Syracuse University says it won’t discipline professor who said 9/11 was ‘attack on heteropatriarchal capitalism’

The Twin Towers up in smoke on September 11, 2001. Robert Giroux/Getty Images
  • A Syracuse University professor tweeted that 9/11 “was an attack on the heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems that America relies upon.”
  • The comments – posted one day before the 20th anniversary of the attacks – sparked fierce backlash online.
  • Syracuse University says the educator won’t be disciplined for the controversial remarks.
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A Syracuse University professor claimed the 9/11 terror attacks were an “attack on the heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems” that “white Americans fight to protect.”

Now, the college says the educator won’t be disciplined for the comments which sparked an outcry online just before the anniversary of the attacks.

Political science assistant professor Jenn M. Jackson made the remarks in tweets on Friday ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, including 30 Syracuse University alumni.

“We have to be more honest about what 9/11 was and what it wasn’t. It was an attack on the heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems that America relies upon to wrangle other countries into passivity,” Jackson tweeted, according to screenshots of the posts.

The professor added, “It was an attack on the system many white Americans fight to protect.” Jackson has since set their Twitter account to private.

Jackson’s 9/11 comments sparked fierce backlash on Twitter, including from former Fox News and NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly.

“As an S.U. poli-sci grad, I just wanted to say, Ms. Jackson, you can F right the hell off. @SyracuseU – you ok with this?” Kelly tweeted Saturday.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud and Dean David Van Slyke addressed the matter in a joint statement to students, faculty, and staff on Monday, saying that Jackson will not be disciplined for the comments.

“Recently, one of our professors shared thoughts on 9/11 on social media. These comments have been the subject of much scrutiny and vehement disagreement by critics. That is their right, just as our professor has the right to free speech, however uncomfortable it may make anyone feel,” the statement said.

The school officials went on to say that Jackson has received “violent threats” over her remarks.

“What cannot be tolerated are the harassment and violent threats that we have seen in response that have been directed at this professor,” said the officials, explaining that federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have been contacted.

The statement continued, “Some have asked the University to condemn the professor’s comments and others have demanded the professor’s dismissal. Neither of those actions will happen.”

“As the home of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, free speech for all people across the political spectrum, within the limits of the law and the University’s anti-harassment policy, is one of our key values,” the officials said.

They added, “Speech can be offensive, hurtful or provocative. Still, Syracuse University will stand by the principles of free speech and by our commitment to keeping our community safe in the face of threats and harassment.”

Jackson did not immediately return a request for comment by Insider on Monday.