Drexel University Calls Prof’s White Genocide Tweets ‘Reprehensible’

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 4:41 pm, December 26, 2016

The modern concept of “white genocide” is a myth, but it’s indisputable that white people of various ethnicities have experienced the same oppression and suffering as anyone else.

George Ciccariello-Maher, Associate Professor of Global Studies from Drexel University in Philadelphia courted controversy earlier today when he wrote a series of tweets celebrating the deaths of white people.

He wrote (archive): “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”

Ciccariello-Maher, who describes himself as an “actual communist” went on to talk about how pleased he was with the deaths of those massacred in the Haitian Revolution of 1804—a conflict which claimed the lives of 24,000 whites and over 100,000 black people, and displacing hundreds of thousands more.

“To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian Revolution, that was a good thing indeed,” wrote the professor (archive).

Many found his tweets offensive, and called him out. In the face of widespread criticism, Ciccariello-Maher locked his Twitter account, making it available only to his followers. As complaints mounted against the professor, Drexel University issued a statement denouncing his words.

“While the University recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate, Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the University,” the statement read.

The university says it is taking the situation seriously and plan to meet and discuss it with Ciccariello-Maher.

When asked by Insider Higher Ed, Ciccariello-Maher answered by describing the tweets as satire.

“On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, ‘white genocide.’ For those who haven’t bothered to do their research, ‘white genocide’ is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies (and most recently, against a tweet by State Farm Insurance). It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I’m glad to have mocked it,” he wrote.

The professor expressed outrage that people, whom he describes as “online white supremacists” reached out to his employer, Drexel University, to complain about what he wrote. He described their efforts as “a coordinated smear campaign” that was “orchestrated to send mass tweets and emails to myself, my employer, and my colleagues.”

He calls Drexel’s statement “troubling” because of their refusal to defend his freedom of speech.

“This statement – despite a tepid defense of free speech – sends a chilling message and sets a frightening precedent,” he said. “It exposes untenured and temporary faculty not only to internal disciplinary scrutiny, but equally importantly, it encourages harassment as an effective means to impact university policies.”

Nevertheless, Ciccariello-Maher isn’t the only professor to be muzzled by his employers. Throughout 2015 and 2016, many educators have faced censorship for “triggering” their students with “harmful” language and topics.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken game critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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