WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY KWYN TOWNSEND-RILEY
Dr. Jenn Jackson, a professor at Syracuse University, has been receiving verbal assaults since her comments on the 9/11 attacks. The political science professor said the 9/11 terror attacks were an “attack on the heteropatriarchal capitalistic systems” that “many White Americans fight to protect.”
She posted these comments on Twitter, following the 20th commemoration of the terrorist attack.
“White Americans might not have truly felt fear before 9/11 because they never felt what it meant to be accessible, vulnerable, and on the receiving end of military violence at home,” said Jackson, who is Black.
She continued, “Plenty of us Americans know what it’s like to experience fear and we knew before 9/11.”
In another tweet, Jackson said Sept. 11 was an attack on the “heteropatriarchal capitalist systems America relies upon to wrangle other countries into passivity. It was an attack on the systems many White Americans fight to protect.”
The tweets sparked an online cry for the Teen Vogue columnist and author to be fired. 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 would not be disciplined for the comments.
Now, fellow professors, students, and organizers alike have expressed solidarity with the professor and remain sturdy in support of her comments.
Why We Need to Know:
We know that 9/11 was an attack on American soil that has permanently affected our definition of “America” and “safety.” Since 9/11, we have seen more surveillance, xenophobic attacks on members of the Muslim community, and affirmation for firefighters and essential workers.
However, not everyone’s pinnacle moment of fear was 9/11. Personally, I will never forget 9/11 because America refuses to allow me to do so. But American media does not seem to remember Trayvon Martin or even Ma’kiah Bryant.
America does not want to take accountability for its own terrorist attacks on Black and gender non-conforming folks.