Wednesday, 7 October 2020

White male University of New Hampshire chemistry professor is busted for 'posing as immigrant woman of color on Twitter to make racist, transphobic and sexist remarks'

 A white, male University of New Hampshire chemistry professor has been accused of posing as an immigrant woman of color on Twitter. 

Craig Chapman used the account to make racist and sexist comments and attack users who supported racial justice and other progressive causes, The Daily Beast reports. 

Several people who have reviewed The Science Femme, who tweeted from the handle @piney_the, before it was taken down last week said it routinely posted racist, sexist and transphobic comments and images over the past year. 

It claimed in a viral thread reported by conservative publication RedState to have been 'successful in killing my dept's woke statement on recent social unrest'.

The June 30 post called it 'a toxic ideology that cannot be given an inch'. 

The account, which had 13,000 followers, also used explicit anatomical terms to describe a female opponent and blamed another for the suicide of a North Carolina professor, who had recently retired after a backlash over comments he made on social media.

It also claimed to have removed 'all woke terminology from the statement including anti-racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and claims of systemic racism.'

They added: 'Being on these committees is the best way to steer larger policy further down the line You have to endure all manner of nonsense, but do it.' 

When The Science Femme was accused of racism, the account holder, believed to be Chapman, replied: 'You know I'm a woman of color, right? Racist.'

In other posts the account holder also said they were 'an immigrant woman of color who grew up in poverty, sleeping on a dirt floor'. Chapman is accused of repeatedly saying he was a 'WOC,' woman of color, and a 'POC,' person of color. 

@piney_the also shared a meme of Elizabeth Warren after she claimed Native American ancestry. It had the caption: 'Growing up Chinese in South Detroit I struggled as an African American Jewish Boy.' 

Details about the account holder's brother owning a brewery and matching pictures posted to Chapman's public account are said to have linked the two. 

Several people who have reviewed the account before it was taken down last week said it routinely posted racist, sexist and transphobic comments and images over the past year

Several people who have reviewed the account before it was taken down last week said it routinely posted racist, sexist and transphobic comments and images over the past year

When The Science Femme was accused of racism, the account holder, believed to be Chapman, replied: 'You know I'm a woman of color, right? Racist'

When The Science Femme was accused of racism, the account holder, believed to be Chapman, replied: 'You know I'm a woman of color, right? Racist'

In other posts the account holder also said they were 'an immigrant woman of color who grew up in poverty, sleeping on a dirt floor'

In other posts the account holder also said they were 'an immigrant woman of color who grew up in poverty, sleeping on a dirt floor'

Chapman is accused of repeatedly saying he was a 'WOC,' woman of color, and a 'POC,' person of color

Chapman is accused of repeatedly saying he was a 'WOC,' woman of color, and a 'POC,' person of color

Several people who have reviewed The Science Femme, who tweeted from the handle @piney_the, before it was taken down last week said it routinely posted racist, sexist and transphobic comments and images over the past year

Several people who have reviewed The Science Femme, who tweeted from the handle @piney_the, before it was taken down last week said it routinely posted racist, sexist and transphobic comments and images over the past year

Susanna Harris, a microbiology Ph.D. holder, told The Daily Beast: 'They put out this huge long thread about how they, as a woman of color in science, a professor, made a big change in their university by shutting down diversity, equity, and inclusion work.' 

Toby Santamaria, a graduate student studying plant biology at Michigan State who identifies with the gender-neutral term Latinx, was attacked online by followers of the Twitter account.

'I'm disgusted but not really surprised,' Santamaria said.


The person behind the account also detailed how they had fought efforts from their unnamed department to speak out on racial injustice following the death of George Floyd. 

They also routinely brought up their fake background to criticize users who were pushing for greater diversity in science, mathematics, engineering and technology or STEM fields.

'It just wanted to silent dissent,' said Santamaria, recalling how the user would often suggest trans people did not exist and that sexism and racism in STEM was not an issue.

'Every time people would criticize the account and say that we do know racism exists in STEM and we do know sexism is a problem, it would say I am a woman of color so there, it´s not an issue.'

