PHILADELPHIA — A Drexel University professor has been summoned to a meeting with school officials after he tweeted, “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”
George Ciccariello-Maher, who is white, is an associate professor of politics at the Philadelphia university. His online biography says his academic specialties include “race and racism.”
After some initial blowback on Twitter, Ciccariello-Maher followed up the outrageous tweet with another, equally disturbing statement. “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed,” he tweeted.
Drexel condemned the Twitter message as “utterly reprehensible” and “deeply disturbing.” The school’s statement read:
“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 tells The Associated Press by email Monday that the Christmas Eve tweet was meant to be satirical. He says he was mocking what he called the “imaginary concept” of “white genocide,” which he says was invented by white supremacists. He says Drexel’s statement “sends a chilling message.”
Maher is no stranger to controversy however, after he condemned Philadelphia police for gently handling protests in the city.
While many in the media were highlighting how smoothly protests were going and praising the restraint shown by officers to protesters, Ciccariello-Maher told Philly.com that it was “a very sneaky police maneuver, a very subtle way of deactivating things.”
Ciccariello-Maher added, “There’s a term from the ’60s called ‘repressive tolerance’ – tolerating so much that it becomes repressive of a social movement’s ability to affect change.”
Apparently he thought it would be better for police to handle protesters more roughly in order for the movement to get more attention. Perhaps the kind of attention he’s getting now for his latest unhinged, illogical comments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.