Prof says Otto Warmbier 'got exactly what he deserved'

Shannon Spada
Koch Intern

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  • A University of Delaware professor claimed Wednesday that Otto Warmbier was typical of “rich, white, clueless males” and “got exactly what he deserved” at the hands of the North Koreans.
  • When other readers challenged her comment on a National Review article about Warmbier's death, Kathryn Dettwyler doubled down, saying Warmbier fit the mold of a student who would "rape drunk girls" and "snort cocaine."
  • A University of Delaware adjunct professor claimed Wednesday that Otto Warmbier was typical of “rich, white, clueless males” and “got exactly what he deserved” at the hands of the North Koreans.

    Katherine Dettwyler, an adjunct anthropology professor at UDel, expressed her feelings on the death of Warmbier in the comments section of an article published by National Review, as well as on her personal Facebook page.

    Prof asks: "Is it wrong of me to think that Otto Warmbier got exactly what he deserved?"   

    Dettwyler argues that while in North Korea, Warmbier had acted like a “spoiled, naive, arrogant U.S. college student who never had to face the consequences of his actions,” later describing him as having the “typical mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males” she teaches.

    She also expressed surprise at the footage of Warmbier crying during his sentencing hearing, saying he should have expected the consequences he faced, and then complaining that not enough thought is given to “all the other people in North Korea who are suffering under a repressive government.”

    Dettwyler explains that she is “a 62 year old college professor” who has been teaching “folks just like Otto” her entire life, declaring that “these are the same kids who cry about their grades” after refusing to study, “or instead of crying, they bluster and threaten their female professors.”

    [RELATED: School employee tried to threaten student over Trump sign]

    When another reader objected to “the hatred you spew at ordinary white college kids,” Dettwyler responded by allowing that not all of her students fall into the category she described, saying, “I love my hard-working, sincere, non-arrogant college students.”

    She nonetheless reiterated her original assumption that Warmbier was the type of student she detests, clarifying that “I said Otto’s behavior is like the ‘white, rich, clueless males’...[who] think nothing of raping drunk girls at frat parties and snorting cocaine, cheating on exams, and threatening professors with physical violence.”

    Dettwyler’s page on RateMyProfessors.com suggests that her outburst was not unusual, with former students describing her as “very opinionated” and “obnoxious,” and even claiming that she “hates America.”

    “It’s her opinion or no opinion and she won’t be afraid to express it even if it may offend half the class,” one former student warned, while another declared that “My problem with her is that she says we are not ‘entitled to our own facts,’ but she clearly seems to think she is.”

    [RELATED: Professors threaten bad grades for saying ‘illegal alien,’ ‘male,’ ‘female’]

    In her original comment, Dettwyler ultimately blames Warmbier’s parents for allowing him to grow up with the impression that “he could get away with whatever he wanted,” concluding that they “will pay this price for the rest of their lives.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Dettwyler for commentary but she did not reply in time for publication.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @spaduhhh



    Shannon Spada

    Shannon Spada

    Koch Intern
    Shannon is a Koch Intern for Campus Reform. She attended Hofstra University and graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
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