A staff member at a Massachusetts college is out of a job after a controversial Facebook post suggesting Iran put a Kardashian’s home and the Mall of America on its list of US cultural targets.
Asheen Phansey, who was the director of sustainability at Babson College, made the post Sunday on his personal Facebook page in response to President Trump’s threats to target Iranian cultural sites.
“In retalliation, Ayatollah Khomenei should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved cultural heritage that he would bomb. Um… Mall of America? …Kardashian residence?” Phansey wrote. He has deleted the post, but his spokeswoman confirmed its contents to CNN.
The blog TB Daily News posted a screenshot of the post and information about Phansey in a story earlier this week, and the story received media attention.
Babson College announced Wednesday that the staff member had been suspended with pay while it investigated.
A statement released on Thursday said the staff member no longer worked for the school.
“Babson College conducted a prompt and thorough investigation related to a post shared on a staff member’s personal Facebook page that does not represent the values and culture of the College,” the statement said. “Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee.
“As we have previously stated, Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”
In a statement provided to CNN, Phansey said the post was meant to be a joke between him and his friends.
“I am disappointed and saddened that Babson has decided to abruptly terminate my 15-year relationship with the college just because people willfully misinterpreted a joke I made to my friends on Facebook,” Phansey said.
“I would have hoped that Babson, an institution of higher education that I love and to which I have given a great deal, would have defended and supported my right to free speech. Beyond my own situation, I am really concerned about what this portends for our ability as Americans to engage in political discourse without presuming the worst about each other.”
Phansey got his MBA from Babson and also taught there as an adjunct professor, according to his LinkedIn biography.
Babson College is an independent, not-for-profit institution with a strong focus in entrepreneurship. More than 2,350 undergraduate and almost 1,000 graduate students attend.