A University of Tampa professor was fired Tuesday after tweeting the catastrophes caused by Hurricane Harvey was “instant karma” for the people of Texas.
Kenneth Storey, a visiting sociology professor at UT, set of a social media firestorm after he tweeted the following on Sunday evening:
“I don’t believe in instant karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them.”
In a following tweet, he said that “good people” in states like Texas and Florida “need to do more to stop the evil their state pushes.” “I’m only blaming those who support the GOP there,” Storey continued.
Storey’s tweets were widely circulated on social media with people calling for his dismissal. On Tuesday afternoon the University of Tampa tweeted out a statement that Storey was fired over his controversial comments.
Storey spoke to WFTS saying he never meant to offend anyone and is fearful for his life after receiving numerous death threats.
“I was referring to the GOP denial of climate change science and push to decrease funds from agencies that can help in a time like this. I hope all affected by the storm are safe and recover quickly. I also hope this helps the GOP realize the need to support climate change research and put in place better funding for agencies like NOAA and FEMA,” Storey’s statement read.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Harvey’s cause will be taken up by a civil liberties group who feels the university stifled Storey’s freedom of speech and “caved” to the pressure of “social media.”
“Other faculty members are going to think twice before speaking publicly, and that’s to the detriment of everybody,” Ari Cohn, an attorney with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said in an interview with the outlet