Prof writes in college newspaper that students' tweets 'terrorize' the school and could inspire 'armed white nationalist'

The Chicago Maroon is the official student newspaper of the University of Chicago, and we can’t believe the editors allowed a teaching fellow to publish this opinion piece outing a student as a “terrorist” over his tweets. Teaching fellow Rebecca Journey’s work includes studying how “evolutionary and reformist logics of eugenic ideology animate the aesthetics of green urbanism in contemporary Denmark.” She also seems to have a crippling fear of armed white supremacists shooting up the school over some tweets by a sophomore.

“This is not hyperbole” is like President Joe Biden saying, “You think I’m kidding.”

And here’s that thread that might incite white nationalists to attack Journey:

Journey writes in the Maroon:

Had the student reached out to me with concerns about my course, The Problem of Whiteness, I would have happily scheduled office hours to discuss them….

I would have then walked the student, as I would any student, through what decades of careful scholarship on race and racism in the U.S. have taught us: whiteness, like any racial identity, has no basis in biology. It is a scientific and cultural fiction; a “pigment of the imagination,” if you like. It is, however, as historian George Lipsitz writes, a social fact “created and continued with all-too-real consequences for the distribution of wealth, prestige, and opportunity.” As an unmarked norm against which difference is constructed, “whiteness is everywhere in U.S. culture,” Lipsitz observes, “but it is very hard to see.” The act of marking whiteness, then, is to locate it as a specific historical and ideological formation, and to ask what it does in the world. That’s the mission of the class.

It’s stochastic terrorism!

Reactionary attacks on academics are not new. What’s new about the practice in the 21st century is the force multiplier of social media. I am not even on Twitter, and yet I was targeted and terrorized through it. In just 280 characters or fewer, a user can mobilize a collective, decentralized attack and walk away, feigning ignorance. Righteousness, even. I was just “calling out” “anti-white racism.” Let the dregs of the internet do the work.

She never thought she’d see pushback against a course called “The Problem of Whiteness” because she fully understands the problem of whiteness.

And we’re using her photo with this post, meaning that we’re also providing a target for armed white nationalists. Somehow we think she’ll be safe high up in her ivory tower. Is next semester “The Problem with Blackness” by any chance?


Editor’s Note:


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