A Washington Post op-ed published on Tuesday from controversial Drexel Professor George Ciccariello-Maher argues that conservatives are the “real campus thought police.”
Ciccariello-Maher, who is perhaps most famous for his satirical Christmas eve tweet, “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide,” is back in the news this week with a new op-ed in the Washington Post in which he attempts to argue that it is conservatives that are the real campus thought police.
“Last week, I sent a string of relatively uncontroversial tweets in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, in which I sought to answer a question about mass shootings in the United States: Why are these crimes almost always carried out by white men?” he began. “‘It’s the white supremacist patriarchy, stupid,’ I tweeted, before then diagnosing a sense of double entitlement — as white people and as men — that, when frustrated, can occasionally lead to violent consequences.”
He goes on to preface a sweeping racial generalization with a claim that his beliefs are backed by “decades of research. His generalization? That white American males harbor a sense of entitlement to not only economic and political power, but also to “nonwhite and female bodies.”
“To be both white and male is to be subject to a potent cocktail of entitlement to economic and political power, and to dominate nonwhite and female bodies,” he continues. “When that entitlement is frustrated, it can lead to what the criminologist Mike King calls ‘aggrieved whiteness,’ an ambient furor based on the idea that white Americans have become oppressed victims of politically correct multiculturalism.”
These claims seem almost irrelevant to the horrible tragedy that took place in Las Vegas. By most counts, the shooter, Stephen Paddock, was not dejected by “politically correct multiculturalism,” but rather, according to his brother, a wealthy man that was not religious or political. He chose to reign down terror upon a predominantly white crowd at a country music festival. Although there remains no evidence as to the shooter’s motives, the context of the massacre certainly does not suggest that Paddock’s violence was the product of “aggrieved whiteness.”
Ciccariello-Maher claims that he received hate mail and death threats in the aftermath of his tweets on the Las Vegas massacre. He blames right-wing media outlets for leading the charge against academics who represent “everything the right is afraid of.”
He goes on to cite several instances of academics who had been suspended from their position after “campaigns” by right-wing media outlets. In each instance, he fails to mention why stories on the offending individual began to appear in the media. For example, he writes that “Johnny Eric Williams at Trinity College was targeted and suspended for reposting someone else’s words on Facebook.” What did Williams post? Williams posted a Facebook status which called for first responders to the June 14 shooting in Virginia to allow Congressman Steve Scalise and others injured to die. He shared another post, entitled “Let Them F*cking Die,” which called on minorities to refuse assistance to whites in potentially fatal situations, such as if they were choking, bleeding out, or drowning. The post then calls for those persons to not only watch as others die but to “smile” as they watch, for letting them die is a “great service” to the “universe.”
Ciccariello-Maher finishes by writing that he is shocked that Drexel University decided to place him on administrative leave. He argues that its a sign that conservatives are the “real thought police.”
“By bowing to pressure from racist internet trolls, Drexel has sent the wrong signal: That you can control a university’s curriculum with anonymous threats of violence. Such cowardice notwithstanding, I am prepared to take all necessary legal action to protect my academic freedom, tenure rights and most importantly, the rights of my students to learn in a safe environment where threats don’t hold sway over intellectual debate,” he finishes.