A UCF professor’s controversial tweets that claim black privilege exists prompted the UCF community to call for his firing with the Twitter hashtags #UCFireHim and #UCFFireHim.
Charles Negy, an associate professor in UCF’s Psychology Department, said in a Twitter statement to Knight News that he does not represent UCF in his tweets and invites an exchange of ideas — he also said he has a legal right to express his views and raise questions.
“Here’s a suggestion to those who think they are being ‘screwed’ and oppressed in the U.S.: Stay in school. Be the best student possible. Avoid crime. Avoid gangs. Avoid unwanted pregnancy. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Amazing what a little common sense can do you for your destiny,” Negy wrote in a tweet.
Knight News has reached out to UCF for comment on Negy’s tweets and the outrage it sparked. UCF has not directly responded to Knight News but said in a Thursday tweet it is aware Negy’s personal Twitter posts. Knight News is actively working to learn more information.
UCF has also sent general messages on its stance on racism over the last few days.
The Psychology Department in which Negy teaches is one of many programs within the College of Sciences at UCF.
Tosha Dupras, interim dean of the College of Sciences, said in a Wednesday universitywide statement that she condemns hatred in any form.
“It is my stance as the leader of the college, that I am committed to providing a safe environment for individuals of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation and religious beliefs,” Dupras said in the statement. “The College of Sciences strives to be a welcoming community of inclusivity where we can work, learn and interact with each other in a safe space.”
Knight News attempted to connect with Negy by phone, but he was unwilling to speak.
On Wednesday, UCF President Alexander Cartwright said in a universitywide statement that systemic racism, sexism, homophobia and other hateful ideologies seek to deny shared humanity and must be called out and confronted. Cartwright said they do not reflect the values of the UCF community.
In 2012, Negy’s email to his cross-cultural psychology class — where he said students who proclaimed that Christianity is the most valid religion displayed religious bigotry — was posted to Reddit and gained national attention.
Negy’s research website states he “examines [how] variables such as race, ethnicity, culture, acculturation, gender, social class, and sexual orientation influence people’s attitudes and behaviors” as part of his research.
A Change.org petition has been started asking for the university to start an investigation into Negy. The petition asks university leaders to start solving social injustices by seeking more diverse faculty and staff, and to create a diversity and equity plan, among other things.
This article has been updated with UCF’s Twitter post acknowledging Charles Negy’s tweets. Knight News will continue to update this article with new information. Check back for updates.