A Professor Fired After Saying Iran Should Attack American Targets

The 52 cultural sites Phansey labeled as would-be targets included the Mall of America, and the home of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. 

Nick Aster_Screengrab via YouTube

An adjunct college professor at Babson College in Massachusetts has been fired after saying that Iran should attack American “cultural sites.” 

In a Facebook post after the killing of top Iranian general and commander of the notorious Kuds Force, Qassim Soleimani, college professor Asheen Phansey—of Indian, not Persian, descent—appeared to call for Iran to attack America in retaliation.

The 52 cultural sites Phansey labeled as would-be targets included the Mall of America, and the home of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Phansey was initially suspended with pay. But after a backlash, Phansey was removed from his position at the college. Phansey says he was only joking, and regrets his “bad attempt at humor.” Indeed, Phansey was likely playing off of Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who threatened to hit at least 35 U.S. targets including warships and Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv. In response, President Trump said he would hit 52 Iranian sites, “representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago.”

In a statement to the Boston Herald, Phansey 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.”

Leftwing groups, including FIRE—a “civil liberties” organization to protect college professors—joined Phansey in saying that his right to free speech was being curtailed. It isn’t fair that Phansey was fired for criticizing President Trump through a joke.

Yet free speech protects citizens from the government limiting speech. It doesn’t mean that an employer can’t fire an employee for a social media post. 

Further, given that the vast majority (over 90 percent) of college professors are liberals or neo-Marxists, it is surprising that groups like FIRE exist in the first place. And on that subject, if parents are wondering why college tuition keeps skyrocketing, look no further than Phansey, who was Babson College’s “sustainability director.”

His job description includes that Phansey was “leading Babson’s sustainability strategy, integrating sustainability throughout the campus and curriculum, and positioning Babson as a thought-leader in sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Willis Krumholz
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Willis L. Krumholz is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, and works in the financial services industry. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.