Twitter never takes a holiday. Over Christmas, a Drexel professor said on his Twitter account that he wanted “White Genocide for Christmas.” Predictably, that wasn't taken well.
A professor at Drexel University tweeted "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide." What a ridiculous thing for an "educator" to say. pic.twitter.com/M0ItXmQoTa
— Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) December 26, 2016
The statement went viral, with many condemning Assistant Professor George Ciccariello for his 'Christmas wish.' But Ciccariello, who is white, was more than happy to clear the matter up. He says he meant it purely as satire—mocking white supremacists who use the term "white genocide" to incite fear of immigrants and people of color changing the status quo.
— Aristophanes (@Aristophaknees) December 26, 2016
And the tweet has, in fact, drawn the attention of famous racists. Noted white supremacist Richard Spencer asked for an invite to speak at Drexel via Twitter.
Anyone at Drexel able to bring me to speak to the student body?
— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) December 26, 2016
Ciccariello and those who did get his joke said it made total sense, and he had a right to post his comment as protected by the First Amendment.
"'For those who haven't bothered to do their research, 'white genocide' is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies," Ciccariello wrote in a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I'm glad to have mocked it."
Drexel, however, didn't get the joke. According to the Inquirer, the school issued a statement on Christmas day calling the post "utterly reprehensible" and "deeply disturbing," and said they would have a meeting to discuss the issue with the professor. Ciccariello didn't like Drexel's statement, saying it encouraged "harassment as an effective means to impact university policies."
Free speech is alive and well. Ciccariello had a right to make the statement just like everyone had a right to speak against it.