[Net-Gold] EDUCATION: COLLEGE: PROFESSORS : CENSORSHIP : EDUCATION: COLLEGE: NAMED COLLEGES: DREXEL UNIVERSITY : FREEDOM OF SPEECH: How a Drexel Prof’s Christmas ‘Wish’ Stirred a Twitter Tempest

 

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EDUCATION: COLLEGE: PROFESSORS :

CENSORSHIP :

EDUCATION: COLLEGE: NAMED COLLEGES: DREXEL UNIVERSITY:

How a Drexel Prof’s Christmas ‘Wish’ Stirred a Twitter Tempest

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How a Drexel Prof’s Christmas ‘Wish’ Stirred a Twitter Tempest

Updated: DECEMBER 26, 2016  9:22 PM EST

by Inga Saffron

Philly.com

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20161227
_How_a_Drexel_prof_s_Christmas__wish__stirred_a_Twitter_tempest.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j32txzw

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This much is clear: On Twitter, nobody hears your sarcasm.

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George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor in Drexel University’s politics department, learned that lesson the hard way over the weekend, when he tapped out a series of racially charged satirical tweets that he says were intended to mock white supremacists.

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Not everyone got the joke. The tweets were taken at face value by several right-wing websites, including Breitbart and the Daily Caller, which posted articles attacking Ciccariello-Maher as antiwhite. As the rhetoric on social media escalated, Drexel issued a statement calling the professor’s tweets “utterly reprehensible.” But just as quickly, a backlash against the backlash began, as academics from around the country criticized Drexel as overreacting and taking the tweets out of context. By midday, a Change.org petition was demanding that Drexel condemn the “troll-storm” and respect Ciccariello-Maher’s academic freedom.

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The episode is the latest example of how seemingly inconsequential events and statements can be amplified and distorted by a hyper-partisan online journalism based on little or no actual reporting. It is a game of whisper-down-the-lane, where one report is used as the foundation for the next.

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Ciccariello-Maher, who has 10,000 Twitter followers, set off the furor late Christmas Eve when he wrote “All I Want for Christmas Is White Genocide,” a provocative riff on the holiday chestnut.

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To those unfamiliar with the language of academic discussions on race and inequality, the statement was surely shocking. But to Ciccariello-Maher, who is white – and who has written extensively on racism, policing, social inequality, and colonialism – the phrase white genocide is shorthand for those who support policies that can harm and oppress minority groups, like blacks and immigrants.

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Ciccariello-Maher did not respond to a request for an interview, but he wrote in an email that the tweet was intended as a riposte to those who complain that white Americans are the real victims of discrimination.

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“White genocide,” he wrote, “is a figment of the racist imagination. It should be mocked, and I’m glad to have mocked it.”

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Writers at Breitbart and the Daily Caller nevertheless took his statement literally. Citing previous tweets by Ciccariello-Maher, a Daily Caller article claimed the professor “has a history of hating white people.” Breitbart took issue with his “slams of President[-elect] Donald Trump, attacks on Jews, as well as pro-Black Lives Matter and pro-communist sloganeering.” Because Ciccariello-Maher’s Twitter and Facebook feeds were no longer accessible Monday, there was no way to assess the claims independently.

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snip

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In Ciccariello-Maher’s case, Drexel officials also were quick to enter the online fray. Drexel said that “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.”

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
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[Net-Gold] EDUCATION: COLLEGE: PROFESSORS : CENSORSHIP : EDUCATION: COLLEGE: NAMED COLLEGES: DREXEL UNIVERSITY : FREEDOM OF SPEECH: How a Drexel Prof’s Christmas ‘Wish’ Stirred a Twitter Tempest

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