June 15th, 2015
Last summer, upset by the escalating conflict in Gaza that left more
than 2,000 people dead, Professor Steven Salaita took to Twitter to
express his outrage.
Like many people on Twitter, Salaita’s comments were passionate and provocative, even incendiary.
And like many Twitter users, Salaita soon found that his online remarks had gotten him embroiled in offline controversy.
First, a number of blogs picked up on his tweets. Then local media
near the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he
was about to join the faculty of the American Indian Studies program,
reported them. By August, the university rescinded its
written job offer, while critics on campus and off accused Salaita of
anti-Semitism and supporters pledged to boycott the school until his
offer was reinstated. The next month, the school’s Board of Trustees voted against his hiring.