NOW LIVE: Eyewitness News

Professor Placed On Leave Following Threats Over Las Vegas Massacre Tweets

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Drexel University professor has been placed on administrative leave after a series of tweets where he suggested mass shootings like the Las Vegas massacre are always carried out by white men because of “white supremacist patriarchy.”

Last week, George Ciccariello-Maher, who is a tenured associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel, tweeted, “It’s the white supremacist patriarchy, stupid,” in regards to the Las Vegas shooting.

He goes on to tweet,  “Yesterday was a morbid symptom of what happens when those who believe they deserve to own the world also think it is being stolen from them.” and “White people and men are told that they are entitled to everything. This is what happens when they don’t get what they want.”

Ciccariello-Maher says the tweet sparked “illegal threats of violence” and Drexel decided to place him on administrative leave for safety reasons.

Drexel released the following statement on Ciccariello-Maher’s administrative leave.

“The safety of Drexel’s students, faculty, professional staff and police officers are of paramount concern to Drexel. 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.”

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Ciccariello-Maher say putting him on leave sends the wrong message.

“By bowing to pressure from racist internet trolls, Drexel has sent the wrong signal: That you can control a university’s curriculum with anonymous threats of violence,” writes Ciccariello-Maher in the article. “Such cowardice notwithstanding, I am prepared to take all necessary legal action to protect my academic freedom, tenure rights and most importantly, the rights of my students to learn in a safe environment where threats don’t hold sway over intellectual debate. Alongside organizations like the Campus Antifascist Network, I will continue to challenge white supremacists in an effort to make Drexel and all universities safe space for an intellectual debate among equals.”

This isn’t the first time the professor has been under fire for his tweet, last year he tweeted, “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”

He claimed the tweet was meant to be satirical. He says he was mocking what he called the “imaginary concept” of “white genocide,” which he says was invented by white supremacists.

More from Stephanie Ballesteros

More From CBS Philly

Latest Forecast
Weather App
Latest Videos

Watch & Listen LIVE