Drexel University defends white genocide-wishing professor
We finally know what it takes to evade the P.C. speech codes of a major university: wishing genocide on whites. While using the incorrect neologism pronoun for someone denying chromosomal reality is streng verboten on many campuses, the wise and courageous leaders of Drexel University finally have offensive speech they can defend.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
Drexel University and one of its professors faced an onslaught of criticism for his Christmas Eve tweet that "all I want for Christmas is white genocide." And on Christmas Day, Drexel issued a statement strongly condemning the tweet.
That action led the professor and many other academics to call on Drexel to offer a stronger defense of academic freedom and its professor. Many said that the tweet -- by George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of politics and global studies -- was clearly satire. They noted that Ciccariello-Maher has argued that white genocide is a fiction, something that white nationalists imagine and promote as a real threat in the United States, when it is not in fact a threat.
On Thursday, Drexel issued a new statement. The new statement offers milder criticism of Ciccariello-Maher and notes that there may be multiple ways to read his tweet. The statement says that "his words, taken at face value and shared in the constricted Twitter format, do not represent the values of inclusion and understanding espoused by Drexel University."
Further, the new statement says that "the wide range of reactions to his tweets suggests that his intentions were not adequately conveyed. These responses underscore the importance of choosing one’s words thoughtfully and exercising appropriate judgment in light of the inherent limitations presented by communications on social media."
In contrast, the original statement said: "Professor Ciccariello-Maher's comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the university."
On academic freedom, the new statement also struck a different tone.
The original statement said that "the university recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate," but it also said that Drexel "is taking this situation very seriously" and was setting up a meeting with the professor. Those comments led many to question whether the university was in fact defending the professor's right to free expression or discouraging it.
The new statement is much more specific that the tweet in question was free speech. "The university vigorously supports the right of its faculty members and students to freely express their opinions in the course of academic debate and discussion. In this vein, we recognize Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s tweets as protected speech."
Drexel's president and provost -- John A. Fry and M. Brian Blake, respectively -- signed the new statement but not the old one.
Obviously, the academic left has made it clear to Drexel that it will be severely punished if it applies the same speech code restarints on a communist professor that it enforces on everyone else. Drexel still maintains a comprehensive speech code.
The University prohibits discrimination and harassment against individuals based on race, color, religion, gender (sex), pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, identify and expression, and veteran status. All complaints of student discrimination, harassment, and retaliation should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards who will work in conjunction with the Office of Equality and Diversity. All complaints of nonstudent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation should be reported to the Office of Equality and Diversity.
Wishing that all students of one particular race be killed might qualify as harassment. Imagine for a minute that a professor had tweeted his wish for a black or Native American genocide. Drexel needs to clarify the policy to make it explicit that harassment is approved for designated groups.
The University is committed to an environment of equal opportunity in education and employment and to proactively undertake initiatives and take actions to create such an environment. In the administration of its admissions policies, educational policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and all other University administered programs and activities; the University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of: race; color; national origin; religion; sex; sexual orientation; disability; age; status as a veteran or special disabled veteran; gender identity and expression; genetic information and any other characteristic prohibited by law (i.e., creed, marital status, citizenship status). Moreover, Drexel does not tolerate unlawful harassment of any kind.
Unlawful Harassment is defined as:
… unwelcome physical or verbal conduct based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, or gender identity and expression, and any other characteristic prohibited by law (i.e., creed, marital status, citizenship status) that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive as to substantially disrupt or undermine a person's ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the University.
And Hostile Environment Harassment is defined as:
... verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, retaliation, and any other characteristic prohibited by law (i.e., creed, marital status, citizenship status) that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment. Hostile Environment Harassment: Examples of behaviors that may constitute hostile environment harassment include, but are not limited to: intimidating or hostile acts; epithet; slurs; unwelcome touching or hugging; denigrating jokes display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.
Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s defense rest on his hostile words being a joke. But the speech code rules out that excuse.
The good professor could have been in jeopardy of losing his ability to use the university’s computer facilities.
Drexel University's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) sets forth the standards by which all students, faculty, staff and authorized guests (hereafter referred to collectively as "User(s)") may use their assigned computer accounts, email services and the shared Drexel University network. The use of Drexel's computer and network resources including all electronic communication systems and equipment (hereafter referred to collectively as the "Drexel Network") is a revocable privilege.
It is not clear if the good professor used the university’s facilities in any way for his tweet. But the language here does not seem to require such use. And prohibitions include the following:
Users may not possess, distribute or send unlawful communications of any kind, including but not limited to threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography and/or harassing communications (as defined by law), or participate or facilitate communications in furtherance of other illegal activities.
So the conclusion to reach is that speech codes do not apply to left-wingers.
And parents note: if you are Caucasian, your children may be stuck in a classroom where they learn the virtues of communism from the likes of Professor Ciccariello-Maher, to whom restraints do not apply. That'll help 'em land jobs that make the tuition worth it.
The University of Missouri suffered a catastrophic decline in applications and enrollment in the wake of tolerating BLM thuggery and a professor who "needed some muscle" to bully a reporter. It had to close dormitories.
Drexel has no state support to fall back on in the face of a potential serious decline in applications and acceptances from Caucasians. It has $650-million endowment, enough to tide it over in some really rough weather.
But the price it eventually pays vould be quite a lesson for the rest of academia, even though they will ignore it.