A University of Central Florida professor, who was temporarily fired after tweeting "Black privilege is real" and other controversial racial remarks, is suing the school for violating his constitutional rights.
In a lawsuit, tenured professor Charles Negy details his falling out with UCF after posting a series of tweets that alleged Black people didn't face systemic oppression in the U.S, per Florida Politics.
“Black privilege is real,” Negy claimed in one Tweet.
In the fallout of the tweets, Negy became “the target of a Twitter mob that demanded he be fired” and had to seek police protection following protests on campus and at his home, according to the suit.
“Forbidden by the First Amendment to explicitly fire him for his tweets, UCF administrators publicly solicited people to come forward with complaints of discrimination and harassment against Professor Negy and then launched a malicious, pretextual investigation into every aspect of his 22-year career at the university,” the lawsuit states.
Negy said he was the subject of a school investigation that lasted for seven months and resulted in his immediate termination.
“As a result of this sudden loss of income, Negy — who is the sole caretaker of his mentally and physically disabled brother — was forced to sell his home and move in with a relative,” per the suit.
The UCF professor was reinstated last year after an arbitrator ruled that the university didn't show just cause in his firing.
Despite receiving back pay and benefits, Negy's lawsuit argues: “The award cannot compensate Negy for the massive loss he incurred on the sale of his home; for the out-of-pocket medical expenses he faced after UCF’s destruction of his life led him to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression; or for the severe emotional distress he suffered for nearly two years at the hands of UCF administrators who, because they disliked his political views, treated him as less than human.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, UCF officials said Negy wasn't fired because of the tweets, but due to multiple issues, including the professor creating a hostile work environment.
At the time of the independent arbitrator's ruling to reinstate him, the university said in a statement: “UCF stands by the actions taken following a thorough investigation that found repeated misconduct in Professor Negy’s classroom, including imposing his views about religion, sex and race. However, we are obligated to follow the arbitrator’s ruling.”
Negy, who identifies as Hispanic and gay in his lawsuit, claims he was "persecuted" by the university for his views.
“When Charles Negy dared to express views at odds with the university’s sacred orthodoxies, UCF persecuted him with a relentlessness and a cruelty that is rare even among university administrations,” his attorney Samantha Harris said in a statement.
The professor named UCF trustees, school President Alexander Cartwright, and other officials in his lawsuit.
The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.