An Open Letter to White Students at Drexel UniversityClaus Brinker
Do you believe that you have the right to exist? Drexel University does not. This is one of the lessons from the recent furor that erupted after one of the school’s professors tweeted, “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.” By now you’ve probably heard something about it, but for those who have not, let me reiterate the details.
Assistant Professor George Ciccariello-Maher sent out that tweet on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Day, he tweeted, “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” Right-leaning news outlets like Breitbart reported on these tweets, and used them to enrage their conservative readers. This prompted Drexel to issue a statement calling the first tweet reprehensible and promising to “to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter in detail.”
The university’s statement outraged Ciccariello-Maher’s supporters, who believed he should have had full backing from the school. After several days of debate, Drexel issued a subsequent statement on December 29 entitled “Message Regarding Academic Freedom, Freedom of Speech and the Need for Inclusivity and Respect,” walking back their initial response by explaining that “his words, taken at face value and shared in the constricted Twitter format, do not represent the values of inclusion and understanding espoused by Drexel University.” The implication here is that those outraged by the tweets are taking them at face value and have failed to understand the true meaning and context of the Christmas wish for White genocide. The professor will keep his job, despite the outcry from some.
Ciccariello-Maher has stated that White genocide is an imaginary concept invented by White supremacists that is “used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies,” and therefore the tweet should be viewed as satirical. According to this line of logic, the point was to mock racists, not a call for genocide.
On December 28, the professor appeared on the public radio talk show Radio Times as part of a program about freedom of speech on college campuses. There he argued that the real story was not his controversial statement, but the fact that conservative reporters who know that White genocide is an imaginary concept chose to report his tweets as if he were serious. He also blamed the response on Donald Trump for “throwing wood onto the fire of White paranoia and saying that White people are under attack, when in reality that has never been the case.” He addressed his follow-up tweet regarding the Haitian revolution as well, stating:
I wanted to be perfectly clear that it’s important and that it’s legitimate to resist oppression. The Haitian Revolution is one of the most important moments in our history, and yet we speak about it very little . . . but the Haitian Revolution was not a genocide; it was a struggle between Black slaves and White slave owners in which a great deal of people were killed, but toward legitimate ends, and we need to understand that it’s totally legitimate to fight against White supremacy. That’s one of the lessons of our moment, that we are in a context in which a very far Right, racist, White supremacist sector is excited and feels as though it is its moment to shine. Richard Spencer has publicly said that this is the moment of White supremacists, that the United States belongs to White men, and is being granted a major platform in the media and by the dignified press, to put it, in a sense, and instead of granting these people a platform we are going to have to understand that this is actually a moment in which we are going to have to fight some very hard struggles. They’re going to be painful. Not only the universities, but also the media will need to know what side they are on, whether they’re going to give support, tacit support, to these racist organizations that are trying to use the Trump victory to their advantage or whether they’re going to fight back.
Ciccariello-Maher further stated that since the tweets were reported, he has been harassed and received death threats. When asked if he felt as if his life is in danger, he stated:
These things happen in the world, but when you’re talking about people who feel empowered and feel as though history is finally on their side, and that they are justified in whatever action they take, that’s when things become really frightening, when it’s not just a few isolated individuals, but when it’s people who have a foot in the White House, when it’s people who have a foot in major media organizations like Brietbart, and when people treat these organizations as legitimate when they are utterly illegitimate.
The radio interview closed with the Professor saying that he is in some ways pleased that his tweet caused such an uproar and has made “White genocide” begin to trend on Twitter, because this will presumably open up a debate on the subject. He assured the audience that he welcomes debate in his classroom, even with students who disagree, as long as they bring facts to the discussion and not just opinions. But he cautioned that it needs to be recognized that we now live in a “dangerous” and “frightening moment” where students and faculty who are people of color, queer, or trans, or women “feel increasingly threatened in this political environment.” His final thought was that he hopes that we will continue these debates about free speech in the future.
Please note that the interview was not actually about the debate over whether White genocide is a legitimate concept. The term “genocide” was never defined, nor was the United Nations definition of genocide mentioned, which is often cited by those who make the claim that Whites are facing genocide under the current political system. No facts pertaining to the question of White genocide were presented, only opinions with a presumption that they should not be questioned. Ciccariello-Maher’s opinion on the matter is that because Whites are not being systematically killed, it doesn’t count as genocide, and he dismisses what he calls “multicultural policies” as non-genocidal, even though they are policies that systematically reduce the White population in the United States and in many other European homelands around the world.
The question of whether these policies are really genocidal is certainly up for debate, but it turns out that the public debate that raged in the week following the offending tweets was not about White genocide. Instead it was about free speech, or “academic freedom” in this particular context. For example, the next interview on Radio Times was meant to be a counterargument from a representative at an organization called Turning Point USA, which maintains a “watch list” of politically radical professors who are accused of stifling dissenting opinions among students. The representative was a graduate student who had no interest in discussing White genocide and was not even capable of justifying the existence of his organization’s watch list.
The impression created from the Radio Times program was that Ciccariello-Maher and professors like him are the victims of harassment from hateful, irrational conservatives spurred on by supposed misinformation disseminated by the likes of Turning Point USA and Breitbart. The trend among mainstream news sources reporting on the tweet’s aftermath was to focus on the debate over academic freedom and to avoid the debate over the question of White genocide. More liberal-leaning publications tended to side with the professor and condemn Drexel University for its initial statement, while conservative publications simply reported on the various extreme things that Ciccariello-Maher has said in the past and to question whether he belongs in academia.
In a way, Ciccariello-Maher is correct in his observation that the conservative reporters who sought to expose him do not themselves acknowledge the possibility that White genocide is happening. They merely wished to use this incident for political reasons by reporting the tweet as if it were not meant to be ironic, or it was good clickbait to bring people to their sites. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the Leftist narrative on race can easily believe that he was not sincerely calling for White genocide. Conservative reporters could have examined the reasoning more closely or provided some evidence to refute the notion that this is an imaginary concept. But they did not.
In a somewhat similar, but not entirely analogous way, it is not uncommon for members of the radical Right to utilize genocide satirically when mocking the absurd notion that any legitimization of White identity is going to lead to some sort of holocaust. In fact, the conflation of holding a positive view of White identity with genocidal tendencies is one tactic used by Ciccariello-Maher. One wonders if he would recognize the irony in the title of the popular Alt Right podcast The Daily Shoah, and be able to explain its meaning to others. Unlike when liberal journalists come to this man’s aid to defend his satire, no mainstream media outlet is willing to acknowledge the satire of the radical Right, let alone provide a defense.
The media, it would seem, does not want to bring the focus of the debate to questions about White genocide. This would require discussing facts about what is happening to White people in their own countries, what is causing it to happen, who is promoting it, and what are their reasons. The media does not want to bring these arguments to light, or try to refute them, but would prefer to shut down the debate by simply referring to anyone who defends the interests of Whites as a genocidal racist. This is also how Ciccariello-Maher operates, regardless of what he says about wanting to foster debate in the classroom and in society at large. For instance, note how he mischaracterizes the words of Richard Spencer, while also stating that Spencer should not be given a platform in public to discuss his views. It doesn’t sound like he would be willing to debate Mr. Spencer.
Perhaps what’s worse is that Ciccariello-Maher is actually contributing to supposedly dangerous and frightening moments that he decries by creating a moral justification for the use of violence against his political enemies. First, he provides the example of the massacre of Whites during the Haitian Revolution as a morally legitimate battle against oppression. Then he frames the current political climate and the election of Donald Trump as a rise of similar types of oppression. He engages in fear-mongering regarding his ideological opponents by claiming that those who feel they are on the right side of history also feel justified in whatever action they take. Hasn’t Obama and the liberal elite been saying for some time now that they are the ones on the right side of history? Surely, Ciccariello-Maher believes his own views to be on the right side of history as well. Thus, while his initial tweet may have been satirical, there is also a seed of violence embedded within his logic.
This all brings me to the question I have for those of you who are White students at Drexel University. Do you believe that you really have academic freedom? Could you argue on behalf of White people as a group in the classroom? What do you think would happen if you tried? Could you even defend the supporters of Donald Trump in the classroom without facing some kind of backlash? These radical Marxist professors like to pretend that they are somehow speaking the truth to power, but they are really aligned with power, and the media will concede their premises about race even when disagreeing with them politically on other issues.
At the beginning of this letter, I stated that Drexel University does not believe you have the right to exist. Of course, no faculty member or authority figure at Drexel would ever say something like this outright (unless it was satirical), but in reality, they have already taken away your identity by denying your ability to identify as a White person in a positive manner. The only way you will be allowed to discuss your White identity is in terms of how it should be deconstructed, because it is viewed as inherently negative. As the political system in this country dispossesses you and causes you to become a minority, you will be denied the chance to defend yourself or your people. If you ever attempt to defend White people, you will be maligned in the worst possible ways. Even if you have no intention of promoting genocide, oppression, racial hatred, or violence, they will say that this is your intention.
Trump’s election is an indication that nationalism is on the rise among the general populace. White people want to survive. But aside from the election of Trump, who doesn’t even advocate explicitly for the needs of White people, the power structures really have not changed. As a result, in the coming years, expect to see anti-White sentiments on the rise. You may become increasingly aware of open hostility toward White people. The arguments promoting White minoritization will become increasingly irrational and shrill. To understand what is happening, I encourage you to look in those places where your school and the media tell you not to look. Try to find answers to the questions that they refuse to debate. Look at the Websites that are associated with what is now being called the Alt Right and what is also commonly known as White Nationalism.
Don’t let the gatekeepers of information define this movement for you, but find out about it for yourself. For instance, if you were to read the articles here at Counter-Currents on a regular basis, you would quickly learn that there is a lot more to White Nationalism than what is presented by its opposition. You will also discover that it is far more intellectually stimulating than anything you will encounter in an academic setting, where ideas tend to be heavily policed. You might be surprised to find yourself agreeing with many of the things we believe and discover that there is a legitimate and moral framework supporting some of the views that your professors tell you are unacceptable.
I must caution you that converting to our ideas can feel isolating at times, but once you have learned the degree to which the truth has been suppressed, you will want to continue to pursue it rather than return to a state of ignorance. Fortunately, here in Philadelphia we have a growing, loosely-knit community of racially aware White people. You may have heard of local groups like Keystone United, which is written about in the news from time to time, or of a recently formed national group called Identity Evropa. Becoming a member of a group like this is an option for some. There are also those who are not affiliated with any formal organization. We are people of different age groups, backgrounds, and professions. Some of us choose to engage in activism or creative projects to advance the movement, while others just get together to talk about philosophy or current events, or to engage in cultural activities, or to find ways to improve our bodies and minds by living in healthier ways.
The exciting thing is that communities like this are beginning to form all across the United States, especially in nicer urban areas, the types of places you may want to work once you’ve gotten your degree from Drexel. We are in the process of building networks between these communities so that we will have like-minded friends wherever we go, and you will too, once you’ve connected with us.
Now, to be clear, the political environment is dangerous, and outside of formal organizations, we do not advertise our presence. There are foolish thugs, self-styled anti-fascists, who dedicate their time to ruining the lives of those they disagree with, who somehow rationalize their behavior as virtuous. Because of these idiots and because of the general atmosphere of intellectual hostility toward White identitarians fostered by the globalist media, corporate culture, and academia, it will not be so easy to get connected. However, I assure you that if you spend time learning about our ideas and participating in our communities online, then at some point you will find a way to meet us in person. For now, my future friends, take that first step and learn the things that Drexel University doesn’t want you to know.