It was just satire folks, satire.
The school was forced to issue a statement on Christmas day after George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of politics and global studies, tweeted on his account, “all I want for Christmas is white genocide,” according to blog Inside Higher Ed.
The tweet quickly went viral after many conservative websites and individuals spoke out against it. Drexel was forced to issue condemnation as well. Drexel officials were forced to issue a statement on Christmas Day after Ciccariello-Maher sent out this tweet.
“Drexel became aware today of Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher’s inflammatory tweet, which was posted on his personal Twitter account on Dec. 24, 2016,” reads the statement from Drexel University officials. “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 university is taking this situation very seriously. We contacted Ciccariello-Maher today to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter in detail.”
Ciccariello-Maher followed up with another tweet on Christmas Day before being contacted by Drexel officials according to Philly.com. The professor’s twitter account has since been set to private. “To clarify: when the whites were massacre during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed,” he tweeted.
A bio on Drexel’s website says that Ciccariello-Maher is, “an expert and frequent media commentator on social movements, particularly in Latin America… “Ciccariello-Maher also teaches, researches and writes about race, racism, prisons and policing in the U.S. and internationally, including how race is associated with suspicion and guilt.”
It was not immediately clear what actions would be taken against the professor by the university.
In an email exchange with Inside Higher Ed, the professor said the tweet was “satirical,” but added that he has received hundreds of death threats over it.
“On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, ‘white genocide,'” he said. “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.”
Ciccariello-Maher also said Drexler’s statement about the situation was “chilling.”
“While upholding my right to free expression, the statement refers to my (satirical) tweets as ‘utterly reprehensible,” he said.” 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.”