'White genocide' tweet offensive

Drexel University associate professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who tweeted, "All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide," must be tone deaf to the tenor of the current political dialogue if he believed that most Americans would have recognized his message as a form of sarcasm. Ninety percent of Americans, myself included, have never read Breitbart and would have no idea that the professor's tweet was a reaction to messages espoused by Breitbart. Drexel University was correct in labeling his tweets "utterly reprehensible."

I wonder whether those professors who chided Drexel for stepping on Ciccariello-Maher's freedom of speech would also support a professor who called for "black genocide?" Both messages are incendiary, despicable, and totally offensive, and have no place in political dialogue.

|William Cooney, Philadelphia

Drexel's response is frightening

I'm proud to have worked and studied at Drexel. But my pride took a hit when I saw the university's cowardly, wavering response to a neo-Nazi, fake outrage campaign targeting one of its professors.

Open fascists strive to impose a new political correctness on America, in which a person's speech, thoughtful or otherwise, against racism and other bigotry legitimizes threats to their job and life. Associate professor George Ciccariello-Maher expressed himself poorly, but Drexel's worthless response that his tweet was "utterly reprehensible," if not remedied, will serve as a stark warning to all supporters of equality that racists wield real power. No one can feel safe opposing bigots when a few basement-dwellers can humble a respected professor.

Future generations will note who stood against bigotry in our era and who did not. Drexel must take strong public actions to support Ciccariello-Maher and oppose the bigotry he was trying to fight.

|Anne Hanna, Philadelphia

Truth-challenged Twittersphere

Why do legitimate news outlets such as the Inquirer report unverifiable tweets by Donald Trump? In what way can you verify that the tweet actually came from him?

There is a famous New Yorker cartoon that said, "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog." Isn't anyone concerned that these comments are coming from someone other than Trump? Since when has this become a legitimate way to communicate to people, especially for a president?

|Donna F. Iannelli, Haddon Heights

Tables turned on Trump backer

I had to laugh at the irony of the Bryn Mawr Trump-supporter who complained about feeling marginalized and threatened because of her beliefs ("Bryn Mawr student: Trump post brought abuse," Dec. 25). Millions of women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, scientists, disabled people, Jews, and Muslims feel the same way. At least this student was being judged for a conscious choice she made. Under the next administration, the rest of us won't be so lucky.

|Meg Pidgeon, Doylestown

The last black president?

Take it all in, America. Savor the last days of what America in its finest hour had to offer: The Obamas. An administration that had no scandals, saved us from another depression, kept nuclear parity with the Russians, and avoided another nuclear-arms race. An administration that cut the unemployment rate considerably, showed the country that a black man with power is not to be feared, and avoided racism, xenophobia, and nationalistic chest-thumping.

We may never again see a black man rise to such prominence in our country, now that the nation is careening down the path of division and divisiveness. Savor it, America, for the dark side of our nation's character might be rising to prominence.

|Saul Lichtine, Voorhees

Blanking on zero-based budgeting

It was interesting to read the comment by Mayor Kenney's spokeswoman about zero-based budgeting, based on the finance team's advice: "zero-based budgeting wouldn't be effective here because [of] the sheer size of Philadelphia's city government" ("Much was done, some was not," Tuesday).

According to Investopedia, "Zero-based budgeting aims to put the onus on managers to justify expenses and aims to drive value for an organization by optimizing costs and not just revenue."

So, the government is too big to use a tool that would most likely reduce the size of the government - sounds like an endless loop. And taxpayers must put up with an increasingly large government because it's too big to use a tool to stop the growth and cut the size?

|Steve Penn, Phoenixville

Don't forget Philly's shooting star

Because you published "Philadelphia names lost in 2016" (Tuesday) before 2016 ended, you missed the opportunity to include Vera Rubin, an astronomer and Philadelphia native who passed away on Christmas Day. Rubin, who discovered the first direct evidence of dark matter and who was overlooked for a Nobel Prize, was a giant in her profession. Next year, I suggest you run this list after the year has passed.

|Ed Jarret, Furlong