The Auburn Twitter-sphere is abuzz after an incoming professor admittedly posted his “first controversial tweet” as an Auburn University faculty member.
Dr. Jesse A. Goldberg, PhD, according to his social media account, will be starting a new role as a “Lecturer of African American & American Literature and Composition in the English department at Auburn University” this coming academic year.
Goldberg’s Twitter bio reads, “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:”
In a Wednesday tweet, 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.”
The self-described “radical anti-racist white (Jewish) teacher” explained himself in a separate tweet.
“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,” Goldberg advised.
Auburn University’s official twitter account entered into the conversation for a quick correction of the record.
We know it’s been explained to you that we only say “Go Tigers” & “War Eagle,” but just give it some time… you’ll see what they mean!
— Auburn University (@AuburnU) May 13, 2020
Another commenter on Goldberg’s Twitter thread informed the professor that Auburn does indeed have a real golden eagle, currently Aurea — the eighth official War Eagle in university history. Auburn also houses the Southeastern Raptor Center, “a regional rehabilitation and education facility which provides educational programming for those interested in learning about raptors and care to birds of prey in need.”
Goldberg’s comments have been met with some derision on the social media platform.
“Good thing I’ve been training in martial arts even longer than I’ve been training in anti-racism, I guess,” Goldberg responded to one commenter.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn