Jesse A. Goldberg, Ph.D., still has not started his first semester as a lecturer at Auburn University. However, the incoming professor continues to ignite controversy on social media.
A few months ago, Goldberg admittedly posted his “first controversial tweet” as an Auburn faculty member.
Ahead of starting his new job as a “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English department at Auburn University” this coming academic year, Goldberg said, “I know it’s just a mascot but I’m never gonna be able to call myself a ‘war eagle’ or say ‘go war eagles.’ Sorry.”
“I can’t bring myself to enthusiastically and sincerely use a slogan/greeting/cultural signal with ‘war’ as a primary descriptor. Yeah I know I’m being a party pooper but it’s the kind of language thing that sticks with me,” he advised.
In reporting on that incident, Yellowhammer News noted that Goldberg’s Twitter bio read, “Lecturer @ Auburn U | Black Studies, Critical Prison Studies, Queer Theory, American Literature | Abolitionist | martial artist | views are mine | he/him/his.”
The following image utilized as his Twitter header seems to explain what he means by “Abolitionist:”
He further described himself as a “radical anti-racist white (Jewish) teacher.”
Goldberg on Wednesday apparently took his “radical” branding to heart.
The incoming Auburn lecturer tweeted the following (censoring added by Yellowhammer News):
F*ck every single cop. Every single one. The only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit. The police do not protect people. They protect capital. They are instruments of violence on behalf of capital.
The tweet came as a response to a post by the ACLU claiming that a protester in New York City was “abducted” by law enforcement officers. The NYPD has publicly explained that the protester was actually arrested on open warrants by plainclothes officers. Goldberg in his tweet asserted that the arrest was actually “kidnapping.”
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Auburn University reacted to Goldberg’s tweet.
“We find Mr. Goldberg’s comments inexcusable and completely counter to Auburn values. Hate speech of any kind is simply wrong,” said Brian Keeter, the university’s executive director of Public Affairs. “Auburn is fully committed to the fundamental right of free speech, but we do not support hateful words or actions that degrade, disrespect or exclude. Especially during these difficult times in our nation, it’s vital that we reject crude stereotypes and work together to foster mutual understanding and respect within our communities.”
“Auburn officials are considering options available to the university,” he concluded.
While Goldberg’s Twitter account is not currently publicly viewable, his Facebook account is.
As of Thursday at 1:00 p.m. CT, his Facebook cover photo displayed a poem entitled, “Against the Police.”
In a Wednesday Facebook post that was still on his page as of Thursday at 1:00 p.m. CT, Goldberg echoed the thoughts contained in his since-deleted tweet about police.
“ACAB. Yes, all. Police do not protect people. They protect capital. Cops are instruments of violence on behalf of capital. Literally the only ethical decision for a cop in this moment is to refuse to do their job, to quit. The only good cop is a cop who quits,” he wrote.
ACAB stands for “all cops are bastards.”
A separate Goldberg Facebook post from last week stated that he is a supporter of “prison & police abolition.” Numerous Facebook posts by Goldberg outline that he literally wants to abolish the police, as opposed to more prevalent “reforming” or “defunding” movements.
Goldberg recently wrote that he plans on teaching four classes exclusively online at Auburn this upcoming fall semester.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn