26 December, 2016

In support of Professor George Ciccariello-Maher

An email in support of Prof. George Ciccariello-Maher sent Monday, Dec. 26, 2016:
Dear President Fry, Provost Blake, and Media Relations Executive Director Gianakaris of Drexel University,
I am writing to you in support of Prof. George Ciccariello-Maher, and statements he made recently on social media. As anyone familiar with the language used by white supremacists knows, "white genocide" is a blanket term used to describe any number of phenomena that are perceived to detract from any kind of real or imagined power currently held by white-identifying people. Interracial marriage, and the rising number of POC/immigrants within Western/European states are two of the most oft-cited examples of "white genocide". Prof. Ciccariello-Maher and many others (including myself) find this phrase worthy of ridicule because it belies the most fundamental interpretation of the word "genocide", while attempting to create a false equivalency with actual instances of genocide throughout history, ignoring legacies of racism, slavery, and colonialism. Though the professor's comments were made publicly, that does not mean they are allowed to be taken out of context. Scrolling through past social media posts would reveal that Ciccariello-Maher often used a humorous or satirical tone, and this most recent time was no exception. Unlike most of his attackers, he does not hide behind internet anonymity. Instead, he is a vital member of online activity, valued highly by colleagues, former students, and fans alike. I sincerely ask that you recognize the traditions of political activism and satire from which Ciccariello-Maher was operating, and stand by him against this most recent virulent strain of bigotry.
Thank you.
John Dalessi

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