Wellesley, MA – A private business college has fired a professor who posted on Facebook that Iran should chose 52 American sites as bombing targets including the homes of the Kardashian family.
Professor Asheen Phansey was fired from Babson College and posting the comment on his own personal Facebook page, according to WSBK.
The professor later said that his post was just a bad attempt at humor.
Phansey’s Facebook comment was in response to President Trump’s tweet threatening to attack 52 sites in Iran if the country threatened retaliation over the assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.
President Trump tweeted that many of the targets would be of cultural significance. However, the president’s advisors stated that wasn’t going to happen, according to WSBK.
Phansey’s Facebook post was an apparent attempt to mock the "beloved American cultural heritage" being places such as the Kardashian residence and the Mall of America.
But Babson College didn’t find it humorous.
“Babson College condemns any type of threatening words or actions condoning violence or hate,” the college stated, according to WSBK.
Phansey, who was born in America, deleted the Facebook post. He was at first suspended by the college and later fired.
“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 school stated, according to WSBK. “Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee. As we have previously stated, Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”
Phansey released a statement on Thursday.
“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 state, according to WSBK.
“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,” he said.
He also sent a statement to WCVB which said, “I regret my bad attempt at humor. As an American, born and raised, I was trying to juxtapose our ‘cultural sites’ with ancient Iranian churches and mosques. I am completely opposed to violence and would never advocate it by anyone. I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat. I condemn all acts of violence. I am particularly sorry to cause any harm or alarm for my colleagues at Babson, my beloved alma mater, and the place where I have enjoyed teaching students and serving as its sustainability director.”
Phansey also apologized via his attorney.
“I am sorry that my sloppy humor was read as a threat,” he said, according to WSBK.