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HomeEducation NewsJeff Bezos Criticized a Professor’s Tweet In regards to the Queen. Then...

Jeff Bezos Criticized a Professor’s Tweet In regards to the Queen. Then the College Condemned Her Feedback.

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After the British royal household introduced on Thursday that Queen Elizabeth II was sick, Uju Anya, an affiliate professor at Carnegie Mellon College, tweeted, “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is lastly dying. Could her ache be excruciating.”

Anya then went to show a three-hour graduate seminar, not anticipating what would occur subsequent.

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, noticed her tweet and responded with a judgment that unleashed a firestorm of criticism towards the Nigerian-born educational.

Amazon has donated $2 million to Carnegie Mellon in recent times, and its chief monetary officer, Brian Olsavsky, is an alum of the college. The Chronicle requested Carnegie Mellon if the college’s assertion was influenced by Bezos’ tweet. A spokesperson mentioned, “There may be merely no reality to that assumption.”

After the tweet on Thursday by the world’s second-wealthiest human, Anya’s went viral for a short while earlier than Twitter deleted it. The social-media community labeled her feedback as “inciting violence” and “focused harassment,” and locked her out of her account.

Carnegie Mellon condemned Anya’s feedback in a assertion on Thursday whereas additionally defending”free expression”:

Her tweet, Bezos’ response, and the college’s assertion generated lots of of posts on freedom of speech, donor relations, and on-line harassment.

Anya mentioned in an interview that Bezos had put a goal on her, shifting tens of millions of his followers to threaten her. “I needed to disable the ‘contact me’ button on my web site as a result of inside half a day there have been lots of of hatred messages,” she mentioned, describing the phrases as “probably the most violent you’ll be able to consider.”

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She mentioned she suspects her tweet was singled out due to her id.

“I caught his consideration due to who I’m. I’m Black, I’m a girl, queer, and left-leaning,” she mentioned. “Along with that, a few weeks again I attended a celebration the place I met Chris Smalls, the Black man who unionized Amazon. I took an image with him and I tweeted that image, calling him sensible and highly effective.” She added that she wasn’t suggesting that Bezos has any thought who she is. “However I’m positively positive the people who find themselves paid to comb Chris Smalls’s identify took word {that a} CMU professor was out socializing and selling the person who’s making a number of bother, preventing employee exploitation.”

For Anya, the Queen’s dying represents “the dying of an oppressor. Half of the planet was completely happy and rejoicing. The Irish dancing, the Indians jubilating,” she mentioned.

Anya mentioned she is descended from Nigeria’s Igbo individuals, who suffered mass casualties because of Britain’s function within the Nigerian civil battle. “My mother and father survived, however different relations weren’t as fortunate,” she mentioned.

“‘Colonizer,’ for me, will not be an summary idea or one thing I learn in historical past books,” Anya mentioned. “It’s my household’s historical past. A legacy of ache and direct trauma brought on by the British ruler.” She added that she doesn’t separate Queen Elizabeth II “from the choices of the federal government she supervised.”

Carnegie Mellon recruited her in a wave of hiring following George Floyd’s dying in 2020, Anya mentioned. She was employed, she mentioned, due to her work in vital race idea, vital race research, and decolonization.

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Amid the controversy surrounding her tweet, she acquired assist from many colleagues and college students throughout the nation, she mentioned, together with Carnegie Mellon’s Black Pupil Union. However Anya mentioned she understands why the college launched an announcement distancing itself from her phrases.

“They’re working a enterprise. However I additionally hope they perceive the place I got here from,” she mentioned. “I’m grateful that my college reiterated my proper to freedom of speech and expression.”

Timothy Verstynen, an affiliate professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon, mentioned that the college ought to create a social-media coverage for the college and implement it persistently.

“As a school member, what I discovered probably the most irritating was the inconsistency by which the college determined to make statements about what their workers put up on social media,” he mentioned. Verstynen identified that earlier this yr a Carnegie Mellon workers member posted feedback about affirmative motion that many discovered offensive, nevertheless it didn’t result in an announcement by the college.

“From my perspective, the college is extra fascinated by picture than software of ideas. Why did they select to talk up now?” he requested. “The one time they select to make an announcement about worker social media, it’s to a queer Black lady, not any of the opposite instances that school and workers made offensive feedback.”



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