A Drexel University professor named George Ciccariello-Maher is under fire for a disturbing tweet he wrote on December 24. The professor, who teaches about “race, racism, prisons, and policing” at the Philadelphia school, said he wanted only one thing from Santa Claus this year.
“All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” Ciccariello-Maher wrote.
The next day, the professor followed that message up with this gem: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.”
As you might imagine, that “clarification” didn’t help quell the intense social media backlash against the professor. Unable to avoid the controversy, Drexel University released a statement on Christmas distancing itself from the sick remarks.
“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,” they wrote.
Good for them, although it’s a little tame when you think about what would have happened to Ciccariello-Maher had he used any other word but “white” in his tweet. He’d be fired and the Justice Department would launch a federal investigation at the direction of the president. But since it’s relatively acceptable to say anything you want about white people, he gets a little slap on the wrist before heading back into the classroom.
Indeed, he doesn’t even feel the need to apologize. On Monday, he criticized his employers for even having the gall to censure him.
“On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, ‘white genocide,'” he said in an e-mail to the Philadelphia Inquirer. ‘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. It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I’m glad to have mocked it.”
The professor said it was “worrying,” “unfortunate,” and “frightening” that Drexel would issue a statement condemning his brilliant satire.
“This statement amounts to caving to the truly reprehensible movements and organizations that I was critiquing,” he said.
This is like when you tell your kid not to say the word “damn,” and he tells you that he was just talking about beavers. Ciccariello-Maher (even his name is irritating) knew his tweet would stir up controversy and now he’s mad because he got the very reaction he was looking for. We’ll save our sympathy for his students.