FACT-CHECK: Did US University React to Professor Anya’s Tweet on Queen Elizabeth?
Focus: Recently Uju Anya, a Nigerian-born Professor based in the US, mocked Queen Elizabeth II just hours before her death, calling the ailing Queen the head of a ‘thieving, raping, genocidal empire.’
Anya is an ‘anti racist’ teacher and associate professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The board of the university where she lectures has also issued out a statement over Professor Uju Anya’s tweet.
While the world was mourning the Queen and tributes were pouring from different corners, Anya insisted on hating Queen Elizabeth 11 despite a massive outrage generated by her controversial post.
Twitter has removed a series of vile tweets written by the critical race theory professor
Uju accused Queen Elizabeth II‘s of sponsoring the “genocide” that led to her family being displaced during a civil war between Nigeria and Biafra, separatist movement.
Anya referenced the alleged role of the British empire in supplying the Nigerian government with arms and ammunition during the Biafran war which spanned 1967 – 1970.
Her post attracted a flurry of reactions including criticisms, backlash and even supports.
Insights: PRNigeria checked the verified tweeter handle of Carnegie Mellon University and found out that it had put out a statement on the matter.
It tweeted thus:
“We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”
There are several media reports on the condemnation including that of Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos who opposed the comment by the Nigerian-born US lecturer.
“This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow,” Bezos tweeted in response.
However, Carnegie Mellon University has yet to indicate whether it will take any disciplinary action against a linguistics professor.
However, experts think that Anya’s outburst has put the university between a rock and a hard place — the competing forces of “cancel culture” and the “legal ramifications” of firing or suspending a professor.
“It’s more of a contractual impediment,” Scott Schneider, partner at the law firm of Husch Blackwell in Austin, Texas, told The Post. It is likely that Anya’s contract includes free speech protections that do not permit the school to terminate her for comments she makes on social media, Schneider said.
But Zeeshan Aleem, an MSNBC Opinion Columnist think Carnegies condemnation of the Professors viral tweet is troubling.
In a column he wrote for his platform, he said this is so because, “universities almost never issue statements like this because the very premise of a university is to serve as a bastion of independent thinking and provide a forum for intellectual free-for-alls.”
Conclusion: It is true that there have been various outburst against the linguistic professor, including from her employer, Carnegie Mellon University and Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, for what is publicly perceived as an unguarded expression from her.
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