The irony was lost on many

If tweets can get tenured academics bullied out of their jobs then why can’t they get presidents scolded out of theirs?

The last 12 months have seen one controversy after another over the tweets of George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University. In a series of incidents, he has made statements that led to calls for his dismissal. In several instances, the university has criticized him. Ciccariello-Maher and his supporters have said that his comments have been distorted and that his academic freedom has been attacked.

On Thursday, he announced on Twitter that he was leaving his tenured job at Drexel. “After nearly a year of harassment by right-wing, white supremacist media outlets and internet mobs, after death threats and threats of violence directed against me and my family, my situation has become unsustainable,” he wrote on Twitter. “Staying at Drexel in the eye of this storm has become detrimental to my own writing, speaking and organizing.”

He pointed out that tenure isn’t much protection against that kind of thing.

He added, “In the past year, the forces of resurgent white supremacy have tasted blood and are howling for more. Given the pressure they will continue to apply, university communities must form a common front against the most reprehensible forces in society and refuse to bow to their pressure, intimidation and threats. Only then will universities stand any chance of survival.”

Crap writer though, isn’t he. Way too many stale off-the-shelf phrases in that passage. C minus.

The controversy over the professor started Dec. 24, 2016, when Ciccariello-Maher tweeted, “All I want for Christmas is white genocide.” The tweet went viral, with many conservative websites calling for Drexel to fire Ciccariello-Maher. Drexel condemned the tweet but didn’t fire him.

Ciccariello-Maher and his supporters said that the irony and purpose of his tweet were lost on many. Ciccariello-Maher argues that white genocide doesn’t exist, and is a false image used by the far right to scare white people. So he says he was making a point, not calling for anyone to be hurt.

In April, Ciccariello-Maher was again in the news when he tweeted about his reaction when he saw a passenger in first class give up his seat on a flight. “Some guy in first class gave up his seat for a uniformed soldier. People are thanking him. I’m trying not to vomit or yell about Mosul.”

Not a very thoughtful remark. Mosul was Trump’s doing, not a random soldier’s. Then again I suspect everyone (except perhaps the soldier) was all too quietly self-congratulatory about it, and being on a plane is bad enough as it is – and besides it’s not something that should get him hounded out of his job. Now about that guy in the Oval Office…

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