The Drexel associate professor who blamed the Las Vegas massacre on “white victimization” and “Trumpism” was placed on administrative leave because school officials feared for the safety of the campus due to reaction to his tweets.
George Ciccariello-Maher is a tenured professor and said he will fight the decision made by the university.
The university released a statement that said his conduct had threatened the safety of everyone on the campus, according to Fox News.
“The safety of Drexel’s students, faculty, professional staff and police officers are of paramount concern to Drexel,” university spokesperson Niki Gianakaris said in a statement.
“Due to a growing number of threats directed at Professor George Ciccariello-Maher, and increased concerns about both his safety and the safety of Drexel’s community, after careful consideration the University has decided to place Professor Ciccariello-Maher on administrative leave. We believe this is a necessary step to ensure the safety of our campus.”
Ciccariello-Maher wrote a response in an op-ed in the Washington Post. He said he is no longer teaching due to a “smear campaign by conservatives aimed at academics” that included “illegal threats of violence.”
The tenured professor wrote about the “cowardice” of Drexel. He said the university sent the wrong message by “bowing to pressure from racist internet trolls.”
“As a researcher and professor of politics, these tweets were neither provocative in tone nor controversial in content,” he wrote. His tweets are “more pressing now that President Trump has brought this aggrieved whiteness into daily headlines.”
Ciccariello-Maher has made outrageous statements before on Twitter that made national news. In 2016, the associate professor tweeted “all I want for Christmas is white genocide.”
To ensure that nobody confused his tweet with sarcasm about white supremacy, he clarified tweeting, “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian Revolution, that was a good thing indeed.”
In March, he said that seeing somebody give up their first-class plane seat for a soldier made him want to vomit.
He has now threatened to take legal action against Drexel.