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Dec 27 2016
by Diana Pope

Philadelphia College Students Respond to Drexel Professor Calling for 'White Genocide'

By Diana Pope - Dec 27 2016
Over the weekend, a Drexel University professor sent out a controversial tweet that has incited backlash from his students. George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of politics and global studies, was required to remove the tweet after a meeting with university officials. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ciccariello-Maher caused embarrassment to his institution when he tweeted "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide." The professor intended to make a satirical point about white supremacy when he sent out the message on his Twitter account. 

@ciccmaher via Twitter

Shortly after the tweet was sent out, conservative news outlets like Breitbart News and the Daily Caller sharply criticized the institution for the professor's comments. Most of Ciccariello-Maher's students and social media followers were incredibly disturbed by his tweet.

Ciccariello-Maher made a follow-up tweet praising the massacre of whites during the slave uprisings in Haiti. His messages over the weekend have received a lot of publicity, and the professor has received hundreds of death threats.

The professor's satirical tweet has raised eyebrows among his school's administration, staff and students, and has opened the door to questions regarding the use of social media in academia. 

College students in Philadelphia say how they felt about the incident:

Sophia Bokhari, Bryn Mawr Class of 2020

While I think calling for the mass death of any race isn't good, the fact that networks such as Breitbart are picking this story up just shows me the need to demonstrate the existence of "reverse racism" and the victimization of white people which is just not real. Not to mention white people are not systematically targeted and oppressed in society so one professor's call for genocide against them won't enact anything especially juxtaposed to other bigots' hate speech towards other groups that are actually marginalized...

Justin Li, Drexel University Class of 2020

Well, like he said, it's a pretty snarky and dark joke for those who get it. I don't know him personally, but looking at his work, it doesn't seem too out of character. imho, he can post whatever he wants though it's not hard to see that the school would like to condemn it because of the negative publicity.

Caitlyn Speller, Drexel University Class of 2020

I was utterly shocked by what he said in his tweet. I thought it was super unprofessional and this is just another example of how words can really hurt people.

Drexel University staff has contacted Ciccariello-Maher to discuss the situation in detail and arranged a mandatory meeting with the professor. The university released a statement condemning his tweet: 

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. 

Since his meeting with the administration, Ciccariello-Maher has deleted the tweet from his private account. However, he sent out an email to his staff and students explaining the tweet in detail. He wrote that "white genocide" is a concept "that should be mocked" and is "an idea that was invented by white supremacists." 

George Ciccariello-Maher, @ciccmaher via Twitter

Lead Image Credit: Tom Ipri via Flickr Creative Commons

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Diana Pope - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Diana is a political science major who also enjoys journalism, history, and philosophy. She loves writing, researching, and debating about politics. In her free time, she enjoys Grey's anatomy marathons and reading detective fiction.

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