Ivy League Professor: Journalism About Fringe Left Rants Is ‘A Technique Of REPRESSION’


A Cornell University history professor declared that “right-wing” news organizations utilize “a technique of repression” when they publicize the rantings of ultra-progressive academics who wish for the genocide of white peopledescribe the president as “racist and sexist megalomaniac,” and hurl obscene streams of anti-Semitic invective on Twitter.

The professor, Russell Rickford, “specializes in the black radical tradition.” His lamentation — entitled “Neo-McCarthyism and the Radical Professor” — appeared at the website Black Perspectives in late July.

“A host of progressive and leftist thinkers have been engulfed by controversy after doing precisely what they believe they have been called to do: exposing unjust power,” Rickford complains in his essay.

“Such scenarios often appear to involve genuine, widespread outrage against inflammatory speech,” Rickford writes. “In reality, the hullabaloo is often generated by a collection of right-wing sites and organizations that have mastered a cynical style of attack journalism well suited for the mob mentality of the social media age.”

Rickford uses four professors as examples of his thesis. One of the four professors is George Ciccariello-Maher, professor of politics — and a self-described “radical political theorist” and an “actual communist” — at Drexel University.

In a tweet posted late Christmas Eve, Ciccariello-Maher, who is white, described his biggest wish for the 2016 holiday season as the genocide of white people.

Ciccariello-Maher attempted to deflect criticism of his jolly holiday tweet wishing for “white genocide” by claiming it was a satirical joke made at the expense of delusional white supremacists. But in a previously published philosophy paper, Ciccariello-Maher explicitly praised the systematic extermination of white people in Haiti as a means of achieving greater racial equality and “freedom.”

Ciccariello-Maher remains a professor on the faculty at Drexel.

Rickford highlights a second professor, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, at Princeton University.

Taylor, an African American studies professor, gave the 2017 commencement speech at Hampshire College, a very expensive private school with no majors and no grades. In her speech, she called President Donald Trump a “racist and sexist megalomaniac,” and described the Trump presidential campaign as replete with “racism, corporatism and militarism.”

In June, after various news outlets reported Taylor’s words, she canceled her then-upcoming public appearances because she said she received threats in reaction to her inflammatory comments.

Taylor remains a professor on the faculty at Princeton.

A third professor spotlighted by Rickford is Johnny Eric Williams, a sociology professor at Trinity College.

This summer, Williams fled the state of Connecticut after calling white people “inhuman assholes” on Facebook. “It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do,” Williams wrote in his screed. He continued, “Put [an] end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system #LetThemFuckingDie.”

Administrators at Trinity have cleared Williams of any wrongdoing. He remains on voluntary leave and a group of supporters has asked the school to apologize to him for any criticism of his Facebook post, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Rickford also briefly mentions Steven Salaita, a world-class Israel hater who lost a job offer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over an expletive-laden Twitter rampage.

Salaita ended up taking a job at the American University of Beirut but then apparently couldn’t keep that job. He has left academia, but he still tweets.

Even though three of the four professors Rickford cites as victims of “a technique of repression” still have their comfortable jobs as professors, Rickford remains unhappy.

He complains of “the myth of college campuses as sites of left-wing indoctrination” and charges that professors “who actively support social justice struggles risk being isolated or chided by colleagues who lament inequality yet remain comfortably distant from the realities of oppression.”

Also, Rickford says modern college campuses “promote the virtues of global capitalism so assiduously that most college graduates can scarcely imagine an alternative.”

Rickford urges “the academic left to recommit to the practical tasks of organizing,” even though “elites and their proxies will always try to suppress radical expression.”

“We who see knowledge as more than bourgeois property must always defend our comrades against the hypocrisies of liberalism and the mechanisms of conservative attack.”

Rickford himself has an illustrious history of incendiary statements.

Last year, in July, Rickford charged that the Fraternal Order of Police is “a terrorist organization.” He made the charge at a Black Lives Matter protest at a protest near the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York, in response to the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Castile was shot by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota — 1,074 miles from Ithaca. Sterling was shot by a police officer on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — 1,395 miles from Ithaca. “We charge genocide,” Rickford said, and he presented the definition of genocide as proffered by the United Nations.

Rickford also called for a general strike by black artists, professors and professionals in response to Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.

In 2014, Rickford urged white students to commit “race suicide” in a lecture in response to the death of Michael Brown and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Also in 2014, during his time at Dartmouth College, Rickford, called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “a tool of the far-right imperialists to appease people.”

Rickford’s books and articles include “Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle,” and “‘Socialism From Below’: A Black Scholar’s Marxist Genealogy.”

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