Drexel University: Professor Faces Investigation for Controversial Tweets

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Drexel University

On Christmas Eve 2016, Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher posted a message to his Twitter account reading, “All I Want For Christmas is White Genocide.” Ciccariello-Maher posted a follow-up tweet the next day reading, “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” The tweets prompted condemnation by the university and the promise of an investigation into Ciccariello-Maher’s actions. In April 2017, controversy sprung up once again when Ciccariello-Maher tweeted, “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.” Drexel publicly stated that it would not punish Ciccariello-Maher for his tweets, but subjected him to a months-long long investigation and barred him from campus, prompting his resignation in December 2017.

  • The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive speech codes has continued to decline, 90 percent of schools still maintain codes that either clearly restrict or could too easily be used to restrict free speech. Today, we present our 2018 list of the 10 worst colleges for free speech. As always, our list […]

    » Read More

  • FIRE names America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

    February 12, 2018

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 12, 2018 — Each year, colleges across the country find dubious ways to silence student and faculty expression. In the last year, administrators became embroiled in litigation for telling a student he couldn’t hand out Spanish-language copies of the U.S. Constitution outside a free speech zone, continued a years-long effort to ban a group from campus due to its political viewpoint, and even investigated a professor for a satirical tweet — eventually driving him to resign. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has identified America’s 10 worst colleges for free speech, published today with detailed descriptions on […]

    » Read More

  • Drexel professor resigns after months-long investigation, exile from campus

    December 29, 2017

    Yesterday, Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher announced that he would no longer teach at Drexel University, bringing an unfortunate end to Drexel’s months-long investigation of his tweets — an investigation FIRE has repeatedly called on Drexel to abandon. The trouble for Ciccariello-Maher began last Christmas Eve, when he tweeted “All I Want For Christmas is White Genocide.” As the Associated Press reported at the time, the professor explained “he was mocking what he called the ‘imaginary concept’ of white genocide, which he says was invented by white supremacists.”  The next day, Ciccariello-Maher tweeted again, writing: “To clarify: when the whites were […]

    » Read More

  • Drexel University avoids transparency about why it barred professor from campus, as criticism piles up

    December 4, 2017

    Ten months ago, Drexel University embarked on an investigation into the “extremely damaging conduct” of Professor George Ciccariello-Maher in making a joke lampooning a white nationalist theory — a Twitter joke that went viral due, in part, to a Russian Twitter account. In October, Drexel barred Ciccariello-Maher from its campus, citing threats from people outraged about his political views. He remains banned, and Drexel refuses to share basic information that would substantiate its claims that security compels his exile. As Drexel’s student newspaper reports, Ciccariello-Maher’s absence has made teaching difficult: Ciccariello-Maher’s absence from campus has resulted in remote class sessions, […]

    » Read More

  • Russia-linked Twitter account helped Drexel professor’s ‘White Genocide’ tweet go viral, prompting university investigation

    October 20, 2017

    Last week, Drexel University placed political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher on involuntary leave and barred him from campus, citing a “growing number of threats” directed at him over his personal political views. (As of yesterday, he was allowed to resume teaching his undergraduate courses — but only by “synchronous online instruction.” In other words, via video.) Ciccariello-Maher’s suspension was the culmination of months of outrage over his tweets, beginning with a tweet that first drew anger from white nationalists before the mainstream media picked it up — with, apparently, help from @TEN_GOP, the “Unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans,” which, it […]

    » Read More

  • Drexel publicly promised professor freedom of expression, but privately pursues investigation

    June 6, 2017

    Drexel University Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher is no stranger to controversy. Last Christmas Eve, he posted a tweet to his private Twitter account that read: “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide,” pillorying the notion advanced by some white nationalists that miscegenation and low fertility rates will bring about the end of white people. The next day, Ciccariello-Maher followed up, tweeting: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” Public outcry ensued, and, as FIRE noted back in December, Drexel responded with a six-tweet-long message and a press release stating: Drexel became […]

    » Read More