- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, Katherine Dettwyler, age 62, who said in a Facebook post that Otto Warmbier was a “spoiled” white boy who “got exactly what he deserved” — imprisonment in North Korea, leading to his death — has been fired.

Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you.

The firing is not really surprising. Her remarks, couched as they were in what she claimed were observances based on decades of experience as a teacher, were over-the-top and unnecessarily brutal.

Warmbier, to recall, was detained by North Korean authorities for the crime of theft — of a propaganda poster — in 2016, and shortly after sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. He was finally freed and sent back to the United States, but the 17 months he had spent in jail had taken their toll. He was in a coma with severe brain damage and died on June 19.

Of the incident, Dettwyler wrote on Facebook: “Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved? He went to North Korea, for f—‘s sake, and then acted like a spoiled, naive, arrogant, US college student who had never had to face the consequences of his actions.”

Is it wrong? Well, kind of. Nobody, after all, deserves to be tortured to the point of coma then death. No, not even 22-year-old white students who may be dumb, naive or any other number of unflattering names that can be affixed.

She went on: “Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueles[s] males who come into my classes. These are the same kids who cry about their grades, because they didn’t think they’re really have to read and study the material to get a good grade. They simply deserve a good grade for being who they are. Or instead of crying, they bluster and threaten their female professors.”

Dettwyler also pointed fingers of blame at Warmbier’s parents for letting their son think “he could get away with whatever he wanted,” absent consequences.

“Young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women” in the United States, she went on.

And Warmbier’s alleged criminal behavior — stealing a North Korea propaganda poster — is akin to those male students in America who “think nothing of raping drunk girls at frat parties and snorting cocaine, cheating on exams and threatening professors with physical violence,” Dettwyler continued.

Umm — well. It is a bit different, wouldn’t you say?

Stealing a poster — rape. It’s not exactly a potatoes-potatahotoes comparison.

So university officials fired her, saying she “will not be rehired to teach at the university in the future.”

Good riddance. Amid all the left-leaning protests on America’s campuses — all the fires and broken glass and clashes with police and opposition to conservative speakers — and amid all the administrative tolerance for such shows of violence, it’s nice to finally see a university act swiftly and with sanity. School officials, like students, have the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But schools have the right to react to that free speech, as well. And a professor who believes a student deserves to be imprisoned, tortured and beaten into a coma — and ultimately die — for the so-called crime of taking a poster, is simply unfit to teach.

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