A Florida professor who was fired over tweets criticizing systemic racism during the summer of 2020 is suing the university board of trustees.
Charles Negy filed the lawsuit on Thursday alleging that University of Central Florida (UCF) Board of Trustees violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, engaged in negligence and abuse of process and imposed emotional distress when the university fired him in 2021 after a months-long investigation into his career, the lawsuit reads. UCF began the investigation after several protests and an online campaign called on the university to terminate his employment after he tweeted several posts that black individuals are not “systematically oppressed” in the United States between May 29 and June 3, 2020.
“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?,” one tweet, which has since been deleted, read, according to Legal Insurrection.
Prof. Charles Negy @CharlesNegy, Investigated and Fired After Tweets Disputing Systemic Racism, Files Federal Lawsuit Against U. Central Florida, rep by @samk_harris https://t.co/eOBdRAFKiZ
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) March 16, 2023
A second tweet read, “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.”
An arbitrator ruled in May 2022 that the UCF did not show “just cause” in firing Negy and ordered the institution to reinstate him with back pay and benefits, according to the lawsuit. The order did not “compensate Negy for the massive lost 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.”
Negy seeks a declaration that UCF violated his right to free speech, an injunction prohibiting retaliation for protected speech and monetary damages, according to the lawsuit.
UCF and the law firm representing Negy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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