A professor who made an alarming statement on social media that “All I want for Christmas is white genocide” now is blaming everyone, except himself, for the criticism that erupted from the apparent inducement to violence.
The statement came from Drexel University’s George Ciccariello-Maher and came to the public through Twitter, on Christmas Eve.
Here is it:
This is a professor at Drexel University wishing death upon whites. This is unacceptable and I’m calling for his resignation immediately. pic.twitter.com/vYoG0DNOT3
— Steve Hirsch (@Stevenwhirsch99) December 26, 2016
The College Fix reported there were a number of reactions, including that from Drexel officials who said they were seeking a meeting with Ciccariello-Maher because, while the professor certainly has the right “to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate,” his comments probably went over the line.
They are, the college said, “utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the university.”
Noted Thomas Lifson in a column at American Thinker, “The university now is on the spot. Will it allow the professor to continue teaching after expressing a desire to murder his Caucasian students? Is that a forgivable offense? What about safe spaces for the Caucasians on campus?”
Wait a minute, was the professor’s response.
It was all satire, he told the Drexel student newspaper.
After reporting that “a variety of news outlets and blogs reported on the tweet” and that Ciccariello-Maher “received numerous response, many of them death threats,” the newspaper posted his lengthy explanation.
“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.
What I am not glad about is that this satirical tweet became fodder for online white supremacists to systematically harass me and my employer, Drexel University. Beginning with Breitbart.com – formerly the domain of special counselor to the president-elect, Steve Bannon – and running through the depths of Reddit discussion boards, a coordinated smear campaign was orchestrated to send mass tweets and emails to myself, my employer and my colleagues. I have received hundreds of death threats.
Drexel University issued a statement on the matter, apparently without understanding either the content or the context of the tweets. While Drexel has been nothing but supportive in the past, this statement is worrying. While upholding my right to free expression, the statement refers to my (satirical) tweets as ‘utterly reprehensible.’ What is most unfortunate is that this statement amounts to caving to the truly reprehensible movements and organizations that I was critiquing. On the university level, moreover, this statement – despite a tepid defense of free speech – sends a chilling message and sets a frightening precedent. 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.
He claimed his classes are a “free-for-all of ideas,” then portrayed himself as the downtrodden, because “I am not the first and I won’t be the last to be harassed and threatened by Bannon, Trump and co.”
“Nice work there, prof. It’s everybody’s fault but your own, eh?” The College Fix commented.
The website reported, “Ciccariello-Maher certainly is no stranger to foul social media conduct. Over a year ago in response to a South Carolina school resource officer’s handling of a defiant student, Ciccariello-Maher had tweeted the officer should be ‘put up against a wall’ and then done ‘like Old Yeller.’ He subsequently ‘joked’ about not knowing about Old Yeller’s ultimate fate, and complained that his Twitter feed was filled ‘with hateful racism and misogyny’ regarding his remarks.”
His website-posted bio explains he “has taught radical theory and politics at Drexel, U.C. Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and the Venezuelan School of Planning in Caracas.”
It continues, “He appears and is quoted frequently in the media on subjects ranging from Venezuelan politics to the Occupy Movement, notably Al Jazeera, Fox News Live, CNN Español, Russia Today, National Public Radio, Telemundo, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Brazil’s Gazeta do Povo and Correio Braziliense.”