American university student Otto Warmbier had planned to stay in North Korea for just five days of sightseeing as a tourist in 2015. But the 22-year-old student instead served 17 months in detention and was only returned to his family this month.
When he was released, Otto was found to have suffered severe brain damage. His family believe he was tortured into a coma, the ABC reports.
Now, mere days after Otto's funeral, a university professor has said the 22-year-old "got what he deserved".
Posting to her Facebook page, anthropology professor Kathy Dettwyler wrote that Otto was “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 continued.
“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," the post read, according to The News Journal of Wilmington, DE.
"And of course, it’s Otto’s parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives,” Dettwyler wrote.
Following the comments, and the call by the public to have the professor fired, the University of Delaware has released a statement saying Dettwyler’s comments “do not reflect the values or position” of the college
“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 statement posted to Twitter read.
People have commented below the statement calling for more action to be taken.
"So what actions are you taking against Dettwyler? Or will she be free to continue to spew this hatred across your campus?" one person wrote.