University professor investigated over 'black privilege' tweet

Tweet from psychology professor Charles Negy sparks condemnation and calls for University of Central Florida to fire him

A professor at the University of Central Florida is being investigated by the school after tweeting comments widely condemned as racist. 

Professor Charles Negy is a tenured associate professor of psychology at UCF, and a frequent commentator. In a tweet Wednesday he sparked criticism and a #UCFFireHim hashtag for a tweet on “black privilege”. 

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

It comes as the US has been rocked by mass anti-racism protests in dozens of cities and towns across the country sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May, the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky in March, the recent killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes in Georgia, and many others.

Negy’s tweet linked to a story by an American commentator Steve Sailer. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate speech, describes Sailer as an “extremist” who promotes crude racial stereotypes and is the founder of a “neo-eugenic online discussion forum”.

Negy is the author of White Shaming: Bullying Based on Prejudice Virtue-signaling and Ignorance, which, according to a synopsis, argues white people are shamed for America’s history of systemic racism, and that this is a form of bullying. 

“The bullying reflects shamers’ unacknowledged hostility and prejudice toward Whites,” the synopsis reads, “as well as shamers’ need to feel morally superior (aka virtue-signaling) and their ignorance of world history and other cultures.” 

Negy was the subject of discussion inside higher education circles in 2012, when he scolded students for arguing in favor of Christian supremacy. He said the arguments came from “typically … first-generation college students” who did not understand or “appreciate the purpose of a university”.

The University of Central Florida has more than 69,000 enrolled students.

It wrote in a tweet: “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.”


Jessica Glenza

The GuardianTramp

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