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15th Sep 2022

Controversial professor who wished Queen ‘excruciating’ death says she will not get fired

April Curtin

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 24: Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the state banquet in her honour at Schloss Bellevue palace on the second of the royal couple's four-day visit to Germany on June 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The Queen and Prince Philip are scheduled to visit Berlin, Frankfurt and the concentration camp memorial at Bergen-Belsen during their trip, which is their first to Germany since 2004. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The university still didn’t exactly approve

A university professor who hoped for Queen Elizabeth II to suffer an “excruciating” death has confirmed that she will not lose her job, despite receiving huge backlash.

Uju Anya, professor of linguistics and race at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shared the Tweet on Thursday, September 8, just hours before the Queen’s death was officially confirmed.

“I hear the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” she wrote, “May her pain be excruciating.”

The Tweet has since been removed, seemingly because it violated the platform’s rules.

But it clearly did the rounds before then, as it even caught the attention of Amazon giant Jeff Bezos, who wrote: “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow.”

To which Prof Anya responded: “May everyone you and your merciless greed have harmed in this world remember you as fondly as I remember my colonisers.”

Her original Tweet was then deleted, but in a follow-up later the same day, Prof Anya wrote: “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.”

The professor’s Tweet sparked debate amongst the tens of thousands who rushed to comment in response. While over 100,000 people liked the Tweet, some deeming her a “hero”, others felt her comments were disrespectful and called for her to be fired.

Posting on Twitter on Tuesday, Prof Anya said that, while university leaders showed “very clearly” they did not approve of her speech, they continue to support her freedom of expression on social media.

She said from what she has been told, her job is not in jeopardy, and that she is not “in battle” with the university where she works, sharing how she had received letters of support from both students and staff.

“I am wanted and I belong here,” she added.

Posting on Twitter, a spokesperson for Carnegie Mellon University wrote: “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account.

“Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”

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