Instructor criticizes ‘fascist harassment on campus’
Cornell professors are rallying around an instructor who once spoke approvingly about the race-based mass murder of white people.
“Scores of professors signed a letter on Wednesday protesting Drexel University’s decision to put a professor on leave after he said ‘white patriarchy’ was a cause of mass shootings in the U.S.,” The Cornell Daily Sun reports.
The professor in question, George Ciccariello-Maher, tweeted after the recent Las Vegas massacre that “white supremacist patriarchy” was a contributing factor to the shooting.
Drexel subsequently suspended Ciccariello-Maher as a “necessary step to ensure the safety of our campus,” according to a Drexel spokeswoman.
Ciccariello-Maher told The Sun that it was “incredibly encouraging to see seventy faculty members from Cornell taking such a strong stand in support of academic freedom and against fascist harassment on campus.”
The professor has previously advocated the ethnic extermination of white people. “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” he tweeted last Christmas. In subsequent media appearances, Ciccariello-Maher defended his call for massacring white people.
From The Sun:
Cornell professors, in their letter, said these statements, which were made outside of the university environment, are not meant to influence his employment at Drexel.
The faculty at Cornell join a number of petitioners, including the American Association of University Professors, who are criticizing Drexel for taking disciplinary action against the professor. These groups say it was incumbent on Drexel to defend Ciccariello-Maher’s academic freedom.
“Academic freedom is the first principle of the modern university,” Prof. Alexander Livingston, government, told The Sun in an email. “It protects students and faculty to pursue the truth and understand their world, even where this pursuit is unpopular or controversial.”
“Drexel’s failure to protect this freedom sets a dangerous precedent for scholars and students everywhere,” Livingston added.
Prof. Matthew Evangelista, government, said that as long as people disagree, academic freedom is necessary. “If people expressed only uncontroversial views and everyone agreed on everything,” it would not be necessary, he said.
Ciccariello-Maher is still allowed to teach online courses, The Sun reports.