The person behind the account also detailed how they had fought efforts from their unnamed department to speak out on racial injustice following the death of George Floyd

The person behind the account also detailed how they had fought efforts from their unnamed department to speak out on racial injustice following the death of George Floyd

They also routinely brought up their fake background to criticize users who were pushing for greater diversity in science, mathematics, engineering and technology or STEM fields

They also routinely brought up their fake background to criticize users who were pushing for greater diversity in science, mathematics, engineering and technology or STEM fields

The university has not named the professor whom it said was being investigated. A spokesperson said that the person 'is on leave and not in the classroom'

The university has not named the professor whom it said was being investigated. A spokesperson said that the person 'is on leave and not in the classroom'

In an email to the department Miller acknowledged the professor had set up a fake Twitter account and posted tweets that ranged from 'unfortunate to hurtful to deeply offensive'

In an email to the department Miller acknowledged the professor had set up a fake Twitter account and posted tweets that ranged from 'unfortunate to hurtful to deeply offensive'

Harris, who runs a company that supports graduate students and clashed with the person behind the account, agreed the goal of posting as a person of color was to discredit diversity efforts.

'It gives validity to the thoughts of people, in my opinion, that are pushing this racist narrative that these efforts aren't needed,' she said.

More troubling, Santamaria and Harris said, was the account user's habit of attacking mostly women of color who disagreed with him and encouraging his followers to do the same. 

Both women came under attack after calling for the account to be ignored or coming to the defense of those who had been attacked.

The person behind the account used this image as their profile picture

The person behind the account used this image as their profile picture 

The account accused Harris of trying to prevent debate because she was white. 

In the days that followed, the person also blamed Harris for the suicide of a North Carolina professor, who had recently retired after a backlash over comments he made on social media.

'It was scary,' Harris said of the exchange. 'Sometimes, the internet crosses into real life. A lot of work I do is through social media and science communication. 

'Defaming my character online affects my ability to do those things but also there is the very real threat that people could find my personal location.' 

The university has not named the professor whom it said was being investigated. A spokesperson said that the person 'is on leave and not in the classroom.' 

'We are deeply troubled by what we've learned so far and immediately launched an investigation,' University spokeswoman Erika Mantz said.

The chair of the university's Chemistry Department, Glen Miller, refused to discuss the case.

But in an email to the department that was shared with The Associated Press by a department source who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation, Miller acknowledged the professor had set up a fake Twitter account and posted tweets that ranged from 'unfortunate to hurtful to deeply offensive.'

The email is said to have named Chapman as the academic being investigated. It read: 'Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, but when those opinions are dismissive or hurtful or harmful to others, it is not ok with me.'

It described Craig as 'embarrassed and overwhelmed and shell shocked'.   

The case comes at a sensitive time for the university. It has been working for several years to address racism on campus and diversify the student body. Last week, it held a virtual town hall on racism, diversity, equity and inclusion

The case comes at a sensitive time for the university. It has been working for several years to address racism on campus and diversify the student body. Last week, it held a virtual town hall on racism, diversity, equity and inclusion

The case comes at a sensitive time for the university. It has been working for several years to address racism on campus and diversify the student body. Last week, it held a virtual town hall on racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.

For that reason, many familiar with the case argue the university has to take a tough line against the professor. Some have called for him to be removed while others argued he should be put on extended leave and be required to take extensive racial sensitivity training.

Miller, in his email, said that he was 'deeply offended' by the professor's 'words and tactics, but I am not giving up on' him. 'I wish to give him an opportunity to repair the damage and move forward, difficult as that may be,' he added.

Jessica Krug, 38, a white professor of African American studies confessed in a Medium post last month that she had been faking being black for years.

The professor at George Washington University admitted she had deceived colleagues and students for years. Krug grew up as a white Jewish child in Kansas City but assumed a series of different black identities throughout her career, she confessed in a Medium blog post on September 3.

She resigned from her role at the university last week following a backlash over the deception.

One of the most notorious examples of race faking was Rachel Dolezal, a former NAACP leader from Washington state who was exposed as a white woman pretending to be black in 2015. 

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