A visiting assistant Professor at the University of Tampa found himself out of a job this week when his inflammatory comments describing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey along the Texas Gulf Coast as “instant karma” for the state voting for President Donald Trump in 2016.
Kenneth L. Storey took to Twitter to take a cheap shot at both the president and the droves of Harvey victims, thousands of whom are homeless but thankful to be alive, in a now-deleted tweet: “I don’t believe in instant Karma, but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them.”
Harris County, which encompasses Houston, went blue last year, with 54 percent of voters supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Only 41 percent voted for Trump. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is also a Democrat.
As Twitter users took Storey to task for his insensitive and inaccurate comments, he deleted the offending tweet and offered up a desperate apology: “I deeply regret a statement I posted yesterday. I never meant to wish ill will upon any group. I hope all affected by Harvey recover quickly.”
However, Storey’s employer was not having any of it, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused,” university spokesman Eric Cardenas told the newspaper. “As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather.”
The school also took to Facebook to excoriate Storey for being a petty social media provocateur.
“The University of Tampa stands in solidarity with the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and our thoughts and prayers are with all involved. The comments made by Kenneth Storey were made via his private social media account. They were not made within his capacity as a faculty member, and they don’t represent the University’s views. The university condemns these comments and the sentiment behind them,” their statement read.