A Drexel University professor who was banned from the campus after making a series of controversial remarks about the Las Vegas massacre has once again ignited controversy after he suggested that the recent Texas church shooting is a result of “whiteness.”
George Ciccariello-Maher claimed in a radio interview that the First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs – in which 26 people were killed and another 20 wounded at the Sunday service – could be linked to the shooter’s race and the state of modern politics.
“You know, Trump makes hay out of the fact that white men, in particular, feels as though they’re the victims of this society, despite being in absolute control of it,” he said.
“And this is something that is powerfully dangerous, and it’s why we’re not seeing only the rise in violent attacks, more generally, and the rise of far-right movements, but we’re certainly seeing, you know, clearly sort of some very serious incidents of mass violence, as well.”
Ciccariello-Maher went on to suggest that the state of being white naturally lends itself to committing atrocities.
“Whiteness is never seen as a cause, in and of itself, of these kinds of massacres, of other forms of violence,” he said, claiming that “whiteness is a structure of privilege and it’s a structure of power, and a structure that, when it feels threatened, you know, lashes out.”
Last month, Ciccariello-Maher took to Twitter to blame both white men and President Trump for Stephen Paddock’s actions.
“The narrative of white victimization has been gradually built over the past 40 years. White people are told that they are entitled to everything,” he wrote in part. “This is what happens when they don’t get what they want.”
Drexel University issued a statement in the wake of the comments saying that Ciccariello-Maher had been placed on leave amid threats leveled against both him and the campus community in order to keep students safe.
“I’m currently teaching classes online,” he confirmed in the interview.