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Florida professor cites 'black privilege' amid George Floyd protests, prompting calls for his firing

University of Central Florida Professor Charles Negy is the author of "White Shaming: Bullying based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling, and Ignorance."
Charles Negy
University of Central Florida psychology professor Charles Negy reads from a letter complaining about his teaching on Aug. 23, 2012.George Skene / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

University of Central Florida students and others on social media are calling for the firing of a psychology professor at the school who is citing "black privilege" in tweets amid the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology at the university, has made his views known in the past. He is the author of "White Shaming: Bullying based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling, and Ignorance," which, according to its description, asserts that "white Americans and white culture frequently are under siege for a host of transgressions, ranging from colonialism to slavery, Jim Crow laws to racism, and from microaggressions to white privilege."

Negy has been very active on Twitter since the death of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 and the protests across the U.S. and around the world since. A university spokesman confirmed that the Twitter profile belongs to the professor.

"Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, 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," said one tweet on Wednesday.

"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 "systematic racism" exists?" said another tweet the same day.

Negy also retweeted posts about a white woman who called police on a black man in Central Park who had asked her to put her dog on a leash and about Tessa Majors' killing in December in New York City.

"This is the most perverse and bizarre country in the world," the professor wrote. "Black teens needlessly stab to death a white college student and no one cares. NO ONE cares. When a white person (cop or Georgia rednecks) kill a black man (which certainly were awful), the world comes to an end."

A petition is calling for Negy to be fired from the Orlando-based university, where, according to the school, 47.8 percent of students are minorities.

People also called for Negy's firing using the hashtag #UCFfirehim on Twitter.

Negy, in an email, told NBC News that "I am pro-Black, pro-Hispanic, pro-Asian, AND pro-White. The lives of black people matter as much as the lives of anyone else in this country. In my mind, everyone is equal. And that means no group is above scrutiny. ... My support and belief in the humanity of all ethnic groups does not mean I must endorse what I perceive as misguided and even draconian tactics of certain political organizations, such as BLM."

"The timing of my controversial views that have been posted on twitter recently was poor, perhaps, but my views were not addressing the sadistic murder of George Floyd. ... My tweets are not about George Floyd. We all agree: he was murdered viciously by a sadistic man. We all hope all four officers face justice," Negy wrote. "I'm addressing other issues that I think ought to be discussed if we're ever going to make progress on race relations."

The school on May 29 ran a campus news piece titled "Now Is Our Time to be Actively Anti-Racist," and a June 2 message from President Alexander N. Cartwright declared "Our Future Is Inclusion."

In a tweet Thursday morning, a statement from the school said: "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."

A university spokesman said more information was expected later Thursday.