College Fires Professor Who Joked Iran Should Make List of US Sites to Bomb
posted by R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter - Jan 10, 2020
A professor at a private Massachusetts college has been fired for a controversial Facebook post that jokingly urged Iran's supreme leader to make a list of American cultural sites that were worthy of bombing.
Asheen Phansey, who worked at Bobson College as the school's sustainability director, was suspended earlier this week while an investigation was conducted by the university. Phansey was fired on Friday, according to a statement from the school.
"Babson College conducted a prompt and thorough investigation related to a post shared on a staff member’s personal Facebook page that does not represent the values and culture of the College," the statement said. "Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee."
The post in question came after President Donald Trump tweeted he would strike cultural sites should Iran choose to retaliate against the U.S. for a drone strike that killed one of its top generals last week.
"In retaliation, Ayatollah Khomenei [sic] should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb," Phansey's now-deleted post read. "Um… Mall of America? Kardashian residence?"
Trump walked back those remarks on Tuesday after criticism that bombing Iranian cultural sites would be considered a war crime.
Phansey addressed his firing in a statement provided to local media, saying he was "disappointed and saddened" by the decision.
“I am disappointed and saddened that Babson has decided to abruptly terminate my 15-year relationship with the college just because people willfully misinterpreted a joke I made to my friends on Facebook," Phansey said. "I would have hoped that Babson, an institution of higher education that I love and to which I have given a great deal, would have defended and supported my right to free speech. Beyond my own situation, I am really concerned about what this portends for our ability as Americans to engage in political discourse without presuming the worst about each other."