An instructor at UC Berkeley argued that “rural Americans” are “bad people” who have made “bad life decisions” in a tweet that he has since deleted.

An instructor at UC Berkeley argued that “rural Americans” are “bad people” who have made “bad life decisions” in a tweet that he has since deleted.

November 12, 2019

 

UC Berkeley instructor Jackson Kernion said that “rural Americans” are “bad people” in a tweet last week. Kernion, a graduate student studying philosophy, has taught ten courses at UC Berkeley over the past few years. The tweet, which was highlighted this week by Campus Reform, was deleted after it sparked criticism from other Twitter users.

 

“I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. they, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions. Some, I assume, are good people,” Kernion wrote in the deleted tweet. “But this nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid and we should shame people who aren’t pro-city.”

 

“It should be uncomfortable to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable to not move,” Kernion wrote in a follow-up tweet.

 

Kernion’s tweet inspired significant criticism from other Twitter users. “Thank you for raising awareness of the phenomenon that you can get a PhD in philosophy from a great school like Berkeley and still be a mediocre thinker,” one user wrote. “Not surprising to be an asshole, but notable to be not that smart.”

 

Thank you for raising awareness of the phenomenon that you can get a PhD in philosophy from a great school like Berkeley and still be a mediocre thinker. Not surprising to be an asshole, but notable to be not that smart.

 

In response to the backlash, Kernion deleted the tweet and issued an apology. “Pretty sure I did a bad tweet here. Gonna delete it,” Kernion wrote later. “I’ll want to reflect on it more later, but my tone is way crasser and meaner than I like to think I am.”

Pretty sure I did a bad tweet here. Gonna delete it.

 

I'll want to reflect on it more later, but my tone is way crasser and meaner than I like to think I am. pic.twitter.com/FGJat9uarM

— Jackson Kernion (@JacksonKernion) November 6, 2019

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