­dents, and our com­mu­nity, with an in­clu­sive and sup­port­ive at­mos­phere char­ac­ter­ized by re­spect and ci­vil­ity,” said the state­ment.


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