“One group of ppl we have easy access to in the US is all these zionist journalists who spread propaganda & misiniformation. They have houses w addresses, kids in school. They can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.”
That was an October 10 post on X by Jemma Decristo, an assistant professor of “American studies” at the University of California at Davis. The “trans” professor added emojis of a knife, axe and drops of blood. The story went viral, drawing widespread condemnation, and UCD bosses played defense. They took down Decristo’s bio on the UCD faculty page and as the Davis Enterprise reported, emails to the professor’s UCD address bounced back.
A statement from UCD chancellor Gary S. May, obtained by Newsweek, called the post “revolting in every way” and “antithetical to the values of our university.” UC Davis, the chancellor claimed, “rejects all forms of violence and discrimination, as they are. We strive to foster a climate of equity and justice built on mutual understanding and respect for all members of the community.” As Newsweek noted, the chancellor did not name the faculty member who posted the threats to “Zionist journalists” and their families.
According to the Enterprise, UC Davis hired Decristo in 2017. A May 23, 2023 report in the Nation cites Decristo as an “organizer” in a protest over Banko Brown, a homeless person shot by a security guard, without noting the organizer’s UC Davis connection. Decristo complained that San Francisco mayor London Breed, “continues to give millions and millions more to the SFPD, and equally violent proto-police security forces.”
The call for violence against Jewish journalists and their families caught the attention of Ken Kurson of the California Globe. “I happen to be a Zionist journalist and I have an address and kids in school,” he wrote to chancellor May and USD provost Mary Croughan. “Should I be afraid?”
The current chair of the University of California Board of Regents, Kurson noted, is Rich Lieb, who would like to see more support at UC schools for Jewish students. “Presumably, threatening to kill the families of those who support the world’s only Jewish State is not what Leib had in mind.” Kurson also called out UCD donors to “demand accountability from a university that funds a professor who threatens murder and celebrates anti-American violence.”
That professor, a biological male, was “formerly known as Jeramy Decristo.”
According to the University of California president’s post-doctoral fellowship program, Jeramy Decristo earned a PhD from UC Santa Cruz in the “History of Consciousness” department, the former domain of Angela Davis, Communist Party USA candidate for vice president in 1980 and 1984 under the Stalinist Gus Hall.
A petition now being circulated demands that UC Davis fire professor Decristo “for making explicit threats targeting the Jewish people.” According to the Enterprise, as of October 19, Decristo continues to be employed by UC Davis. The October 23 edition of The California Aggie, the official campus newspaper, has no story on the professor’s call for violence against Jews and their families.
These were not the first threats of deadly violence from a member of the UCD faculty. Consider UC Davis English and comparative literature professor Joshua Clover a communist poet who directs the Marxist Institute for Research. Clover has posted that “cops need to be killed,” and it was “easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned.”
In 2019, after a criminal gunned down Davis police officer Natalie Corona, Clover told reporters “I think we can all agree that the most effective way to end any violence against officers is the complete and immediate abolition of the police.” Clover refused to walk back his contention that police officers should be killed.
Assemblyman James Gallagher authored a petition to have Clover removed from the classroom but state Democrats refused to hear the petition. Clover remains on the faculty at UC Davis, focusing on “trajectories of liberatory struggle within the two constraints that are the end of capitalist growth and catastrophic climate collapse.”
At this writing, the communist poet, who wants dead cops, has yet to weigh in on professor Decristo’s threats against Zionist journalists and their families. In similar style, professor Decristo’s threats elicited no comment from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who recently stopped in Israel on his way to China.
“The State of California is working to ship medical supplies to support humanitarian relief efforts in Israel and Gaza,” the governor’s October 20 statement explains. Gov. Newsom met with Israeli survivors and said “my heart is heavy for all innocent people under the crushing pressure of loss and grief, no matter which side of fence they quite literally find themselves on.”
In Hong Kong on Monday, Gov. Newsom made no statement on the call for violence against Jewish journalists and their families. The 10-hour visit to Israel, Newsom said, “allows me to absorb what’s happening there very differently now. It’s not an intellectual exercise.” The California governor saw videos of atrocities but issued no condemnation of Hamas.
Newsom didn’t visit Gaza but told reporters he was working to get medical supplies to the region. “separately and above the aid we’re providing for Israel.” If he was “president of the United States,” Newsom explained, “I could start doing all those things.”