UPDATE: Dettwyler has been fired.
A college anthropology professor at the University of Delaware believes that Otto Warmbier, the 21-year-old American who was detained in North Korea, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a political poster and who died shortly after being returned to America with “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain,” got what he deserved.
Don’t take our word for it, take adjunct professor Kathy Dettwyler’s:
The post, which has since been taken down along with Dettwyler’s account, reads as follows:
Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved? He went to North Korea for f*** sake, and then acted like a spoiled, naive, arrogant, US college student who never had to face the consequences of his actions. I see him crying at his sentencing hearing and think ‘What did you expect?’ How about the moments of thought give to all the other people in North Korea who are suffering under the repressive government there? Just because they are north Koreans, and not US citizens, we shouldn’t care about them?
I’ve spent my life teaching folks just like Otto (I’m a 62 year old college professor of anthropology) and Otto is typical of the mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueles (sic) males who come into my classes.
These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn’t think they’d really have to read and study the material to get a good grade. They simply deserve a good grade for being who they are. Or instead of crying, they bluster and threaten their female professors. His parents, ultimately, are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted.
Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it’s Otto’s parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives.
She also left the comment in conservative website National Review’s comment section.
Dettwyler, pictured below, could have stopped right after she asked, “Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?”
Yes, it is wrong.
According to the News Journal, Dettwyler didn’t stop there. She said that Warmbier’s demise was due to a “typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes.”
“These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn’t think they’d really have to read and study the material to get a good grade,” she said. “His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted. Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women. Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it’s Ottos’ parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives.”
The University of Delaware has responded with a statement on Dettwyler:
The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware. We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered.
The University of Delaware values respect and civility and we are committed to global education and study abroad; therefore we find these comments particularly distressing and inconsistent with our values. Our sympathies are with the Warmbier family.
While many on social media are calling for Dettwyler’s immediate firing, the school is saying, “We are not able to comment on the specifics of her employment. Personnel matters are confidential.”
The internet has hammered Dettwyler.
Perhaps Dettwyler would be better suited as an employee at the University of Unaware.
Dettwyler’s bio on Amazon says she has been “studying and/or teaching anthropology since 1973,” that she has taught at the Universities of Southern Mississippi, Texas A&M and Delaware, and that she “continues to speak and advocate for breastfeeding mothers and children at conferences around the world.”