A previous professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island criticized people from Nebraska over Twitter after the state experienced severe flooding.
George A. Kenna
The tweet that started the back-and-forth said, “Did you hear about all the looting in [Nebraska]?! Yeah, I didn’t either. It’s because it’s a state full of people with respect for their communities and love for their neighbors. This country needs more Nebraska.”
In response to this, Kenna tweeted, “No it needs less. Nebraska can go to hell and take @realDonaldTrump with you. Maybe Iran will take you.”
This then caused a surge of tweets from angry Nebraskans. One said, “Delete your account.”
In another tweet, Kenna said “Obviously no one in Nebraska studies hard enough to get a PhD but have plenty of time to be racist white nationalists. Glad global warming is making you dumb shits aware it is real and wash your state into the Sea of Japan. Make America Great Again!!!! 49 states is good.”
In response to this, someone tweeted, “How miserable your life must be.”
Kenna tweeted back, “Oh it is. After I drink my bottle of Jack and do some meth I cry myself to sleep every night.”
Amy Miller, from Omaha, Nebraska said she was shocked to see someone speak that way towards Nebraskans.
“It was crazy, who is this guy and what does he have against Nebraska,” said Miller. “I was just appalled, it was just striking to me… he’s teaching our youth?”
Some of the people who saw Kenna’s tweets took it upon themselves to look him up. Once they found Kenna on LinkedIn, they called his previous places of employment to complain. Some called URI.
According to Mark Robbins, the department chair of psychology, Kenna has not taught at URI in the last nine years.
“I am aware that complaints came into various offices at URI about comments Dr. Kenna apparently made on a twitter account,” said Robbins. “Dr. Kenna has no current affiliation with the Psychology Department. I am not aware that he has any other affiliation at URI.”
The Spencer Dam failed under the pressure of the Niobrara River that led to the flooding, according to the Journal Star, a local newspaper in Nebraska.
Kenna could not be reached before this story was published.