College Fires Professor Who Said Otto Warmbier ‘Deserved’ to Die Because He Was a ‘Young, Rich Clueless, White Male’
Chris Pleasance and Abigail Miller, Daily Mail, June 26, 2017
The University of Delaware has cut ties with a part-time professor who said Otto Warmbier ‘deserved’ to die for stealing a poster in North Korea.
Katherine Dettwyler, who taught anthropology at the university, caused outrage with a since-deleted Facebook post in which she said Warmbier ‘grew up thinking he could get away with anything.’
She accused the University of Virginia student of having the ‘typical mindset of a lot of young, rich, clueless males who come into my classes’ adding that he had ‘acted like a spoiled, naive, arrogant, US college student who has never had to face the consequences of his actions.’
Dettwyler was not employed by the university at the time she made her statement, a spokesman said, and they will not be renewing her contract in the future.
A spokesman had previously condemned Dettwyler’s statement, saying it did ‘not reflect the values or position of the university.’
‘Our sympathies are with the Wambier family,’ the statement added.
Otto Warmbier died on Monday, less than a week after he was returned from North Korea in a coma.
He was imprisoned there for 17 months while on a school trip in January 2016, accused of stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
While Warmbier’s family was dealing with the grief of never speaking to their son again, the professor eviscerated his memory online.
‘These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn’t think they’d really have to read and study the material to get a good grade. His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted,’ the post read.
The post quickly sparked anger on social media, with many people sharing it with the school and calling for the University to fire her. On Friday, the University of Delaware released a statement in response to the adjunct-professor’s remarks
‘Maybe in 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,’ she continued.
On Friday, the University of Delaware released a statement in response to the adjunct-professor’s remarks, which reads: ‘We condemn any and all messages that endorse hate and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered.
‘The University of Delaware values respect and civility and we are committed to global education and study abroad; therefore we find these comments particularly distressing and inconsistent with our values. Our sympathies are with the Warmbier family.’
The University also replied to a tweet by Ann Coulter and Paul Joseph Watson of the conservative news site ‘Prison Planet’ who asked if it condemned the professor’s comments.
The tweet was shared by thousands, many of whom said Dettwyler should either resign or be fired. Some people even said they would not send their children to the University of Delaware following the remarks.
The University’s student government also issued a statement Friday, according to the New York Daily News, which says: ‘While we are supporters of free speech, we believe that the comments made by Dettwyler are assumptive and offensive.
‘It is not our duty to make assumptions on the case of Otto Warmbier without all the facts necessary, but we believe that stating he deserved death is highly inappropriate and lacks both professionalism and empathy.’
A funeral for the 22-year-old was held in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio, on Thursday.