Dec. 28, an embattled professor at Drexel University has resigned from his tenured position a year after lewd tweets put him in the national spotlight.
“After December 31st, 2017, I will no longer work at Drexel University,” said Professor George Ciccarielo-Maher.
Ciccarielo-Maher, professor of political science at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, gained notoriety on Dec. 24, 2016, when he tweeted “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.” The tweet quickly went viral and sparked an enormous amount of controversy.
“This is not a decision that I take lightly; however, after nearly year of harassment by right-wing, white supremacist media outlets and internet mobs, after death threats and threats of violence directed against me and my family, my situation has become unsustainable,” said Ciccarielo-Maher in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
The professor went on to say that America is at war, and that academia is at the forefront of that war.
“This is why the Right is targeting campuses with thinly veiled provocations disguised as free speech,” he said.
Tenured faculty to fight back and they need to fight for all faculty, at all levels, against attacks from the Right and white supremacists, he said.
“Drexel University has accepted his resignation and recognizes the significant scholarly contributions that Professor Ciccariello-Maher has made to the field of political thought and his service to the Drexel University community as an outstanding classroom teacher,” the university said in a statement.
Drexel placed Ciccariello-Maher on administrative leave in October, citing threats against the professor and the campus community.
The university originally condemned the inflammatory tweet from 2016, but never formally punished Ciccariello-Maher.
“While the University recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate, Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the University,” Drexel said in a statement on Dec. 25, 2016.
The professor continued to make headlines over the past year for controversial statements.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also said Trumpism was to blame, along with white supremacist patriarchy for the massacre at a concert in Las Vegas less than 24 hours of the event. The official report on the motive of the Las Vegas shooter has yet to be confirmed.
Genesis A. Sanchez, a college student from Florida, told Big League Politics, “I don’t think that professors of higher education should simply push their own opinions on students, because it’s wrong and inappropriate.”
Louis S. Scataglia, a college student from Pennsylvania said, “The left fails to realize that they are the ones promoting violence in America, and it starts with the cesspool that is a liberal college campus.”
Does the Arizona Constitution Provide Means for Lawmakers to Crack Down on Big Tech Censorship?
Does the Arizona Constitution provide protections from Big Tech?
The Arizona Constitution provides stronger protections for freedom of speech than the First Amendment does, potentially providing legislative solutions to Big Tech censorship in the state at a moment where political censorship is more pervasive than ever.
Article 2 Section 6, Arizona Constitution states that “Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. “
This differs greatly from the federal constitution in that it doesn’t limit the powers of a legislature to restrict freedom of speech. The US Constitution identifies “Congress” as the body it’s restricting from making a law abridging the freedom of speech.
The speech rights established by the Arizona Constitution are thus expressed positively; recognizing a right belonging to the people, as opposed to negating an infringement of said right.
Quite obviously, the Arizona Constitution was written in an 1910, an era in which the internet would’ve been just as inconceivable as it was in 1789.
In a 2019 Arizona Supreme Court case, the state’s highest court recognized in a 4-3 judgement that the Arizona Constitution provided greater protections than the federal constitution. The case recognized that violations of the First Amendment would represent de facto violations of the
It’s not outside the realm of possibility that the Arizona Attorney General, or state legislature, could hold Big Tech oligarchs to account for violating the Article 2 Section 6 rights of Arizona citizens- especially in a context the major platforms are collectively adjudicated to be acting as a trust in order to suppress competition and silence lawful speech.
Three Arizona legislators called upon Attorney General Mark Brnovich to begin an antitrust investigation into Big Tech oligarchs following the coordinated deplatforming operation against Parler, in which both Amazon and Apple colluded to restrict the free speech platform from the internet.
In an era where the overwhelming majority of free speech is communicated online, the censorious actions of Big Tech very plausibly represent an assault of the right of free expression guaranteed in the Arizona Constitution. Both chambers of Arizona’s legislature remain Republican, even as the state has become purple, and action against Big Tech censorship on the state level could become a real possibility in the coming years.
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