A controversial liberal professor from Drexel University stirred up another social media hornets’ nest this week when he complained about someone else demonstrating respect for a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Professor George Ciccariello tweeted: “Some guy gave up his first class seat for a uniformed soldier. People are thanking him. I’m trying not to vomit or yell about Mosul.”
If Ciccariello was looking for a firestorm (and he was), he got one. In response to the inevitable backlash, he gave a statement to a Fox News affiliate that said in part:
“Two days after U.S. airstrikes incinerated an estimated 200 civilians in the Iraqi city of Mosul, I sent a personal tweet in reaction to what I considered a smug and self-congratulatory gesture by a first-class passenger toward a uniformed soldier. Maybe predictably, my tweet has since been fed into and misrepresented by the outrage machine that is right-wing media. Needless to say, my personal views expressed off-campus have absolutely nothing to do with those of my employer, Drexel University.”
Ciccariello only…professes?…on a part-time basis; he appears to spend most of his time penning outrageous essays and tweets designed to get a reaction from anyone who can’t resist the bait. “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide,” the troll tweeted last December. On another occasion, he said, “Abolish the white race.” And after the Charleston church shootings, he claimed the murderer “simply put into practice what many white Americans already think.”
But then, we can’t blame anyone for taking the bait. And, in fact, even calling Ciccariello a “troll” is denying the truth, which is that he really believes the toxic garbage that he spews online…and we strongly doubt he leaves those views at the classroom door.
Nor can we ignore the broader reality, which is that this idiot’s hateful views are shared by many Americans. Talk of “white genocide” hasn’t quite hit the mainstream political conversation, but the underlying “whiteness is bad” ideology is gaining widespread academic acceptance. And his views of the U.S. military are just an extension of a growing, dangerous social movement that turns anything patriotic into something evil.
So, then, ignoring him vanishes as an option, because he will get the attention still from the people who don’t know any better and think his lunacy makes for a pretty good worldview. He deserves to be shamed, but the more important goal is to make it really clear to the young and foolish just how sick his ideas are.