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Drexel University professor under fire for "white genocide" tweet

PHILADELPHIA -- A Drexel University professor was summoned to a meeting with school officials after he tweeted a Christmas Eve message saying, “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”

George Ciccariello-Maher, who is white and an associate professor of politics at the university in Philadelphia, told The Associated Press by email Monday that the message to nearly 11,000 Twitter followers was meant to be satirical. 

Drexel, however, condemned the tweet, calling it “inflammatory” and saying his comments were “utterly reprehensible” and
“deeply disturbing.”

“The University is taking this situation very seriously,” Drexel said in a statement on Christmas Day. “We contacted Ciccariello-Maher today to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter in detail.”

The statement added that said Ciccariello-Maher’s comments “do not in any way reflect the values of the University.”

Ciccariello-Maher’s website says he is a writer, radical political theorist, and associate professor at Drexel. His biography on the university’s website says his academic specialties include “race and racism.”

He said Drexel’s statement “sends a chilling message,” and that Drexel apparently didn’t understand “the content or the context” of his tweets. The professor told the Associated Press he was mocking what he called the “imaginary concept” of white genocide, which he says was invented by white supremacists. 

“It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I’m glad to have mocked it,” he said.

Ciccariello-Maher followed up his initial tweet by praising the “massacre” of whites in Haiti during the country’s slave uprising and revolution more than two centuries ago.

Though his Twitter account is private, he is a prolific tweeter, and his weekend messages spread quickly online. He said he has received hundreds of death threats.