The chancellor of UC Davis condemned a controversial online post apparently made by a faculty member, which threatened “zionist journalists” in the days after the attacks in Israel by Hamas.
The post was made Oct. 10 by Jemma Decristo, an assistant professor of American studies and an undergraduate faculty advisor, according to an archived web page of the UC Davis website.
In screenshots of the now-deleted post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Decristo posted under her account @jemmaisOKeh that “zionist journalists who spread propaganda & misinformation” were a group that was easily accessible to the public.
She said in the post that “they have houses w adddresses, kids in school,” and “they can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.” The post ends with a knife emoji, followed by a hatchet emoji and three drops of blood emojis.
The post garnered controversy and was widely shared by several prominent social media figures, including right-wing provocateur Andy Ngo, who has 1.3 million followers on X. Decristo has since deleted the post and made her X account private.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May responded to the controversy Thursday amid calls on social media to discipline Decristo.
“I find the comments revolting in every way, and I disagree wholeheartedly with them,” May said in the statement. “UC Davis rejects all forms of violence and discrimination, as they are antithetical to the values of our university.”
May said that if a faculty member has violated the school’s code of conduct, he or she will be disciplined after a review of the matter.
“These processes are confidential personnel matters that we are not permitted to share with the public, but we can confirm that the provost will refer this matter to the appropriate campus departments that investigate harassment, discrimination and faculty conduct, in consultation with legal counsel regarding First Amendment rights,” he said in the statement.
Decristo did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Friday. Her faculty page, which has been temporarily removed from public view, said she received her PhD in the history of consciousness program at UC Santa Cruz. Her work in the humanities focuses on music, race and gender, particularly regarding Black musical traditions and artists.